ESA-announce Fully funded PhD position combining agent-based modelling and laboratory experiments

Posted on 2015/02/18. Filed under: 綜合 |

Interested students are welcome to apply for this fully-funded PhD position before March 15 2015.

PhD position – Closing the gap between the real world and the lab? Agent technology to extrapolate behavior change in the lab.

University of Societal Impact:
The University of Twente is strong in creating societal impact of its research by combining an entrepreneurial attitude with design solutions for societal problems. The faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences has recently launched an investment programme called Tech4people to strengthen its academic fields. We are looking for candidates for 7 pioneering multidisciplinary projects, including this one.

Job specification
In a modern society people regularly face decisions involving considerable risks. These include financial and social risks, uncertainty about future economic climate or risk of natural disasters. A rational agent paradigm alone cannot capture the whole complexity of people’s decision making. Behavioral sciences showed that such decisions are biased, and that biases in risk perception change with time depending on the information provided, on how it was framed, and on interactions within one’s social network. Social amplification of risks may exaggerate or attenuate perceptions of risks, corresponding behavioral choices, and their cumulative consequences for a society. This calls for tools that can trace changes in risk perceptions and corresponding behavioral changes in societies over long time-scales explicitly accounting for social interactions.

The ambition of this PhD project is to combine the strengths of laboratory experiments with human subjects and agent-based simulations to explore effects of risk information on risk perceptions and behavioral changes. Specifically, the project focuses on changes in individual risk perception and subsequent risky choices when people are exposed to information individually versus when social interactions with peers are allowed. It is important to know effects of scaling up laboratory results in time and in the number of participants. Modern technology permits running online large-scale experiments with mixed subjects – humans and computer agents parameterized with small-scale laboratory experiment data. This project focuses on flood risks.

Your profile

You have a master degree and experience in either (1) psychology/experimental economics with programming skills or experience with agent-based modeling, or (2) mathematics/computer science with interest in psychology or decision-making under risk in general. You have strong quantitative skills, ability to program, knowledge of statistics and capacity to perform data analysis. You write and speak fluently in English. You have independent research and publication skills. Knowledge in the field of risk research or laboratory experiments is an advantage.

To apply for this position, please go to and select the current position from the list to fill in the online application form before March 15, 2015. Please include (1) your cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) a list of publications (if applicable).

Starting date: around May 2015. First reviews and interviews will start on March 16, 2015.

For more information on this position please contact Dr. T.Filatova (t.filatova, p.w.devries, j.vanhillegersberg, ).

Our offer
We offer a very challenging position in an inspiring environment. This position is a PhD project. As a PhD candidate you will be appointed in a full-time position for a period of three years (38 hours a week), leading to a dissertation. The gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2125,- in the first year to € 2593,- in the third year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). The University of Twente offers additional attractive employment conditions.

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