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Exploring errors, regrets, and remediation strategies in computer-mediated communication (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/CIS/WARNER)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

We are imperfect creatures, and it is these imperfections that make us human - our mistakes form an essential part of who we are. An area where mistakes often occur, and can have a considerably negative effect, is during interpersonal communication; people often communicate something in error or communicate something that they later regret. As more of our communications become mediated by technology (e.g., e-mail, social media), the nature of these mistakes has changed as they have more permanency and reach when compared with face-to-face communication. For example, consider absent-mindedly replying to an email, which it turns out was copied to a large number of recipients. The message will be sent to multiple recipients with limited options for redacting or amending.

Despite the perveance of computer-mediated communications (CMC) in our everyday lives, we know very little about how these technologies impact behaviours around errors and regrets. As such, there is little research available that can be used to help inform the design of CMC technologies to support people who experience errors and regrets in communications. This project looks to address this gap by exploring how people engage with errors and regretful messages when communicating using existing CMC technologies. It will explore the strategies people develop to prevent them, as well exploring existing remediation strategies people use after an error or regretful message has been identified. This knowledge will be used to develop a series of prototype user interfaces to further investigate the role technology can play in supporting users around these events. These interfaces will focus on helping to support people in reducing the likelihood of making mistakes when communicating, and in supporting people in remediation behaviours after an error or regretful message has been identified.

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr Mark Warner. The second supervisor will be Professor Shaun Lawson.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/CIS/WARNER) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.

Related Subjects

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