Cognitive Biases - Windows into the Mechanisms und.. (CogBIAS)
Cognitive Biases - Windows into the Mechanisms underlying Emotional Vulnerability and Resilience
Start date: Oct 1, 2013,
End date: Sep 30, 2018
"Every person responds to life's difficulties in different ways. But why do some 'suffer the slings and arrows of outragerous fortune' and other 'take arms against a sea of trouble'. There are those who are vulnerable and fragile, falling prey to anxiety, depression and a range of compulsions that, left unattended, can easily turn into addicitons. Then there are the those who irrespective of what life throws at them, always seem able to cope. Moreover, a small proportion of these resilient people seem to truly flourish. Rather than ""being OK"" they live lives of optimal mental health. Why? The proposed project aims to find some answers to these questions as well as developing straightforward methods to help people boost their own mental wellbeing from whatever the starting point. The project is truly innovative in harnessing recent advances in molecular genetics that allow for the identification of sets of genes that we know influence the development of toxic and protective cognitive biases, and matching this with cutting-edge innovations in cognitive psychology that allow researchers to instill and modify cognitive biases under laboratory conditions. When combined with advances in Internet technology these techniques provide truly exciting possibilities for implementing ""cognitive bias modification"" (CBM) interventions in people's own homes or on their mobile devices. Even without the added benefit of a genetic component this research is likely to make important advances in our understanding of emotional vulnerability and resilience. But, including a genetic component, while challenging, provides the potential to make major and genuine breakthroughs in our ability to enhance human wellbeing"
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