Effectiveness and use of coping strategies in threat and challenge situations : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The present study aimed to investigate the perceived effectiveness and reported use of three coping strategies in threat and challenge situations. Eighty psychology students were given false feedback following a test, in either threat or challenge conditions. Subjects were given one of three cognitive coping strategies (fatalism, perseverance, or rational action) or no strategy, prior to a second test. The results revealed fatalism to be perceived as significantly less effective than perseverance and rational action. Repeated measures of pulse rate indicated the effectiveness of the threat and challenge manipulation, but the results for appraisal revealed those in the threat condition found the situation more challenging than threatening. Subjective measures of eight emotions showed changes over time and suggested that positive affect was more evident than negative affect. It was concluded that there are differences between coping strategies and that threat and challenge can be classified either as subjective or objective variables.