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Learning in emotionally vulnerable people

Project description

Studying neuroticism as a risk factor for emotional difficulties

Neuroticism is a personality trait that describes how a person deals with stress. It’s a disposition to experience negative emotions, including anger, anxiety, self‐consciousness, irritability, emotional instability, and depression. The EU-funded LEARNVUL project will study this non-pathological personality trait from an evaluative learning perspective. Its aim will also be to transform Romania’s West University of Timisoara (UVT) into a leading contributor on this topic. To achieve this aim, the project will create a collaborative network with the University of Milan Bicocca and Ghent University. Specifically, it will work to increase the scientific profile of early stage researchers and boost UVT’s research activities into why neuroticism is considered a risk factor for a variety of anxiety and depressive disorders.


Neuroticism is a non-pathological personality trait established as a risk factor for emotional problems, but the cause of this relationship is unclear. The proposed project aims at making steps towards clarifying this effect from an evaluative learning perspective and at raising West University of Timisoara (UVT) as a leading contributor to this topic. UVT has a proved potential for excellency but needs to upgrade its research practices in order to further translate it into actual scientific excellency. In this regard, a collaborative network will be set with two internationally-leading research institutions: University of Milan Bicocca (UNIMIB) and Ghent University (UGENT). In order to reach the overarching aim, we set three specific objectives. The first goal is to increase the scientific profile of early-stage researchers. This will be reached through direct knowledge transfer and peer learning (facilitated through joint research activities, advanced training, summer-schools, and short-term mobility), and by enriching their publication portfolios with impactful scientific outputs. Furthermore, we aim at strengthening UVT’s research excellency on the chosen topic by increasing the international visibility and reputation of the early-career and mid-career researchers. This will be reached through network enriching activities (e.g. expert meetings with top scientists on the topic) and through disseminating the scientific results to the international community (e.g. presentations at international conferences and publications in international We direct our effort towards a better understanding of the learning mechanisms through which people react less adaptively. The focus will lay on how neuroticism shapes evaluative conditioning or attribute conditioning, two classes of conditioning whose relationship with neuroticism is still unclear. Based on this research, we aim to gather more cues to explain why neuroticism is considered a risk factor for emotional problems.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 370 000,00
300223 Timisoara

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Macroregiunea Patru Vest Timiş
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 370 000,00

Participants (2)