Richard A. Dienstbier

Richard A. Dienstbier
University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · Department of Psychology

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44
Publications
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Publications

Publications (44)
Book
By becoming tough we preserve those physical and mental capacities that are degenerated by stress and by aging. The toughness model incorporates psychological and neuroscience research to explain how a variety of toughening activities--ranging from confronting challenges to meditation, exercise, and even giving and receiving nurturance--sustain our...
Book
Full-text available
By becoming tough we preserve those physical and mental capacities that are degenerated by stress and by aging. The toughness model incorporates psychological and neuroscience research to explain how a variety of toughening activities--ranging from confronting challenges to meditation, exercise, and even giving and receiving nurturance--sustain our...
Article
In complex animals the two principal systems of regulation are the endocrine system and the nervous systems. The endocrine system consists of the ductless endocrine glands, which secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. The endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system both regulate most of the involuntary functions of the body, includin...
Article
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What are personality traits? Are all “broad” traits equally broad in the constructs they encompass and in the pervasiveness of their effects? Or are some traits more or less affective, behavioral, or cognitive in nature? The present study examined these issues as they applied to the Big 5 traits of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness...
Conference Paper
This research assessed the impact of a newly developed pre-operative relaxation method on several aspects of surgical experience. The Freeman Preparation Method (FPM) was designed for patients undergoing general anaesthesia. It is unique in emphasising reduction in the physiological (as well as psychological) components of anxiety-related arousal....
Article
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We examined the relationships among general appraisal style, attributional style, trait anxiety, coping styles, and health status (i.e., depression, hostility, and flu-like symptoms) in a study for which we also examined the validity of a trait measure of general appraisal. Participants completed personality measures at the beginning of an academic...
Article
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In Study 1, we explored whether guns presented for target shooting would lead subjects to assign longer prison sentences for crimes unrelated to the guns. Weapon-condition subjects recommended longer sentences than did control subjects, who had experienced equally energizing sports activities. In Study 2, subjects acting as jurors watched a police...
Article
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Several personality dimensions (mastery, extraversion, and neuroticism) and a new General Appraisal Measure were used to predict stress appraisals made by college students in specific situations. Using multiple-regression techniques, mastery and general appraisal tendencies predicted appraisals for an intellectual task. Path analysis supported a st...
Article
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We examined the relationship between trait measures of general appraisal and test anxiety, state measures of stress appraisals, affect, and intrusive cognition, and performance measures on two cognitive tests (mental math and Raven matrices). Participants were randomly assigned to threat, challenge, or control conditions that were created by manipu...
Article
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Hypotheses derived from toughness theory suggest that nonaggressive humor should lead to increased feelings of energy without influencing tension, to preferences for studying materials that require more effort and energy, and to ratings of mundane laboratory activities as more challenging but not more threatening. Eighty-one college-age men and wom...
Article
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It is usually expected that if we are overwhelmed by an episode of crisis or loss that we may temporarily cope ineffectively, whereas when weare exposed to a sequence of challenges and stressors that are managable, we learn gradually to become better able to cope with such events. The "toughness" concept relates to analogous processes at the physio...
Article
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Research with humans is reviewed showing that increased levels of urinary epinephrine (EPI) and norepinephrine (NE) from samples taken following mental challenge/stress situations are associated with better performance in those situations and with emotional stability. Another research tradition with humans and animals shows that various training pr...
Article
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This 38th session of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation coincided with the 100th anniversary of the teaching of psychology at the University of Nebraska (1889) and with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Psychology (1939). The originator of early psychological instruction here, and the person to whom all recent volumes of t...
Article
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From W.B. Cannon's identification of adrenaline with "fight or flight" to modern views of stress, negative views of peripheral physiological arousal predominate. Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) arousal is associated with anxiety, neuroticism, the Type A personality, cardiovascular disease, and immune system suppression; illness susceptibility is a...
Article
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Three studies were conducted to test whether a catecholamine training effect results from a long-term aerobic exercise program. Study I showed significant increases in urinary adrenaline and noradrenaline following moderate mental stress/challenge for male aerobics subjects after a semester of training. Control groups of nonexercisers and continuou...
Article
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Thermal regulation and peripheral arousal in episodes of emotion are dependent upon similar autonomic and hormonal processes. Thermal-tolerance measure were developed and validated in order to indirectly assess adrenergic (cold tolerance) and cholinergic (heat tolerance) responsivity. We hypothesized that cold tolerance would correlate with reduced...
Article
The behavioral and social sciences offer the best perspective on changing individual and group behaviors and stopping the spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Social psychologists interested in basic research and/or theoretical issues have an opportunity to study naturally occurring independent variables. A potential area for basic...
Article
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The major aim of this chapter is to discuss a research program designed to assess emotion-cognition-behavior relationships in moral decision making. While pursuing that aim, I will discuss the relationship of that research to some of the more enduring theoretical issues in emotion. Theories of emotion wax and wane across a more extended time frame...
Article
