Image credit: Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

PhD studentship: The role of cognitive interactivity in thinking and deciding

Image credit: Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

PhD studentship: The role of cognitive interactivity in thinking and deciding

Start Date

Late September 2019


Kingston University, Kingston Business School, Decisions, Attitudes, Risk and Thinking Group, Kingston Hill Campus, KT2 7LB

Funding Amount

£4,327 for fees plus annual stipend approximately £17,009 per year


Full time for 3 years; Applications for part time study will also be considered.

Research topic

This studentship is funded by Kingston University and will be linked to the Interactivity and cognition research programme. The first supervisor will be Professor Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, who has a background in Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Decision Science.

The PhD will examine how cognitive and social interactivity may shape performance when people engage in cognitive activities such as thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and risk-taking.

The successful applicant will have excellent quantitative and a keen interest for applying those skills to behavioural process-tracing methodologies such as mobile eye-tracking, video-based analyses, and interaction design. Programming skills for designing interactive applications and analysing video data would be an advantage.

Good examples of the kind of research that might be completed can be found in:

  • Henok, N., Vallée-Tourangeau, F., & Vallée-Tourangeau, G. (2018). Incubation and interactivity in insight problem solving. Psychological Research.
  • Vallée-Tourangeau, F., Sirota, M., & Vallée-Tourangeau, G. (2016). Interactivity mitigates the impact of working memory depletion on mental arithmetic performance. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 1(1).
  • Vallée-Tourangeau, G., & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2017). Cognition Beyond the Classical Information Processing Model: Cognitive Interactivity and the Systemic Thinking Model (SysTM). In S. J. Cowley & F. Vallée-Tourangeau (Eds.), Cognition Beyond the Brain (2nd Ed., pp. 133–154). Cham, Switerland: Springer.
  • Vallée-Tourangeau, Gaëlle, Abadie, M., & Vallée-Tourangeau, F. (2015). Interactivity fosters Bayesian reasoning without instruction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(3), 581–603.
  1. Read the articles listed above.
  2. Prepare a draft research proposal for the proposed theme. Check here, here, and here for more guidance on how to write a proposal.
  3. Contact Professor Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau ( and attach your draft proposal for review, feedback, and discussion no later than Sunday 28th April 2019.
  4. Submit your full application no later than Sunday 19 May 2019. Click here to apply for part-time attendance or here to apply for full-time attendance.

Eligibility and further specifications

To apply you must:

  • have a postgraduate Master’s degree or a first/upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed research project.
  • be intending to research in an area that is covered by Kingston University research expertise.
  • if you are not from an English speaking country or have not studied at a UK university before, you must provide proof of Internet-based IELTS at a minimum overall score of 6.5 (or equivalent qualification).

Tuition fees will be paid at Home/EU level only for 3-years. Overseas fee paying students may apply but, if shortlisted, will be required to provide evidence that they will be able to pay the remaining part of their fees. This is currently £10,173 for the academic year 2019 / 2020 and will increase slightly each year.

Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau
Professor of Behavioural Science


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