Three Openings for Post-Doctoral Fellows on the Behavioral Science of Misinformation and Psychology of Belief

David Rand and Gordon Pennycook are jointly seeking 3 postdoctoral researchers to begin summer 2020 (or sooner), for two years (with the possibility of extending depending on funding). Researcher will be physically housed either in David Rand's Human Cooperation Lab at the Sloan School of Management (MIT) or Gordon Pennycook’s Behavioral Science Lab at the Hill/Levene Schools of Business (University of Regina), and there will be substantial intellectual integration across the two sites (e.g. weekly joint lab meetings, research visits to the other location, etc.). Fellows will design and run research studies, analyze data, prepare publications, and be a core member of the collective intellectual community spanning the two labs.

We are particularly seeking candidates who are interested one or both of the following lines of research:

1) Understanding why people believe and share mis/disinformation, including “fake news” and misleading hyper-partisan content; and in developing interventions to combat the belief in, and spreading of, such content. Some samples of our recent work in this domain are available here.

2) Understanding how are beliefs formed, how beliefs change, and why beliefs vary across individuals. This work will focus largely on the metacognition of belief and will explore topics such religious, paranormal, conspiratorial, and science-related beliefs. Some samples of our recent work in this domain are available here.

Potential assets for applicants include: Experience with lab/online experiments, experience with social media data collection/experimentation, computational skills (e.g. machine learning, web programing, agent based simulations), and knowledge of fields such as judgment and decision-making, social psychology, marketing, political science, and/or communications. That being said, we do not have a set vision of the skill sets we are looking to add to our groups, so we would encourage anyone interested in the above topics to apply, regardless of background!

Ideal candidates would be creative, independent, articulate, and deeply engaged in questions related to human decision-making (or associated topics). Funds for conducting experiments will be available to the fellow, as well as the many opportunities for outside collaboration. Our joint lab culture aims to advance our scientific understanding by fostering open discussion and debate, and rewarding originality and vision.

Individuals with a Ph.D., or those expecting to complete their Ph.D. in Spring 2020, are encouraged to apply. We will begin to evaluate applications on Feb 1, 2020, and continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled. The intended start date for the positions is summer 2020 (with some flexibility). If you are interested, please apply – no need to email inquiring as to whether the position is still available!

Please send CV, statement of interest (two pages max) and up to 3 reprints/preprints to: Antonio Arechar <>. Also, list up to 3 referees but do not send reference letters. We will contact referees for shortlisted candidates.  

MIT is an equal opportunity employer committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and underrepresented minorities. The University of Regina is committed to an inclusive workplace that reflects the richness of the community that we serve. The University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including individuals within the University's employment equity categories of women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, aboriginal persons, individuals of diverse gender and sexual orientation and all groups protected by the Human Rights Code.