Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Advancing empirical resilience research

  • Raffael Kalisch (a1) (a2), Marianne B. Müller (a2) (a3) (a4) and Oliver Tüscher (a2) (a4)

We are delighted by the broad, intense, and fruitful discussion in reaction to our target article. A major point we take from the many comments is a prevailing feeling in the research community that we need significantly and urgently to advance resilience research, both by sharpening concepts and theories and by conducting empirical studies at a much larger scale and with a much more extended and sophisticated methodological arsenal than is the case currently. This advancement can be achieved only in a concerted international collaborative effort. In our response, we try to argue that an explicitly atheoretical, purely observational definition of resilience and a transdiagnostic, quantitative study framework can provide a suitable basis for empirically testing different competing resilience theories (sects. R1, R2, R6, R7). We are confident that it should be possible to unite resilience researchers from different schools, including from sociology and social psychology, behind such a pragmatic and theoretically neutral research strategy. In sections R3 to R5, we further specify and explain the positive appraisal style theory of resilience (PASTOR). We defend PASTOR as a comparatively parsimonious and translational theory that makes sufficiently concrete predictions to be evaluated empirically.

Hide All
Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P. & Teasdale, J. D. (1978) Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 87:4974. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.87.1.49.
Agudelo, L. Z., Femenía, T., Orhan, F., Porsmyr-Palmertz, M., Goiny, M., Martinez-Redondo, V. , Correia, J. C., Izadi, M., Bhat, M., Schuppe-Koistinen, I., Pettersson, A. T., Ferreira, D. M., Krook, A., Barres, R., Zierath, J. R., Erhardt, S., Lindskog, M. & Ruas, J. L. (2014) Skeletal muscle PGC-1α1 modulates kynurenine metabolism and mediates resilience to stress-induced depression. Cell 159(1):3345. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.051.
Antonovsky, A. (1987) Unraveling the mystery of health: How people manage stress and stay well. Jossey-Bass.
Antonovsky, A. (1995) The moral and the healthy: Identical, overlapping or orthogonal? The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences 32(1):513.
Arnold, M. B. (1969) Human emotion and action. Academic Press.
Belsky, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2007) For better and for worse: Differential susceptibility to environmental influences. Current Directions in Psychological Science 16(6):300304.
Blechert, J., Sheppes, G., Di Tella, C., Williams, H. & Gross, J. J. (2012) See what you think: Reappraisal modulates behavioral and neural responses to social stimuli. Psychological Science 23(4):346–53. doi: 10.1177/0956797612438559.
Block, J. & Kremen, A. M. (1996) IQ and ego-resiliency: Conceptual and empirical connections and separateness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70(2):349–61.
Boddez, Y., Baeyens, F., Hermans, D., Van der Oord, S. & Beckers, T. (2013a) Increasing the selectivity of threat through post-training instructions: Identifying one stimulus as source of danger reduces the threat value of surrounding stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology 4(4):315–24. doi: 10.5127/jep.028512.
Boden, M. T., Kulkarni, M., Shurick, A., Bonn-Miller, M. O. & Gross, J. J. (2014) Responding to trauma and loss: An emotion regulation perspective. In: The resilience handbook: Approaches to stress and trauma, ed. Kent, M., Davis, M. C. & Reich, J. W., pp. 8699. Routledge.
Bonanno, G. A. & Burton, C. L. (2013) Regulatory flexibility: An individual differences perspective on coping and emotion regulation. Perspectives on Psychological Science 8:591612. doi: 10.1177/1745691613504116.
Campbell-Sills, L. & Barlow, D. H. (2007) Incorporating emotion regulation into conceptualizations and treatments of anxiety and mood disorders. In Handbook of emotion regulation, ed. Gross, J. J., pp. 542–59. Guilford Press.
Chaudhury, D., Walsh, J. J., Friedman, A. K., Juarez, B., Ku, S. M., Koo, J. W., Ferguson, D., Tsai, H. C., Pomeranz, L., Christoffel, D. J., Nectow, A. R., Ekstrand, M., Domingos, A., Mazei-Robison, M. S., Mouzon, E., Lobo, M. K., Neve, R. L., Friedman, J. M., Russo, S. J., Deisseroth, K., Nestler, E. J. & Han, M. H. (2013) Rapid regulation of depression-related behaviours by control of midbrain dopamine neurons. Nature 493:532–36. doi: 10.1038/nature11713
Cheng, C. (2001) Assessing coping flexibility in real-life and laboratory settings: A multimethod approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 80:814–33. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.80.5.814.
