Cognitive Appraisal

Cognitive Appraisal is a human thought process that interprets new situations, assesses those situations for potential threats and then selects the appropriate reaction to the situation. As encountering any new situation increases physical arousal, the cognitive appraisal component acts as a sort of "traffic cop" that adjusts that reaction anywhere between the mild nervousness that goes with meeting new people at a party, to the "fight-or-flight" reaction necessary for an extremely dangerous or life-threatening situation.

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