By: Bityutskaya E.V.;
In the most cited psychological theory of stress and coping by R. Lazarus the concept of “cognitive appraisal” includes evaluation of “threat”, “loss”, “challenge”, “control”, as well as the analysis of the possibilities of coping. The approach is based on separation of cognitive appraisal and emotion. The article presents a different point of view, the theoretical foundations of which are world image concept by A.N. Leontiev, the principle of unity of the cognitive and emotional components of the appraisal, and the categorization as the basis of evaluation. The processes of formation and the structure of the image of a difficult situation are described on the basis of the works by A.N. Leontiev and his followers. Perception creates a sensual image of the situation; cognition creates a meaning, which is linked with understanding of the situation. Reflection represents in one’s conscious a personal meaning, understood as the ratio between the motive and the goal. In the course of categorization the situation is classified as difficult on the basis of certain features (criteria). Based on the theoretical analysis and empirical data, the author shows that the results of evaluations are: a) the significance of the situation; b) matching the events with motives and personal meaning; c) the definition of success of the activities in relation to the goal; d) assessment of accountability, clarity, predictability of the situation, and its impact on the future life; e) the comparison of one’s capabilities with the conditions; f) level of the situation difficulty.
Bityutskaya E.V. (2013). Cognitive appraisal of the difficult life situation in A.N. Leontiev’s activity approach. The Moscow University Psychology Bulletin, 3, 40-56