Patterns of emotion -specific appraisals, coping, and physiological reactivity during an ongoing emotional episode

Mary M Herrald, University of Texas at El Paso


This study examined emotion-specific patterns of appraisal, coping, and cardiovascular reactivity during a real emotional episode. One hundred and nine participants performed a relatively neutral opinion task. During the task, a confederate elicited either anger, shame, or pride using verbal and nonverbal behavior, or remained neutral. This study assessed cognitive appraisals, emotional reactions, self-reported coping, task performance, self-esteem, outcome satisfaction, and cardiovascular reactivity. Results showed that appraisals differentiated Pride and Neutral conditions from the Anger and Shame conditions. Regarding coping, Anger and Pride were associated with greater emotion-focused coping than Pride and Neutral. In addition, Pride participants showed an increase in task performance during the emotion induction, whereas Anger participants showed a decline in performance during the post-manipulation period. Pride and Neutral were associated with greater self-esteem and greater outcome satisfaction than Anger and Shame. Finally, Anger and Shame were associated with greater cardiac reactivity than Pride and Neutral during the emotion induction and the post-manipulation period, suggesting little habituation and recovery. Results suggest that certain emotions can be elicited in the laboratory, that positive emotions may have health benefits, and that Shame, like Anger, may be associated with a maladaptive pattern of cardiac reactivity associated with coronary heart disease. Finally, implications for the prevention and treatment of psychological and physical disorders are discussed.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Physiological psychology

Recommended Citation

Herrald, Mary M, "Patterns of emotion -specific appraisals, coping, and physiological reactivity during an ongoing emotional episode" (2000). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI9997672.