Postdoctoral position in Exposure to Dissimilar Views in the Media

Postdoctoral position in Exposure to Dissimilar Views in the Media

Published Deadline Location
5 Jul 1 Aug Amsterdam

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Job description

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR currently has a Postdoc vacancy as part of the ERC Starting Grant entitled 'Citizens exposed to dissimilar views in the media: investigating backfire effects' directed by Dr Magdalena Wojcieszak. The vacancy will be linked to the Personalized Communication Project and the Digital Communication Methods Lab, part of the RPA project Communication, directed by Prof. Claes de Vreese.

In the current polarized climate, understanding between those who hold different views is needed more than ever. Exposure to dissimilar content that challenges one’s beliefs is hoped to foster tolerance. However, exposure to difference can also increase polarization and conflict among citizens with different opinions.

We do not know when and why exposure to dissimilar views amplifies or attenuates hostilities. This project addresses this question. We investigate (1) individual, social, and system factors that together drive exposure to dissimilar views in mass media and online, and (2) the effects of exposure to dissimilar views polarization, while (3) accounting for various political issues and intended and incidental exposure.

The key themes included in this project are:

  • Under what conditions does exposure to dissimilar political views occur?
    • What factors – including individual-level characteristics, political discussion, and media and political system – encourage people to see dissimilar content offline and online?
    • Do these factors vary depending on a political issue?
  • Under what conditions does exposure to dissimilar political views backfire?
    • What are the immediate and overtime effects of dissimilar exposure?
    • What are the individual-level, meso-level, and system-level factors that enhance or minimize polarization?
    • For whom, when, and why does dissimilar exposure lead to polarization and for whom it generates understanding toward citizens with different views?

We combine three methods and advance the use of behavioural data:

  • Panel Surveys – we will conduct panel surveys on systematic samples in three countries (the Netherlands, Poland, and the United States);
  • Online behaviour tracking - concurrently, we will track the actual online exposure among the same participants to identify the specific political content that each participant sees on determined political issues;
  • Automated Content Analysis – we will use existing software and/or supervised machine learning to assess the content’s tone, positive or negative toward each issue. When combined with information on individual attitudes, the content data will tell us whether the content is like-minded or dissimilar with regard to each individual’s attitudes.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Formal requirements are:

  • a PhD in social or political Philosophy;
  • teaching experience, preferably at various levels of university education;
  • verifiably broadly deployable and prepared to be deployed in several teaching programmes;
  • outstanding research skills, demonstrated by publications in international refereed academic journals and academic publishers;
  • fundraising experience, e.g. acquisition of research projects through government agencies or the private sector;
  • experience in supervising PhD research;
  • proven leadership qualities; experience in administration, organisation and coordination of university education and research;
  • enthusiasm, an interdisciplinary attitude, a strong team spirit and the ability to motivate team members;
  • flexibility, readiness to participate in interdisciplinary cooperation and multidisciplinary development (verifiably focused on collaboration with other disciplines);
  • excellent command of both Dutch and English; preferably international teaching experience. If Dutch is not the native language, an active and passive command should be acquired within two years of appointment (passing the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language (NT2), programme II, is a prerequisite for a permanent employment contract);
  • amenable to personal and professional development that focuses on broad deployability.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns, in principle, a two-year period after an initial test period. The final implementation position is pending contractual approval.

Your monthly gross salary will range, depending on your knowledge and experience, between €3,637 and €4,978 (Scale 11) based on a full-time basis.

We offer a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable. 


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Amsterdam School of Communication Research

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR is the research institute in Communication Science at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam.

It is the largest research institute of its kind in Europe and is among the largest worldwide. More than 80 senior researchers are permanently associated with ASCoR, and its English-language PhD program hosts 25 students.


  • Postdoc positions
  • Behaviour and Society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3637—€4978 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 19-455


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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