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More vacancies of function type: PhD positions, Research, Development, Innovation.
PhD position Modelling the evolution of theory of mind (1,0 fte)
Specificaties - (uitleg)
|Functietypes||PhD positions, Research, Development, Innovation|
|Uren||38,0 uren per week|
|Salaris||maximaal € 2612|
|About employer||University of Groningen|
The Vici project 'Cognitive systems in interaction: Logical and computational models of higher-order social cognition'.
Software agents are capable of recursion in their social reasoning: A thinks about what B knows, about what B thinks that A knows, and so on. However, humans lose track of such reasoning after only two or three levels. If software agents work together with human team-mates, they need to take into account the limits of their social cognition.
In the Vici project, we investigate children's development and adults' limitations in applying higher-order reasoning, using a close-knit combination of empirical research and formal modelling. Whereas first-order social cognition has been intensely investigated, higher-order social cognition is far less well-understood. This Vici project aims to apply improved understanding of higher-order social reasoning to design realistic logics, ready for implementation in systems supporting mixed human-computer teams.
The PhD project: How did higher-order social cognition evolve?
Do animals have theory of mind, in other words, can they reason about knowledge and plans of others? Controversy abounds, because empirical evidence cannot distinguish use of theory of mind from simple associative learning from experience.
The PhD project focuses on the next step: the evolution of higher-order social cognition, supposedly only displayed by humans.
Based on a newly to be constructed computational agent-based modeling environment, the PhD student investigates whether explicit representation of higher-order mental states of others gives individuals an advantage over those who only use behavioral association and first-order attributions of mental states. Also, he/she studies the possible advantages of higher-order social cognition for team tasks. The costs of higher-order social cognition should be taken into account. Thus, the PhD student investigates several contexts and tasks in order to test plausible theories about the evolution of higher-order social cognition.
Start date: Autumn 2010.
We would like to receive letters in English language, including a personal motivation, a curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three referees (including telephone number and e-mail address).
Please, also send an electronic copy of your application to: L.C.Verbrugge@rug.nl
Dienstverband: 48 maanden
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences