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Postdoc position in Short-term mindsets and crime: Digging into the relation between risk factors and criminal behavior using unique longitudinal dataPosted by: University of Twente
Posted date: 2018-Apr-13
Why are some people more likely to commit crime than others? Answers to this question can be grouped into two broad views. On the one hand, dispositional perspectives argue that stable factors within the individual, such as lack of self-control, lie at the roots of criminal conduct. Sociogenic perspectives, on the other hand, put the locus of study outside the individual and point towards external factors such as rough neighborhoods, parental unemployment, and deviant peers, as the main causes of crime. Research into both perspectives has identified hundreds of correlates of criminal behavior, yet how these are related is still largely uncharted territory. The ERC research program aims to integrate both views based on a new theoretical perspective, which draws from criminology, social psychology and evolutionary theory. This perspective is premised on the idea that short-term mindsets encourage crime and specifies how both individual dispositions and sociogenic variables can encourage such mindsets.
Insofar as short-term thinking is a major cause of crime and not fixed, as assumed by dispositional perspectives, changes in shortsightedness can be expected to produce changes in (re-)offending. Using multi-wave data, this postdoc project will address the possibly reciprocal nature of exposure to contextual risk factors, short-term mindsets, and delinquency. This will establish the extent to which observed changes in shortsightedness are consequential for offending and what factors influence these changes. The assumption to be tested argues that there is a self-reinforcing dynamic between contextual risk factors and crime that is in part explained by short-term mindsets. That is, shortsighted individuals tend to engage in activities that make it more likely that they encounter events and have experiences that, in turn, reinforce such short-term mindsets, resulting in a ‘cycle of crime’.
The project is part of a larger ERC-funded research program in which the role of short-term thinking is central. This program’s ambition is to realize ground-breaking advances in the understanding of criminal and delinquent conduct by improving our understanding what causes people to become shortsighted and also how they can learn and be motivated to take the longer term consequences of their actions better into account and move away from (embarking on) a criminal career.
You will be working closely together with other researchers in a young and ambitious multidisciplinary research team that aims to push the boundaries of the current state of the art in crime research. PhD supervision may be a part of your tasks. You will inter alia be using data from a unique longitudinal project following a large sample of Swiss urban youth since age 7, The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (www.jacobscenter.uzh.ch/en/research/zproso) and collaborate with members of the zproso team at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Information and application
Your application needs to be uploaded before 1 May 2018 via the application link. Given that this website does not accept more than three documents, you can combine documents if necessary.
Conditions of employment
You are appointed as postdoc (0,8 fte) for a period of three years. Initial gross salary is € 2.588,- - € 3.475,- per month, depending on experience. Preferred starting date is July 2018. The University of Twente offers excellent facilities for professional and personal development, international and dynamic atmosphere, a green and lively campus, holiday allowance (8%), end-of-year bonus (8.3%) and diverse extra benefits.
The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences