Perspectives

  • Perspective |

    Consistent failure over the past few decades to reduce the high prevalence of stress-related disorders has motivated a search for alternative research strategies. Resilience refers to the phenomenon of many people maintaining mental health despite exposure to psychological or physical adversity. Instead of aiming to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, resilience research focuses on protective mechanisms that shield people against the development of such disorders and tries to exploit its insights to improve treatment and, in particular, disease prevention. To fully harness the potential of resilience research, a critical appraisal of the current state of the art — in terms of basic concepts and key methods — is needed. We highlight challenges to resilience research and make concrete conceptual and methodological proposals to improve resilience research. Most importantly, we propose to focus research on the dynamic processes of successful adaptation to stressors in prospective longitudinal studies.

    • Raffael Kalisch
    • , Dewleen G. Baker
    • , Ulrike Basten
    • , Marco P. Boks
    • , George A. Bonanno
    • , Eddie Brummelman
    • , Andrea Chmitorz
    • , Guillén Fernàndez
    • , Christian J. Fiebach
    • , Isaac Galatzer-Levy
    • , Elbert Geuze
    • , Sergiu Groppa
    • , Isabella Helmreich
    • , Talma Hendler
    • , Erno J. Hermans
    • , Tanja Jovanovic
    • , Thomas Kubiak
    • , Klaus Lieb
    • , Beat Lutz
    • , Marianne B. Müller
    • , Ryan J. Murray
    • , Caroline M. Nievergelt
    • , Andreas Reif
    • , Karin Roelofs
    • , Bart P. F. Rutten
    • , David Sander
    • , Anita Schick
    • , Oliver Tüscher
    • , Ilse Van Diest
    • , Anne-Laura van Harmelen
    • , Ilya M. Veer
    • , Eric Vermetten
    • , Christiaan H. Vinkers
    • , Tor D. Wager
    • , Henrik Walter
    • , Michèle Wessa
    • , Michael Wibral
    •  & Birgit Kleim
  • Perspective |

    Friederici et al. outline a view of the neural organization of language that is compatible with a description of language as a biologically determined computational mechanism that yields an infinite number of hierarchically structured expressions.

    • Angela D. Friederici
    • , Noam Chomsky
    • , Robert C. Berwick
    • , Andrea Moro
    •  & Johan J. Bolhuis
  • Perspective |

    Medaglia et al. explore how network control theory — a subdiscipline of engineering — could guide interventions that modulate mental states in order to treat cognitive deficits or enhance mental abilities.

    • John D. Medaglia
    • , Perry Zurn
    • , Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Perspective |

    Lack of diversity in study populations, research methodologies and the researchers themselves undermines the goal of identifying and understanding the full range of human behaviour. Medin et al. argue that this system of non-diversity represents a crisis for the science of human behaviour.

    • Douglas Medin
    • , Bethany Ojalehto
    • , Ananda Marin
    •  & Megan Bang
  • Perspective |

    Inequality and unfairness are not the same thing. Starmans, Sheskin and Bloom summarize evidence showing that people are bothered not by economic inequality, but rather by economic unfairness.

    • Christina Starmans
    • , Mark Sheskin
    •  & Paul Bloom
  • Perspective |

    Duncan Watts considers whether many branches of social science could benefit from setting research goals aimed at specific and manageable real-world problems. He gives examples and discusses how more solution-oriented social science might work.

    • Duncan J. Watts
  • Perspective | | open

    Leading voices in the reproducibility landscape call for the adoption of measures to optimize key elements of the scientific process.

    • Marcus R. Munafò
    • , Brian A. Nosek
    • , Dorothy V. M. Bishop
    • , Katherine S. Button
    • , Christopher D. Chambers
    • , Nathalie Percie du Sert
    • , Uri Simonsohn
    • , Eric-Jan Wagenmakers
    • , Jennifer J. Ware
    •  & John P. A. Ioannidis