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Habitual decision-making and its consequences for emotional experience

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

Research is my lab group investigates human adult (across the lifespan) and adolescent decision-making using perspectives from the study of visual selective attention and emotion. We are interested in how people’s behaviours differ when conditions encourage habitual (automatic) responding versus goal-directed (deliberative) decision-making. This PhD project will specifically examine how these different modes of decision-making affect emotional states, including affective, or hedonic, evaluation of cues, outcomes and the context in which cue-outcome associations are made, as well as mood and feelings. An important aspect of this work will involve teasing out the role that subclinical anxiety, depression, and/or obsessive-compulsive tendencies may play in modulating propensities for habit versus goal-oriented decision-making and for emotional responses in choice tasks. The project will involve behavioural measures (including response time choice, and liking judgements), EEG, including ERPs and time frequency analysis, eye movements, and modelling. Applicants are expected to have demonstrable experience with programming either in Psychopy, E-Prime, R, and/or Matlab (or equivalent).

Students will have a first class degree in Psychology or Neuroscience (with a cognitive specialisation). Excellent English writing skills are essential. The research will be conducted in the Visual Experience Lab, a supportive and exciting environment (with several other PhD students and post-docs) that provides methods seminars, journal clubs, and trouble shooting sessions. Candidates with a Masters degree (with distinction) are encouraged to apply.

Informal enquiries about the project can be made by email to Professor Jane Raymond ()

Funding Notes

Excellent applicants from the UK will be able to apply for a highly competitive ESRC Doctoral Training Centre fellowship. There are also a number of other funding opportunities that you may be eligible to apply for. If no external funds are secured, students should be able to demonstrate that they can cover the cost of living expenses and tuition fees for a minimum of 3.5 years.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

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

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