The Effects of Cognitive Reappraisal on Interview Situations
Merrin, Jacob J.
- The current study sought to ascertain whether cognitive reappraisal could be used to help lower participants’ levels of stress during an anxiety-inducing interview task. Subjects were 35 Tufts undergraduate and graduate students, randomly assigned to cognitive reappraisal writing (CRW), expressive writing (EW), or control groups. Subjects in the CRW and EW groups received three surveys, one per ni... read moreght, for three consecutive nights. Subjects in the CRW group wrote about the most stressful experience of the day, using a cognitive reappraisal framework. Subjects in the EW group wrote about the most stressful experience of that day without aforementioned framework. All participants then returned to the lab on the second day of the study for a number of tasks, including a stressful interview task. Electrocardiography (ECG), skin conductance (SCL), and self-report measures were utilized to ascertain subjects’ stress levels during the task. It was hypothesized that CRW participants would experience the lowest levels of stress, utilizing the three measures. However, contrary to the hypothesis, no significant differences in physiological arousal or anxiety self-report measures were found across groups. Likely due to the low statistical power of this study, the present study does not show support for the effect of cognitive reappraisal on individuals’ anxiety symptoms during stressful tasks. Further research is necessary to ascertain whether cognitive reappraisal can be used to boost performance in stressful situations.Keywords: anxiety, cognitive reappraisal, interview, performanceread less