Uncovering Relationships Between Appraisal, Emotion, and Coping: Emotion as a Process
Our understanding of emotion and coping is limited in that theorists and researchers have generally failed to observe the full adaptational process, from emotion elicitation to coping. Across three studies, I capitalized on the strengths of different research designs to investigate the relationships between appraisal, motivation, and coping among various negative and positive emotions. In Study 1, I conducted a retrospective survey of emotional experience and modeled the coherence between appraisal, motivation, and coping. By uncovering the patterns of appraisal, motivation, and coping for each emotion, I differentiated among 20 distinct emotions. In Study 2, I experimentally manipulated appraisals of problem-focused coping potential and observed the effects of this manipulation on coping during a difficult learning task. The appraisal of high problem-focused coping potential interacted with perceived competence to influence the use of various engagement-related coping strategies. Finally, in Study 3, I conducted a prospective survey of how undergraduate students experienced and coped with their emotions prior to, as well as after, taking two exams across a two-month period. Results supplement the findings from Studies 1 and 2, providing evidence of how prior appraisal and coping impact present emotional experience. Taken together, the three studies reveal the elegant coherence between appraisal, emotion, motivation, and coping.