Effect of information about a potentially stressful situation on responses to stress impact

David T. Vernon, Douglas A. Bigelow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Tested I. L. Janis's explanation for the ameliorative effect of information on stress impact in a study of 80 hernia-repair patients. It was proposed that Ss receiving accurate information about impending surgery would experience heightened anticipatory fear, develop specific problem-oriented ideas about the operation, profess greater confidence in the medical staff, and consequently manifest less postoperative depression and hostility. Exp I assessed the effects of detailed, accurate information on preoperative attitudes and affective states; Exp II, the effects on postoperative affect and behavior. Results support some aspects of Janis's theory (i.e. the development of problem-oriented ideas, specific reassurances, and the reduction of hostility as a result of increased informedness). However, there was no evidence that these presumed consequences of preparation were in any way related to "anticipatory fear" or "the work of worrying" as Janis proposed. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1974


  • information about potentially stressful situation, responses to stress, hernia-repair patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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