Sensitivity to punishment as a moderator of the relationship between self-efficacy and cardiovascular reactivity

Antoni Sanz Ruiz*, Francisco Villamarín Cid, María Álvarez Moleiro, Rafael Torrubia Beltri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Eighty students volunteered to participate in an experiment in which the effect of self-efficacy on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) reactivity was tested. The subjects were asked to solve fifteen mathematical problems after having been randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions of self-efficacy manipulation (high versus low) in the context of a negative incentive value (a loud noise) contingent upon failing to properly perform the task. Self-efficacy manipulation was based on the different performance challenge to be attained in order to avoid the negative incentive. The subjects' sensitivity to punishment was also evaluated by using the SPSRQ scale. The results showed an interaction between self-efficacy and sensitivity to punishment on systolic blood pressure and HR, but only a main effect of self-efficacy on diastolic BP was found. Self-efficacy tended to be negatively related to cardiovascular reactivity when the sensitivity to punishment was high, but positively when the sensitivity to punishment was low. The results are discussed in relation to the different motivational orientations (avoiding harm vs. achieving a goal) probably aroused by high and low sensitivity to punishment. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Blood pressure
  • Gray's model
  • Heart rate
  • Perceived control
  • Self-efficacy
  • Sensitivity to punishment
  • Social cognitive theory


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