Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Faculty of Arts and Sciences




The current study utilized an experimental design to investigate violations of global meanings, perceived stress, positive affect and negative affect in the context of meanings made from a stressful situation. Additionally, meanings made were investigated as a moderator of the relationship between those variables. A sample of 40 participants completed the experiment and the questionnaires. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to either the control group or the experimental group. Participants responded to a variety of measures including, perceived stress, positive and negative affect, positive cognitive emotional regulation strategies (meaning making attempts), meanings made, global meaning measures such as self-esteem and beliefs about control, and other demographic information. Participants in the experimental group underwent a virtual version of the Trier Social Stress Task to induce stress, while participants in the control group read a text. Results indicated that negative affect was increased after the stressful task compared to the end of the experiment and that positive affect after completing the stressful task decreased from positive affect measured when anticipating the task. The current study has important potential implications for completing the Trier Social Stress Task remotely, and for examining the role of acute stress in the meaning making model.

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Psychology Commons