Resilient Individuals Reform Their Assumptive Worlds after Stressful Life Events
Kramer, Lindsay B.
Individuals develop core attitudes and beliefs that bring a sense of reality and purpose to their lives. They make up one’s assumptive world. After a particular trauma or stressful life event, one’s assumptive world is disrupted because individuals are confronted with inconsistent data that cannot be readily assimilated with their preexisting assumptions. Thus, he or she is forced to learn to cope with the situation and reappraise, or reevaluate, his or her core attitudes and beliefs. Successful coping and flexible adaption to changing demands of stressful experiences is referred to as psychological resilience. By using a survey that questioned participants about a stressful event, I hypothesized that resilient individuals would utilize accommodative-focused coping to maintain their assumptions and be able to achieve positive growth and transformation. It was found that resilient individuals maintained all assumptions, except in believing that the world is still meaningful. In addition, resilience was found to be predictive of using accommodative-focused coping and of experiencing positive growth after a stressful event. Thus, this research implies that a resilient individual is unable to justify why the event occurred to a decent and worthy person.