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Four post-docs, two pre-docs

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Those job-seeking, PhD-wielding, DSN-reading, decision-making researchers will be happy to know that we’ve got four post-doctoral positions, hot off the griddle. Have everything but the PhD? We have two pre-doctoral opportunities for you this week as well.

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University of Colorado-Boulder

The University of Colorado-Boulder anticipates hiring a post-doctoral research associate in the interdisciplinary Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making. Basic research in judgment and decision making, psychology, consumer research, and behavioral economics can inform our understanding of financial decisions such as choosing a mortgage, saving for retirement, decumulating savings, using credit cards, and paying for health care. The Center will conduct basic research and more applied work to inform public policy.

This would be two-year position, with a start date of August 1, 2010. The associate will conduct research with Professor John Lynch in the Leeds School of Business and with other colleagues in business and psychology.


The associate will collaborate on projects relating to the roles of comprehension, attention, affect, and intertemporal planning on financial decision making. One area of focus will be how soon-to-be retirees make decisions about annuitization of savings. Another focus is decision aids for complex financial decisions such as choosing a mortgage, taking into account theories of the psychology of decision-making.

The ideal candidate would be an accomplished psychology PhD interested in seeking a faculty position in consumer research and marketing. Marketing departments at most leading business schools have a history hiring psychology PhDs whose work has implications for consumer behavior. They seek scholars who can publish in the top journals both in marketing / consumer research and allied basic disciplines. They also require that these scholars demonstrate that they can teach effectively in a business school setting.

This associateship is designed to help the scholar achieve these goals. The Associate will work in the lab at the Center for Research on Consumers’ Financial Decision Making and in the psychology department and collaborate on research aimed at journals in both psychology and consumer research. If so desired, the associate can teach one undergraduate section of marketing research per year in the Leeds School of Business under Lynch’s supervision for additional salary.

This position is open to candidates with behavioral research experience, data analysis and modeling skills, and training in judgment and decision-making, social psychology, cognitive psychology, or a related

Discipline. Candidate should have recently earned PhD or who are expecting their doctorate in 2010, on a topic relevant to issues in financial decision-making, broadly defined. To get a sense of the scope of such topics, please see the website for the First Annual Boulder Summer Conference on Consumers’ Financial Decision Making, http://cfdmc.colorado.edu/ including the conference program.

Application materials should be should be submitted online to http://www.jobsatcu.com/. Click on Search Postings and enter the job posting number 809691. Applications should include a CV, two letters of recommendation, reprints of published papers, and a cover letter. The cover letter should describe your research interests and expertise, your computer and data analysis skills, and should point out any connections to the research programs of Lynch. The Recruiting Committee Chair is John Lynch (john.g.lynch at colorado.edu), the Ted G. Anderson Professor at CU.

Review of applications will start April 1st and continue until April 30th.

The University of Colorado at Boulder is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

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Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is seeking candidates for a Post-doctoral Research Associate for a large-scale field study examining consumer response to enhanced methods for controlling electricity use at home. The research team includes psychology, economics, and engineering. Duties will include participation in research design and execution, supervision of data files and analyses, report writing, and coordination with electric utility partners.

Requirements: PhD in psychology or related behavioral science; relevant research experience. Project begins March 2010. Supported by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Carnegie Mellon University.

Applications must include a CV, an example of written work, and a cover letter indicating your related experiences and interest in the position. Applications should be sent by email to: lave at cmu.edu

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Michigan State University

We are looking for a postdoc researcher to work on a project on the neural mechanisms of decision making. This is a joint position between the Neuroimaging of Perception and Attention Laboratory (PI: Taosheng Liu) and the Laboratory of Cognitive and Decision Sciences (PI: Timothy Pleskac). The research project will use mathematical models to fit choice behavioral data and fMRI to measure brain activity in decision tasks. We aim to combine these approaches to probe the fundamental mechanisms of decision making.

The ideal candidate should have a strong background in mathematical models of decision making and/or a strong background in system/ cognitive neuroscience. Prior experience with mathematical modeling, fMRI, and strong programming skills (e.g., C/C++, Matlab) are highly preferred. Duties include designing and implementing experiments, data collection and analysis, and writing and presenting results. Our labs are affiliated with the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program in the Department of Psychology, the Cognitive Science Program, and the Neuroscience Program at Michigan State University. The candidate will receive further training in modeling and fMRI methodologies, as well as have opportunities to interact with a diverse body of scientists in cognitive and neural science. A recent PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g., psychology, neuroscience, computer science) is required and salary will commensurate with experience. The appointment is for one year with the possibility for renewal for two years pending availability of funds. The targeted starting date is summer/early fall of 2010.

Interested candidate should send a C.V., pdfs of representative publications, a brief statement of research, and names and addresses of at least two referees to either Tim Pleskac (pleskact at msu.edu) or Taosheng Liu (tsliu at msu.edu). Informal inquiries are also welcome. Review of candidates will begin May 1 and will continue until the position is filled.

For more information see the following websites:
Tim Pleskac’s lab page: http://www.msu.edu/~pleskact
Taosheng Liu’s lab page: http://psychology.msu.edu/liulab

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Applied Biomathematics

Applied Biomathematics (www.ramas.com/research.htm) anticipates an opening for a one- or two-year post doctoral position for a mathematical psychologist working in the area of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty in decision making. The project addresses risk communication from a biological perspective (see Strategies for Risk Communication: Evolution, Evidence, Experience, 2008, edited by Tucker et al., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Vol. 1128). Post docs at Applied Biomathematics commonly go on to academic appointments. The project will be directed by Scott Ferson (www.ramas.com/sferson.htm) and Christian Luhmann of Stony Brook University (www.psychology.sunysb.edu/cluhmann-/luhmann). Please send curriculum vitae and a writing sample to admin at ramas.com.

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Pre-doc specials: University of Basel

2 Doctoral Positions in Psychology at the University of Basel, Switzerland

The Center for Cognitive and Decision Sciences (www.cds.unibas.ch – headed by Ralph Hertwig) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel is seeking two new Ph.D. students for the following projects:

A) Executive Search Processes and Decision Making in Long-Term Memory

This research will focus on the processes of encoding and retrieval in long-term memory, and how executive processes dynamically guide search in memory representations similar to the way animals search for food in space. Interested applicants should have a Master’s degree in Psychology and an interest in cognitive modeling and experimental approaches to memory.

B) Dialectical Bootstrapping: A New Paradigm to Improve Individual Judgment

This research focuses on the process of creating “the wisdom of crowds” within the mind of a single person by using “dialectical bootstrapping”—averaging a person’s two estimates so that errors are likely to cancel each other out. Interested applicants should have a Master’s degree in Psychology and an interest in cognitive modeling and judgment and decision making.

Applicants should send a CV, a letter of interest and two letters of recommendation to Dr. Thomas Hills at thomas.hills at unibas.ch (for project A) or Dr. Stefan Herzog at stefan.herzog at unibas.ch (for project B). Deadline for applications is April 30, 2010. The position is available immediately.



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