Self-affirmation can prevent stress

Los Angeles: Scientists have shown that self-affirmation is the key to deal with stress and its impact, including the ability to solve problems, a study says.

Published in PLOS ONE, new research from Carnegie Mellon University provides the first evidence that self-affirmation can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance.

Understanding that self-affirmation - the process of identifying and focusing on one`s most important values - boosts stressed individuals` problem-solving abilities will help guide future research and the development of educational interventions.

"An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming kids at the end of the semester. This new work suggests a mechanism for these studies, showing self-affirmation effects on actual problem-solving performance under pressure," said J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in CMU`s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.