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Resilience is a dynamic process theorized to protect against, or counteract the adverse effects of risk exposure. A wealth of prior research has examined the role of selective processing of negative emotional information as a vulnerability factor in the development of emotion dysfunction. However, less consideration has been given to the possible role of positive emotion processing as a protective factor against negative mental health outcomes. Theories of resilience typically differentiate vulnerability and resilience as separate processes in the development and avoidance of the negative outcomes associated with adversity. In this paper we present a preliminary information-processing model of resilience – the Resilient Bias Model - that provides a framework to integrate theoretical approaches to resilience and research based on cognitive-experimental approaches to emotional vulnerability. We propose that resilience to mental illness is characterized by patterns of selective emotional processing and cognitive control capabilities. Future research directions targeted at testing hypotheses drawn from the Resilient Bias Model are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Experimental Psychopathology