Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 207
Psychological Stress/Lazarus/Elovainio/Kivimäki: the transactional stress theory by Lazarus (1984)(1) defines stress as a relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as relevant to his or her own wellbeing and in which the person’s resources are taxed. This approach creates also a basis for understanding individual differences in emotions as emergence of emotions is viewed as depending upon an individual’s appraised meaning of the event.
Lazarus: that there is no objective way to predict psychological stress level without taking into account individual capacity (Lazarus 1993)(2).
Stress/Lazarus: an imbalance between external forces or loads and individual possibilities to cope with or resist those external forces by many modern theories (Lazarus 1991(3)). Stress is assumed to involve more or less simultaneous activation of psychological and biological systems. Recognition of a threat or challenge is accompanied by immediate systemic arousal produced by the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenocortical axis. At the same time, stress is associated with changes in mood, alertness, attention, memory, problem-solving, task performance and wellbeing. >Stress/psychological theories.


1. Lazarus, R. S. 1984. On the primacy of cognition, American Psychologist 36: 124–9
2. Lazarus, R. S. 1993. From psychological stress to the emotions: a history of changing outlooks, Annual Review of Psychology 44: 1–21
3. Lazarus, R. S. 1991. Cognition and motivation in emotion, American Psychologist 46: 352–67


Marko Elovainio and Mika Kivimäki, “Models of personality and health”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Lazarus, Richard S.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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