How do smart technologies influence us in online settings, and should we worry about this? In this project you will analyse persuasion and manipulation in digital contexts as part of an interdisciplinary research team.
Smart technologies influence and 'nudge' human behaviour in ways that users are unaware of, for example when they use ChatGPT without knowing what sources the information is based on, or when they are not aware of the algorithms that underlie recommender systems used by, for example, YouTube or Amazon. In most cases, smart technologies are developed to make users' life easier, by doing much of the information searching and filtering for the user. The potential downside of the ease of use of these technologies is, however, that citizens increasingly use information without reflecting on its accuracy or representativeness, because they are no longer required to think. This could represent a danger for information ecosystems and modern democracy, for example by making citizens vulnerable to filter bubbles, micro-targeting and fake news about societally relevant themes, and by making them lose sight of, and interest in, the distinction between what is real and what is not. They might assume, for example, that if nobody can discern the difference between verified and unverified information, this difference is trivial. In this project you will join forces with iHub, Radboud’s interdisciplinary hub for research on digitalisation and society and the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) to explore these, and related, questions. You will be part of an interdisciplinary team that seeks to better understand current information ecosystems and conceive of interventions to counter pernicious persuasion and manipulation in digital contexts.
In your postdoctoral project, you will be offered the opportunity to further develop and test your own line of research on manipulation and algorithmic persuasion. You will present the research outcomes at national and international conferences, and you will write articles for international journals.
Fixed-term contract: It concerns a temporary employment for 2 years.
You will be a member of an interdisciplinary working group on persuasion and manipulation in digital contexts, a collaboration between the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and iHub, which includes junior and senior researchers from both institutes. You will have a workplace at both institutes, to foster collaboration from the bottom up.
iHub's mission is to better understand the effects of digitalisation on our society and to help steer digital transformations in ways where public values are central. We seek to do this by 1) bringing the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences together to address challenges raised by digitalisation, 2) by focusing on the core values that are destabilised and need protection in digitalisation processes and 3) by adopting a critical and constructive approach. The Centre for Language Studies aims to achieve a deeper understanding of the cognitive and social processes underlying language systems, language processing, and language use. We aspire to optimise human communicative interaction. Our approach is to investigate language from single sounds to discourse, including modalities from speech and text to gestures, signs and images.
Both institutes aim to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive society. We therefore specifically seek candidates with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills, to bring added value to our study programmes and research profiles.
Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen
This application process is managed by the employer (Radboud University). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.
Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.
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Make sure to apply no later than 4 Oct 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).
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