Connor, K. M. & Davidson, J. R. T. (2003) Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety 18(2):7682. doi: 10.1002/da.10113.
Crombach, A. & Elbert, T. (2014) The benefits of aggressive traits: A study with current and former street children in Burundi. Child Abuse and Neglect 38(6):1041–50. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.12.003.
Dias, C., Feng, J., Sun, H., Shao, N. Y., Mazei-Robison, M. S., Damez-Werno, D., Scobie, K., Bagot, R., LaBonté, B., Ribeiro, E., Liu, X., Kennedy, P., Vialou, V., Ferguson, D., Peña, C., Calipari, E. S., Koo, J. W., Mouzon, E., Ghose, S., Tamminga, C., Neve, R., Shen, L. & Nestler, E. J. (2014) β-catenin mediates stress resilience through Dicer1/microRNA regulation. Nature 516(7529):5155. doi: 10.1038/nature13976.
Feder, A., Charney, D. & Abe, K. (2011) Neurobiology of resilience. In: Resilience and mental health: Challenges across the lifespan, ed. Southwick, S. M., Litz, B. T., Charney, D. & Friedman, M. J., pp. 129. Cambridge University Press.
Foa, E. B. & Kozak, M. J. (1986) Emotional processing of fear: Exposure to corrective information. Psychological Bulletin 99(1):20.
Foucault, M. (2006) History of madness. Routledge.
Frankl, V. E. (2004) Man's search for meaning. An introduction to logotherapy. Simon & Schuster.
Franklin, T. B., Saab, B. J. & Mansuy, I. M. (2012) Neural mechanisms of stress resilience and vulnerability. Neuron 75(5):747–61. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.016.
Friborg, O., Hjemdal, O., Rosenvinge, J. H. & Martinussen, M. (2003) A new rating scale for adult resilience: What are the central protective resources behind healthy adjustment? International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 12(2):6576.
Friedman, A. K., Walsh, J. J., Juarez, B., Ku, S. M., Chaudhury, D., Wang, J., Li, X., Dietz, D. M., Pan, N., Vialou, V. F., Neve, R. L., Yue, Z. & Han, M. H. (2014) Enhancing depression mechanisms in midbrain dopamine neurons achieves homeostatic resilience. Science 344:313–19. doi: 10.1126/science.1249240
Graham, B. M., Callaghan, B. L. & Richardson, R. (2014) Bridging the gap: Lessons we have learnt from the merging of psychology and psychiatry for the optimisation of treatments for emotional disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy 62:316. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.07.012.
Hartley, C. A. & Lee, F. S. (2015) Sensitive periods in affective development: Nonlinear maturation of fear learning. Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 40(1):5060. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.179.
Issler, O., Haramati, S., Paul, E. D., Maeno, H., Navon, I., Zwang, R., Gil, S., Mayberg, H. S., Dunlop, B. W., Menke, A., Awatramani, R., Binder, E. B., Deneris, E. S., Lowry, C. A. & Chen, A. (2014) MicroRNA 135 is essential for chronic stress resiliency, antidepressant efficacy, and intact serotonergic activity. Neuron 83(2):344–60. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.042.
Janicki-Deverts, D. & Cohen, S. (2011) Social ties and resilience in chronic disease. In: Resilience and mental health: Challenges across the lifespan, ed. Southwick, S. M., Litz, B. T., Charney, D. & Friedman, M. J., pp. 7689. Cambridge University Press.
Joormann, J., Siemer, M. & Gotlib, I. H. (2007) Mood regulation in depression: Differential effects of distraction and recall of happy memories on sad mood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 116(3):484–90. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.116.3.484.
Joseph, S. & Linley, P. A. (2006) Growth following adversity: Theoretical perspectives and implications for clinical practice. Clinical Psychology Review 26(8):1041–53. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.12.006.
Kahnemann, D. (2011) Thinking, fast and slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Kashdan, T. B. & Rottenberg, J. (2010) Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clinical Psychology Review 30:865–78. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.001.
Kross, E. & Ayduk, O. (2008) Facilitating adaptive emotional analysis: Distinguishing distanced-analysis of depressive experiences from immersed-analysis and distraction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 34(7):924–38.
LeDoux, J. E. (2014) Coming to terms with fear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111(8):2871–78. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1400335111.
Leventhal, H. & Scherer, K. R. (1987) The relationship of emotion to cognition: A functional approach to a semantic controversy. Cognition and Emotion 1:328.
Marr, D. (1982) Vision: A computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. Henry Holt.
