Développer des stratégies de résilience sociale pour promouvoir le bien-être

Chercheurs boursiers - Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Stephane Dandeneau

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

What makes some people able to "brush things off" while others cannot stop ruminating or over-analyze a recent negative experience? What make some people serenely calm and composed in the face of social threats, where there is potential for rejection or public evaluation, while others melt under social pressure? Finally, is it possible to train those who lack positive strategies to become more like those calm and collected individuals who brush things off and experience better overall psychological and physiological wellbeing? The two main thrusts of this research programme are first to undercover the underlying processes involved in social resilience, that is, people's innate abilities to effectively face social threats, and second to train these positive social resilience strategies in people who lack them in order to promote overall wellbeing. Previous research has shown that one such social resilience strategy is to recalibrate one's attentional habits so as to make them more attentive to positive social information, such as signs of being liked by others, and at the same time inhibit negative social information. Research shows that such attentional habits have beneficial psychological, behavioural, and physiological effects. This research programme extends this previous research by 1) investigating the "nuts and bolts" (i.e. the cognitive mechanisms and psychological processes) involved in positive mental habits, 2) developing ways in which positive mental habits can be automatically triggered and automatically maintained over time, and 3) applying such social resilience strategies to a variety of emotional disorders in order to promote psychological and physical wellbeing. Using a variety of cutting edge research methods, we hope to show that through targeted cognitive bias interventions, social-emotional threats may go from being insurmountable tidal waves to water off a duck's back.