Monitoring, blunting, and the ability to achieve cognitive structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has often been suggested that vigilant information-seeking helps reduce uncertainty and coping with stress. The present paper argues that additional information can resolve uncertainty only to the extent that it is adequately structured or categorized. However, people may differ in their ability to achieve cognitive structure (AACS) and therefore in their ability to achieve certainty. This postulate may shed new light on Miller's (1987) findings that high monitors suffer from greater distress than low monitors. It is suggested that when high monitors have high. AACS they will suffer from less psychological distress than low monitors. This interaction will not be found when blunting is involved. To examine these hypotheses, both AACS and information-seeking behavior of 77 rheumatoid arthritis patients were assessed. The two hypotheses were confirmed even after discounting the effect of subjective health perception and number of years subjects suffered from the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Uncertainty
  • cognitive-structuring
  • information-seeking-behavior
  • psychological-distress


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