A Concise Primer on Psychoimmunology

In their study of the consequences of a negative self-evaluation on the immune system, researchers from the University of Wisconsin sought to validate the assumption that negative affect induced by a negative self-appraisal can mediate changes in immune responses (Strauman, Lemieux, & Coe, 1993). The study relied on self-discrepancy theory to examine the impact of certain stressors on an individual’s self-evaluation. This is consistent with other studies that correlate the impact of stressful life events to the meaning or personal appraisal of the stressor by the individual, whereby positive or negative self-evaluation is closely associated with distinct responses to stress and coping styles (Segerstrom, Taylor, Kemeny, & Fahey, 1998; Stowell, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 2001).