Abstract The present experiments were designed to study the influence of prediction and control of electric shocks on various aspects of immune function, and the possible intermediate role of glucocorticoid hormones. After two sessions of inescapable footshocks, the reactivity of splenocytes to concanavalin A was reduced by one third, This effect was completely reversed when each shock was preceded by a warning stimulus, even though the adrenocortical response was the same in both conditions. In another experiment, rats were submitted to ten sessions of continuous avoidance in a shuttle-box and a group of yoked animals received the same footshocks without any relationship to their shuttling behavior. Although yoked rats displayed a reduced reactivity of splenocytes to lectins, animals of the avoidance group had a reduced antibody response to sheep erythrocytes. In contrast, no difference was observed in the corticosterone or prolactin response. These data further support the importance of psychological factors on stress-induced changes in immune functions. Furthermore, they demonstrate that various aspects of the immune system are differentially affected by behavioral factors and the results argue against a major role for the adrenocortical system in mediating these changes.