Momentary emotional appraisals and personality

Our new paper on the relationship of problem-focused coping potential and self-efficacy just came out

4/13/20232 min read

Appraisal theory assumes that the individual variability of emotional reactions to the same situation is due to individual differences in appraisal. However, the question of how interindividual differences in appraisal come about has been rarely formally addressed. We focus on one of the central dimensions of appraisal—problem-focused coping potential—and attempt to explain individual differences in appraisals along this dimension using self-efficacy theory. We integrate outcome expectancies, self-efficacy expectations, and problem-focused coping potential into a single framework and outline their personality antecedents. Using generalized self-efficacy beliefs as an example, we then discuss the mechanisms underlying the effects of personality dispositions on appraisal and the conditions that moderate their influence. We conclude with the implications for theory, research, and practice.

Poluektova, O., Kappas, A., & Smith, C. A. (2023). Using Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory to Explain Individual Differences in the Appraisal of Problem-Focused Coping Potential. Emotion Review, 0(0).

In 1997 I presented some ideas regarding the relationship of appraisals and long-term differences in affective responding at the Geneva Emotion Week. I refer to this as my Dynamic Appraisal Theory of Emotions (DATE). Some aspects of these ideas are covered in a chapter from 2001 - see below:

Kappas, A. (2001). A metaphor is a metaphor is a metaphor: Exorcising the homunculus from appraisal theory. In K. R. Scherer, A. Schorr & T. Johnstone (Eds.), Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research (pp. 157-172). New York: Oxford University Press.

Discusses certain misconceptions concerning appraisal processes that are due to the use of specific, implicit or explicit, metaphors. Specifically, the author discusses metaphors of appraisal as thought, appraisals as checklists, and appraisals assuming a homunculus or central decision maker. Furthermore, the author suggests that these metaphors impact how appraisals are studied. In an attempt to provide more useful operationalization of appraisals for research, the author suggests the use of transfer functions to facilitate building and testing theories of appraisal. Finally, the author outlines this own dynamic appraisal theory of emotion as an application of the transfer function metaphor.