Requests for reprints should be addressed to B. Kent Houston, Department of Psychology, Fraser Hall 426, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045.
Positive evaluation of stressful experiences1
Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 205–214, June 1978
How to Cite
Houston, B. K., Bloom, L. J., Burish, T. G. and Cummings, E. M. (1978), Positive evaluation of stressful experiences. Journal of Personality, 46: 205–214. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1978.tb00175.x
The authors wish to thank Claire Selzer for her constructive comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
- Issue online: 28 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received November 29, 1976
Two studies were conducted to test the hypothesis that the more stressful an experience is, the more positively it will be evaluated. Stressfulness was manipulated in the two studies by means of threat of shock, and both self-report and physiological measures of stress indicated that these manipulations were highly successful. In both studies subjects who were exposed to the more stressful situation evaluated their experience as significantly more worthwhile and somewhat more interesting than did subjects exposed to the less stressful situation. Furthermore, as expected, subjects did not like the high stress experience more than the low stress experience. Implications and qualifications of these findings are discussed.