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Mathematical Modelling of Human Decision Processes: Behaviour, Emotions, and Stress

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Massaro
    Dr L Pecchia
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Applications are invited for a 3 years PhD opportunity on “Mathematical Modelling of Human Decision Processes: Behaviour, Emotions, and Stress” at the Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling (WCPM). Dr. Massaro and Dr. Pecchia, respectively at the Warwick Business School (Behavioural Science) and at the School of Engineering, will supervise the project.

This is an open-call for a position commencing in Autumn 2016 (self-funded or externally funded only) or for Autumn 2017 (with scholarship opportunities, in this case please contact us after August 2016).

The Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling
The Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling (WCPM) ( is an interdisciplinary research centre at Warwick University focussed on providing a framework for the application of predictive modelling and uncertainty quantification (UQ) tools in science and engineering research. These mathematical tools provide a powerful new way of thinking about how to model complex systems and how to translate research outcomes into improved technology and design.

The PhD Project
This PhD project seeks to further current knowledge on how emotions and stress affect decision processes. Indeed, still little is known on the effect those factors have on complex decision-making, as well as on how complex decisions affect them. By focusing on the creation of mathematical model to describe these complex and dynamic interactions, the research aims to show how such a deeper understanding can lead to better real-world outcomes (e.g., design, implementation, interventions). Mixed methods will be used including behavioural and experimental studies. There will be a strong focus on psychophysiological and neuroscience approaches like HRV, skin conductance, EEG, among others.

Candidate specification
We seek to recruit a highly motivated student with strong numeracy and experimental skills. The ideal candidate will have a minimum 2.1 (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (engineering, statistics, mathematics, physics, computer science, cognitive sciences, neuroscience). A Masters degree (awarded or expected) in a relevant subject is highly recommended. Previous experience in experimental research methods is a plus. Proficiency in oral and written English is required according to the University Regulations (

How to apply
Candidates interested in the project are encouraged to contact Dr. Massaro ([email protected]) and Dr. Pecchia ([email protected]) including a copy of their CVs.

Funding Notes

UK/EU scholarships may be available at the University of Warwick for the 2017/18 intake - see the website for deadlines and instructions (

Applications from self-funded candidates are always welcome.

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