Project Summary
The goal of this project is to examine the processes through which disadvantaged groups develop resilience to cope with the social devaluation they face, such as prejudice and discrimination. The project will incorporate three different levels of analysis: the neuro-cognitive level, the individual level, and the community level, an approach we believe has important integrative potential. Resilience in the face of social disadvantage is an important predictor of psychological health, social functioning, and general well-being, and as such this topic has considerable societal importance. In Sociology, resilience has been studied as a feature of groups and social networks that enables them to cope with resource challenges. Research in Social Psychology has identified group identities as a source of resilience, through the solidarity, efficacy, social support they provide. Finally, at the micro level, Experimental Psychology studies resilience in terms of an individual’s ability to control the effects of stress on information processing and attention. In sum, though the concept of resilience has received substantial research attention, this research is currently fragmented and lacks systematic integration. The proposed project provides an interdisciplinary perspective across the different levels of analysis, and systematically studies the contribution of each to resilience amongst members of disadvantaged groups. We believe the combination of EEG methods with identity and network methods is a particular strength of this project.

Research Design and Data
3 behavioural studies, and 1 EEG study. The methodology of the studies will be primarily experimental, and proceed in two phases. In the first phase (1 year), we will examine the factors that distinguish those with greater resilience from those with lower resilience, focusing specifically on the relationships between contributing factors at macro and micro levels of analysis. Across different studies, we will focus on different societal groups that face disadvantage, such as ethnic groups, and those with non-heterosexual orientations. In the second phase (9 months) we will attempt to encourage resilience amongst those members of disadvantaged groups who would not normally show it, by manipulating the crucial aspects identified during the first phase.

Dr. Susie Wang & Dr. Berry van den Berg

Prof. dr. Russell Spears
Prof. dr. Monicque Lorist
Prof. dr. Rafael Wittek 

University of Groningen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Department of Social Psychology

Psychology, Sociology

March 1, 2018 - September 30, 2020

Innovation Fund, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen


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