PhD project

Putting the ‘Social’ Back into Social Cognition: Perspective Taking in the Lab and the Real World

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Application deadline

31 October 2022

We invite applications from strong and motivated candidates to this PhD project on social cognition in the lab versus in ‘real world’ settings. Social cognition refers to our ability to understand, compute, and attribute mental states to both ourselves and other people. There has been a significant amount of research into factors that may influence social cognitive abilities, in both childhood and adulthood. An outstanding challenge that requires further investigation is whether lab-based findings reflect perspective taking experiences in everyday life. In this PhD project, a variety of specific issues can be addressed, looking to examine the ‘social’ side of social cognition: for example, perspective-taking in lab-based tasks and in equivalent real-world tasks; how we decide when to take someone’s perspective in daily life; influential factors in predicting successful social cognitive engagement; how we use our social cognitive abilities to navigate different interactions; how these factors may change across the lifespan. To address some of these research themes, the PhD project will address issues using multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological (for instance, using eye-tracking or EEG approaches, where appropriate) approaches.

We invite applications from strong and motivated candidates who are prepared to take the leading role in this project. We envisage students have a background in Psychology or a relevant subject. Students without a sufficient relevant background may be offered to undertake one of our MSc programmes, or some of our MSc training modules, in their first year.

How to apply


31 October 2022

  1. Email Dr Lizzie Bradford to:
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Bradford, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. 
Apply now


Principal supervisor