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PhD ceremony. dr.Y. Hill. A dynamical approach to psychological resilience

When:Th 26-11-2020 at 12:45
Where:Academy building RUG

PhD ceremony: dr. Y. (Yannick) Hill
When: November 26, 2020
Start: 12:45
Supervisors: prof. dr. N. (Nico) van Yperen, prof. dr. R.R. (Rob) Meijer
Co-supervisor: dr. J.R. (Ruud) den Hartigh
Where: Academy building RUG
Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Athletes are regularly confronted with setbacks, such as losses or injuries. To successfully overcome these stressors, they need to be “resilient”. But what does resilience actually mean and how can the process of overcoming stressors be studied?

In this dissertation, we present a new perspective that enables researchers to study resilience and develop techniques to predict when a person is losing resilience. This bears important practical implications because a loss of resilience may lead to drastic negative changes in performance. For instance, variations in performance may signal whether a person is about to lose resilience and enter a worse performance state.

On the other hand, we also found that stressors do not necessarily provoke negative changes. Counterintuitively, many individuals can actually improve their performance under adverse circumstances. Important to note here is that the process of resilience, and growth after stressors, takes different forms for different individuals. We conclude that detecting resilience losses before they lead to drastic negative changes is an important avenue to explore in the future. However, at the same time, stress should not be seen as exclusively negative and may actually be utilized for performance training.

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