Job ID: 117828

PhD scholarship in Experimental Psychology

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 1 May 2024

Employment Start Date: 1 August 2024

Contract Length: 3 years

City: Copenhagen

Country: Denmark

Institution: University of Copenhagen

Department: Department of Psychology



The Cognition, Intention, and Action (CoInAct) Research Group and Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a PhD position in experimental psychology to be filled by 1 August 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is for 3 years. Enrolment will be at the Faculty of Social Sciences under Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

The PhD student will be part of a project entitled Selection in Cognitionfunded by the Carlsberg Foundation and headed by Professor Søren Kyllingsbæk and Associate Professor Thor Grünbaum. Applicants are asked to situate and develop their research plan within the framework of the Selection in Cognition project.

The larger project develops and tests a new theory of basic cognitive selection mechanisms by combining methods and perspectives from experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mathematical modelling, and philosophy. The core idea is that selection in cognition may be understood as a biased competition between representations in a stochastic race (Grünbaum, Oren, & Kyllingsbæk, 2021). In a series of experiments, we have consistently shown that tasks-sets are competing biased by their importance and that this selection process is severely capacity limited. We will extend our new experimental procedures and mathematical models to the study of selection in planning and problem-solving. If our conjecture is true, higher-order cognitive processes like task selection, planning, and problem-solving depend on the same type of selection.

The applicant should be a student with a strong background and interest in experimental psychology. During the employment, the candidate is expected to engage in the development of new experimental procedures that will enable us to test our general theory of cognitive selection in the domains of task selection, planning, and problem-solving at both psychological and neurobiological levels. We aim to use our intention selection paradigm to study task-sets within and between complex hierarchies of task-sets. Focus will be on the development of experimental paradigms that will enable us to test our basic computational model of selection processes in planning and problem-solving.

The successful candidate will be working in close collaboration with cognitive psychologists and philosophers, and other cognitive scientists and should be interested in the development of new experimental paradigms, modelling, and theory development. The PhD student is expected to conduct new experimental research during the period of employment. It is expected that the successful candidate will be present, part of the team, and partake in the activities at CoInAct on a daily basis. The PhD student will be physically located at the Cognition and Neuropsychology research section, at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.