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Many prominent theorists have argued that accurate perceptions of the self, the world, and the future are essential for mental health. Yet considerable research evidence suggests that overly positive self-evaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism are characteristic of normal human thought. Moreover, these illusions(More)
The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as "fight-or-flight." Although fight-or-flight may characterize the primary physiological responses to stress for both males and females, we propose that, behaviorally, females' responses are more marked by a pattern of "tend-and-befriend." Tending involves nurturant(More)
Negative (adverse or threatening) events evoke strong and rapid physiological, cognitive, emotional, and social responses. This mobilization of the organism is followed by physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that damp down, minimize, and even erase the impact of that event. This pattern of mobilization-minimization appears to be greater for(More)
S. E. Taylor and J. D. Brown's (1988) position that mentally healthy people exhibit positive illusions raises a dilemma: How do people function effectively if their perceptions are positively biased? Using Gollwitzer's deliberative-implemental mindset distinctiion, we assessed whether people in a deliberative mindset show less evidence of positive illusions(More)
Risky families are characterized by conflict and aggression and by relationships that are cold, unsupportive, and neglectful. These family characteristics create vulnerabilities and/or interact with genetically based vulnerabilities in offspring that produce disruptions in psychosocial functioning (specifically emotion processing and social competence),(More)
Mental simulation provides a window on the future by enabling people to envision possibilities and develop plans for bringing those possibilities about. In moving oneself from a current situation toward an envisioned future one, the anticipation and management of emotions and the initiation and maintenance of problem-solving activities are fundamental(More)
We examined the neurocognitive correlates of the Behavioral Inhibition and Behavioral Activation Systems (BIS/BAS) in an effort to clarify ambiguities concerning interpretations of BIS as reflecting inhibition versus avoidance. We hypothesized that self-reported BIS should relate to neural mechanisms associated with conflict monitoring, whereas(More)
In a conceptual and temporal framework, derived from research on social cognition, social interaction, and stress and coping, the authors analyze the processes through which people anticipate or detect potential stressors and act in advance to prevent them or to mute their impact (proactive coping). The framework specifies five stages in proactive coping:(More)
A harsh early family environment is related to mental and physical health in adulthood. An important question is why family environment in childhood is associated with these outcomes so long after its initial occurrence. We describe a program of research that evaluates a model linking these variables to each other. Specifically, we hypothesize that low(More)