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Presented in this paper is research designed in part to show that although moderate running by well-trained runners plays a significant role in reducing stress response to subsequently introduced stressors, running at the level of marathon competition alters psychological and physiological dispositions in a manner not conducive to reduced stress re...
Article
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This research series began as a test of an emotion-attribution approach to moral behavior. However, in the early studies, college students who read about morality were subsequently more likely to cheat on a vocabulary test than were control subjects who read materials irrelevant to morality. We hypothesized that resentment toward the test construct...
Article
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Self-reports of sexual arousal were significantly affected by conditions under which they were elicited. Such self-reports in women not taking oral contraceptives were congruent with a hormonal basis for such arousal only when the women were "unaware" that the study investigated sexual arousal as a function of the menstrual cycle. The "unaware" con...
Article
Full-text available
This research series began as a test of an emotion-attribution approach to moral behavior. However, in the early studies, college students who read about morality were subsequently more likely to cheat on a vocabulary test than were control subjects who read materials irrelevant to morality. We hypothesized that resentment toward the test construct...
Article
Full-text available
To study the impact of startle-induced arousal on attraction, blindfolded subjects in a vestibular function study were startled by a loud noise accompanying the sudden backward tilt of the dental chair in which they were seated. In Study I, startled male subjects indicated (on a postexperimental questionnaire) greater attraction toward a pretty fem...
Article
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The position developed in this chapter resembles that taken by Aristotle more than that taken by most modern psychology theorists, for our discipline has tended to approach moral behavior and thought as if two quite different topics were at issue. Modern psychological approaches to moral behavior have tended to focus almost entirely on the emotiona...
Article
Performance on complex (Space Relations and Verbal Reasoning) and simple (Digit Symbol) tests was investigated as a function of Byrne's Repression-Sensitization (RS) dimension, phase of menstrual cycle and premenstrual-menstrual (PM) symptomatology in a group of females not taking oral contraceptives. Two control groups, consisting of males and fem...
Article
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Retrospective questionnaires show cyclical variations in moods and behaviors across the menstrual cycle. However, results obtained from daily mood questionnaires are inconsistent. In the present study, which ran for 11 weeks, self-report measures of menstrual symptomatology, using the 8-factor Moos (1968, 1969 a,c) Menstrual Distress Questionnaire...
Article
During the last decade, the literature on media exposure has been dominated by a single theoretical system of personality functioning—the social learning model. The model emphasizes that the disinhibition of already-learned behavior, the learning of new behaviors, and the establishment of patterns of personality result from observing the behavior o...
Article
The stability of tension judgments among males and females who were either taking or not taking combination low-progestin oral contraceptive pills was investigated. Judgments of interpersonal pressure in videotaped vignettes provided tension measures. The vignettes were presented in two sessions separated by two weeks. Correlations between pressure...
Article
Reviews the book The Criminal Personality, Volume 1: A Profile for Change by Samuel Yochelson and Stanton E. Samenow (1976). The purpose of the current volume is to provide evidence that understanding the thought processes of chronic criminals provides the major key to understanding criminal behavior. The authors emphasize that their subjects were...
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The major purpose of the first volume of an intended three-volume series by Samuel Yochelson and Stanton E. Samenow (1976) is to provide evidence that understanding the thought processes of chronic criminals provides the major key to understanding criminal behavior. Volumes II and III will deal, respectively, with the techniques of therapy develope...
Article
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Presents a theory concerning the impact of attributions about the causes of emotional responses as they influence self-control in temptation situations. Research is reviewed indicating a high level of adult sensitivity to external influence in making such causal attributions. 2 studies are presented in which the posttransgression emotions of 2nd-gr...
Article
Presents a theory concerning the impact of attributions about the causes of emotional responses as they influence self-control in temptation situations. Research is reviewed indicating a high level of adult sensitivity to external influence in making such causal attributions. 2 studies are presented in which the posttransgression emotions of 2nd-gr...
Article
Previous research indicated that anticipating arousal symptoms (rather than benign) from a placebo pill reduced inhibiting emotion in men, resulting in more cheating. The effect did not occur for women. Using 180 males, Study I tested whether the placebo effect was due to mere attention to arousal symptoms, or whether attribution to the pill was re...
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Discusses M. Rokeach's (see PA, Vol. 35:734) belief theory of prejudice which states that racial prejudice is the result of the anticipation of belief differences. The unidirectional causal relationship implied is criticized as oversimplified. Research supporting the belief theory is examined, with conceptual and experimental deficiences noted. A n...
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Hypothesized that it is not emotional arousal per se which influences one to inhibit or avoid cheating, but one's interpretation of the meaning and significance of that arousal. 105 naive undergraduates were told that this was a study of a vitamin supplement's effects on vision, and given 1 of 2 lists of side effects associated with the placebo pil...
Article
Two studies were conducted in order to investigate positive prejudice toward Negroes By defining positive prejudice as favoritism toward Negro stimulus persons over white stimulus persons of identical personality descriptions, it was possible to compare patterns of Negro bias on a variety of measures The results of Study I indicated that positive N...
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48 female in 1 experiment and 32 male undergraduates in another 1st learned a paired-associate (PA) list of words as responses to nonsense syllables. In 1 condition the words differed in meaningfulness (M) and in the other condition the words differed in pleasantness (PL). Ss learned a 2nd PA list of the same syllables as responses to numbers. High...
Article
Ratings of pleasantness (PL) on a 7-point scale and of association value (a′) on a 5-point scale are reported for 101 two-syllable nouns. The ratings were obtained from two samples of 100 women each and two samples of 100 men each. Sizable differences were obtained between words on both scales. For women and men respectively, PL and a′ were correla...

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