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Children and Values in the Environment

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, January 29, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Modern British society excludes children from many adult environments. Child-free accommodation, clubs, restaurants, and pubs are common, and workplace environments are frequently far removed from schools and nurseries. Many other cultures around the world include children more closely in adult daily life. In theory, these differences reflect diverging norms, beliefs, attitudes, and values.

Another possibility is that these differing practices actually shape norms, beliefs, attitudes, and values. In a recent set of research, the understanding Values Attitudes and Behaviour (uVAB) lab at the University of Bath has been leading a large project testing whether situational reminders of children elicit more prosocial values. That is, do tasks and contexts that remind adults about children cause the adults to subsequently express values that are less self-centred (e.g., seeking power, influence, social prestige) and more focused on others (e.g., equality, helpfulness, environmentally aware)?

Initial evidence suggests that children do motivate people to be more prosocial (i.e., kinder), but the mechanisms and limitations/scope of these effects merit further study. In this PhD project, you will be guided in helping to address whether children also affect people’s consideration of the broader natural environment.

The proposed studentship will use classic and innovative approaches in experimental social psychology to examine the role of child salience in environmental behaviour. The successful applicant will be mentored by Professor Greg Maio at the University of Bath, together with other colleagues in the uVAB lab.

The Project
Across the three years of the studentship, research will address five key aims:
1. Review the extant literature on children, values and the environment, developing a concise and testable theoretical model.
2. Empirically test the role of child salience and values in environmental behaviour.
3. Examine whether child salience merely activates different values as opposed to changing them.
4. Evaluate the replicability of the observed findings using different research methods and samples.
5. Develop an external funding proposal addressing important gaps in the theory and evidence.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject. Applicants applying for a +3 award should hold, or expect to receive, a relevant Master’s level qualification.
Full details on how to apply can be found here:
View Website

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Bath in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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