What Underlies Appraisals? Experimentally Testing a Knowledge-and-Appraisal Model of Personality Architecture Among Smokers Contemplating High-Risk Situations


  • The research reported and the preparation of this paper article were facilitated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant DA14136. We thank Len Newman for his comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

concerning this article should be addressed to Daniel Cervone at Department of Psychology (MC 285), University of Illinois at Chicago, 1007 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60607-7137; E-mail: dcervone@uic.edu.


ABSTRACT We tested a theoretical model of personality structures underlying patterns of intra-individual variability in contextualized appraisals. The KAPA (Knowledge-and-Appraisal Personality Architecture) model was tested experimentally among smokers appraising their efficacy to resist the urge to smoke in high-risk situations. In a novel design, we assessed self-knowledge and situational beliefs idiographically and employed cognitive priming to manipulate the accessibility of self-knowledge experimentally. The results confirmed the unique KAPA-model prediction that priming would affect appraisals in a contextualized manner. Priming positively valenced self-knowledge enhanced self-efficacy appraisals specifically within that subset of situations that were relevant to the primed knowledge. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that systems of self- and situational knowledge underlie consistency and variability in appraisals.