PhD in Social Psychology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

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The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) has several BSc and MSc programmes housed in two separate schools. The School of Innovation Sciences focuses on the development and use of new technologies in a broad societal context. Research is multi-disciplinary, based on fundamental scientific insights and methods. Main areas of interest are economics and sociology of technological developments, sustainable innovation policy, human-technology interaction, and the history and philosophy of technology.

The School is seeking applications for 1 PhD position in the field of social psychology. The research project “Warm Light, Positive Affect and Sociality: The Social Psychology of Lighting” is conducted within the research group Human-Technology Interaction. The research is funded by and performed in collaboration with Philips Lighting and embedded in TU/e’s Intelligent Lighting Institute (ILI).

The Human-Technology Interaction (HTI) group of the School of Innovation Sciences has been internationally acclaimed for perception research, and is establishing itself as a major center of excellence in human-technology interaction research. The group concentrates on both social sciences and engineering, studying technology in the service of human wellbeing, within the broader context of a socially and ecologically sustainable society.

Project description
The global research objective of this project is to develop a systematic characterization and description of the affective, cognitive, physiological and behavioral effects of light with the goal to provide industry with the knowledge to devise new light interventions that enhance human functioning and wellbeing.

This empirical investigation aims to increase our understanding of the mechanisms through which different light settings (e.g., light intensity and color temperature) can be used to activate associations with physical and social warmth, increase pro-social and cooperative behavior, and examine the circumstances under which these effects are most likely to occur within workplace settings.

Through a combination of fundamental lab-based experiments and studies in (simulated) workplace settings, the candidate will investigate how color temperature and light intensity can influence task performance and pro-social behavior. By simultaneously focusing on the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms, the insights this research provides should be easily translatable to applications in home settings or the hospitality industry.

We are looking for a talented researcher with a completed or near-completed masters degree in social psychology or human-technology interaction. The candidate should have a strong fundamental research interest, advanced statistical skills, and a demonstrable affinity for and experience with experimental research in social psychology and/or embodied cognition. In addition, he or she should have a strong sensitivity for taking an applied perspective and translating research findings to practical applications. Knowledge of lighting and perception are highly desirable.

The successful candidate is able to demonstrate a strong interest in psychological research, is creative and proactive, has excellent verbal as well as written communication skills, and works well in (multidisciplinary) teams.

Appointment and salary
We offer:

  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious University;
  • full-time employment as a PhD candidate for a period of 4 years;
  • gross salary is in the range of €28.850 - €36.450 per annum (on a full-time basis), this includes 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end of year allowance;
  • a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, child care, moving expenses, savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities);

Attaining a PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology provides you with excellent career opportunities.

For further practical information please contact: Mrs. Caren van Overdijk, personnel advisor IE&IS, (
Requests for detailed project description and other questions about the academic content of the project should be directed to Y.A.W de Kort, or dr. Daniel Lakens,

PhD Warm Light, Positive Affect and Sociality:The Social Psychology of Lighting
Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences
Date off: 31/12/2011
Reference number: V39.1396

For more information, please visit official website:

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