Chapter 8: Fear, Anxiety, and Stress

Dimensional View of Stress

Stress is an unfolding process of emotions, so the dimensional models wouldn’t necessarily account for stress. But the types of emotions people experience during a stressful experience could be explained by the dimensional models. It is interesting to note that “stressed” is an emotion on Russell’s (1980) circumplex model, while stress does not appear on Watson and Tellegen’s (1985) model (see Figure 25).

Figure 25
Russel’s (1980) model on right and Watson and Tellegen’s (1985) model on the left
Activation versus Pleasantness models for Russel's (1980) model on right and Watson and Tellegen's (1985) model on the left

Note. Threat emotions in color green and challenge emotions in color red. Left image adapted from “Independence and bipolarity in the structure of current affect,” by L. Feldman Barrett and J.A. Russell, 1998, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(4), p. 970 ( Copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association. Right image adapted from “Toward a consensual structure of mood.,” by D.T. Watson and A. Tellegen, 1985, Psychological Bulletin, 98(2), p. 221 ( Copyright 1985 by the American Psychological Association.

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