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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.
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Chapter 13: Coping with Stress through Reason

Edwin A. Locke


Edwin A. Locke Stress is actually a form of emotion, an automatized response to the perception of threat. Emotions are the result of automatic, subconscious appraisals of objects or situations (Locke, 1976). The stress situation There are five core elements involved in stress. 1. An important value is perceived as threatened. The value may be one’s own selfesteem (as could be threatened by the loss of one’s job or a personal rejection), one’s own physical survival and well-being (as in the case of a soldier in battle) or a valued other person or object (as in the possible loss of one’s spouse due to illness or the failure of one’s business). There is a perceived need for action to protect or gain the value. If one is fully convinced (including at the subconscious level) that no action is possible, one feels passive resignation and sadness (or depression) rather than stress. There is uncertainty about being able to take the relevant action. One may not know which action to take or may not feel confident in being able to carry it out. There may also be uncertainty about when and where the threat will manifest itself, making action planning difficult. If an individual is totally certain that he can take the action needed to deal with the potential threat at hand (for example, give a public talk), there is no stress. Implicit in the experience of stress is an element of conflict. This may be of the form...

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