Maslow, A. H. (1971) The farther reaches of human nature. Penguin.
McEwen, B. S. & Stellar, E. (1993) Stress and the individual: Mechanisms leading to disease. Archives of Internal Medicine 153(18):2093–101. doi: 10.1001/archinte.1993.00410180039004.
Mendl, M., Brooks, J., Basse, C., Burman, Paul, E. & Blackwell, E. & Casey, R. (2010) Dogs showing separation-related behaviour exhibit a “pessimistic” cognitive bias. Current Biology 20:R839–40.
Moore, M. T. & Fresco, D. M. (2012) Depressive realism: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review 32(6):496509. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2012.05.004.
Moors, A. (2009) Theories of emotion causation: A review. Cognition and Emotion 23(4):625–62. doi: 10.1080/02699930802645739.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Wisco, B. E. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2008) Rethinking rumination. Perspectives on Psychological Science 3(5):400–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00088.x.
Opitz, P. C., Gross, J. J. & Urry, H. L. (2012) Selection, optimization, and compensation in the domain of emotion regulation: Applications to adolescence, older age, and major depressive disorder. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 6(2):142–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00413.x.
Pluess, M. & Belsky, J. (2013) Vantage sensitivity: Individual differences in response to positive experiences. Psychological Bulletin 139(4):901–16. doi: 10.1037/a0030196.
Raskin, J. D. (2002) Constructivism in psychology: Personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism. American Communication Journal 5:126.
Reissman, D. B., Kowalski-Trakofler, K. M. & Katz, C. L. (2011) Public health practice and disaster resilience: A framework integrating resilience as a worker protection strategy. In: Resilience and mental health: Challenges across the lifespan, ed. Southwick, S. M., Litz, B. T., Charney, D. & Friedman, M. J., pp. 340–58. Cambridge University Press.
Robinson, M. D. (1998) Running from William James' bear: A review of preattentive mechanisms and their contributions to emotional experience. Cognition and Emotion 12:667–96.
Russo, S. J., Murrough, J. W., Han, M.-H., Charney, D. S. & Nestler, E. J. (2012) Neurobiology of resilience. Nature Neuroscience 15(11):1475–84. doi: 10.1038/nn.3234.
Scheier, M. F. & Carver, C. S. (1985) Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology 4:219–47.
Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S. & Bridges, M. W. (1994) Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67(6):1063–78.
Scherer, K. R. (2001) Appraisal considered as a process of multilevel sequential checking. In: Appraisal processes in emotion: Theory, methods, research, ed. Scherer, K. R., Schorr, A. & Johnstone, T., pp. 92120. Oxford University Press.
Seligman, M. E., Rashid, T. & Parks, A. C. (2006) Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist 61(8):774–88. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.61.8.774.
Sheppes, G., Scheibe, S., Suri, G., Radu, P., Blechert, J. & Gross, J. J. (2014) Emotion regulation choice: A conceptual framework and supporting evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 143(1):163–81. doi: 10.1037/a0030831.
Southwick, S. M., Pietrzak, R. H. & White, G. (2011b) Interventions to enhance resilience and resilience-related constructs in adults. In: Resilience and mental health: Challenges across the lifespan, ed. Southwick, S. M., Litz, B. T., Charney, D. & Friedman, M. J., pp. 289306. Cambridge University Press.
Tedeschi, R. G. & Calhoun, L. G. (2004) Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry 15(1):118. doi: 10.1207/s15327965pli1501_01.
Thiruchselvam, R., Blechert, J., Sheppes, G., Rydstrom, A. & Gross, J. J. (2011) The temporal dynamics of emotion regulation: An EEG study of distraction and reappraisal. Biological Psychology 87(1):8492. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.02.009.
Troy, A. S., Shallcross, A. J. & Mauss, I. B. (2013) A person-by-situation approach to emotion regulation: Cognitive reappraisal can either help or hurt, depending on the context. Psychological Science 24:2505–14. doi: 10.1177/0956797613496434.
Tugade, M. M. & Frederickson, B. L. (2004) Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 86:320–33. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.86.2.320.
Walker, B. & Salt, D., eds. (2006) Resilience thinking: Sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Island Press.
Windle, G. (2011) What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology 21(2):152–69.
Windle, G., Bennett, K. M. & Noyes, J. (2011) A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 9:8. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-9-8.
Zautra, A. J. (2014) Resilience is social, after all. In: The resilience handbook, ed. Kent, M., Davis, M. C. & Reich, J. W., pp. 185–96. Routledge.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed