ABSTRACT Monitoring (Miller, 1991) is defined as a cognitive coping style characterized by the tendency to seek information about threats. This study found that information seeking in stressful situations is perceived by individuals as related to the emotion-focused more than the problem-focused function of coping and that there is considerable variance among individuals in the perceived functions of information seeking and the relationships among information-seeking reactions and their perceived functions. Information-seeking preferences in a natural stressful situation (a final course examination) were predicted by individual differences in perceived functions of information seeking rather than by generalized behavioral coping styles (monitoring). The results were interpreted in relation to the cognitive-affective system theory (Mischel & Shoda, 1995), and implications for the measurement of coping dispositions were discussed.