Stress Appraisal Theory (Primary and Secondary Appraisal)
Tamara Stone & Stone Han
Stress appraisal refers to the process by which individuals evaluate and cope with a stressful event. It is concerned with individuals' evaluation of the event, rather than with the event per se. People differ in how they construe what is happening to them and their options for coping. Stress appraisal comes in two forms, primary and secondary appraisal, which should be considered as two stages of appraisal or evaluation. These two types of appraisal are not mutually exclusive; they work in concert with one another to complete the appraisal process. Primary appraisal is the cognitive process that occurs when one is appraising whether an event is stressful and relevant to him or her. During this phase, a decision is made about whether the event poses a threat, will cause harm or loss, or presents a challenge. Harm or loss is associated with damage that has already occurred, such as a ...