Alia Crum

Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response

Coauthor(s): Peter Salovey, Shawn Achor.

Abstract:
This article describes 3 studies that explore the role of mindsets in the context of stress. In Study 1, we present data supporting the reliability and validity of an 8-item instrument, the Stress Mindset Measure (SMM), designed to assess the extent to which an individual believes that the effects of stress are either enhancing or debilitating. In Study 2, we demonstrate that stress mindsets can be altered by watching short, multimedia film clips presenting factual information biased toward defining the nature of stress in 1 of 2 ways (stress-is-enhancing vs. stress-is-debilitating). In Study 3, we demonstrate the effect of stress mindset on physiological and behavioral outcomes, showing that a stress-is-enhancing mindset is associated with moderate cortisol reactivity and high desire for feedback under stress. Together, these 3 studies suggest that stress mindset is a distinct and meaningful variable in determining the stress response.

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Exact Citation:
Crum, Alia, Peter Salovey, and Shawn Achor. "Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104, no. 4 (2013): 716-733.
Volume: 104
Number: 4
Pages: 716-733
Date: 2013