Jobs

The Institute of Sociology at the University of Zurich aims to fill several research positions.

We are looking for 2-3 Doctoral students (60%) and 1-2 Post-Doctoral researchers (75-100%) interested in joining the research group of Prof. Dr. Heiko Rauhut. The group is interested in theory-guided quantitative research on social norms, cooperation, experimental game theory, experimental and analytical sociology, network analysis, sociology of science, survey methodology, statistical modeling and meta-analyses. The positions are funded by the SNSF Starting Grant “Social norms, cooperation and conflict in scientific collaborations” (CONCISE) and by the University of Zurich. Applicants should hold a MA / PhD (or should be close to completion) in Sociology or a related field (such as Behavioral or Experimental Economics, Social Psychology, Political Science, Statistics or Computational Social Science).

We are particularly interested in attracting candidates working on projects described in the CONCISE proposal and in the following 3 research areas: 1) Development of a survey on social norms, cooperation and conflicts in scientific collaborations. 2) Co-evolution of cooperation and networks 3) Development of behavioral scales on cooperation norms in large-scale surveys. Details of these research areas, the full CONCISE proposal, related articles, the research profile of the professorship and further information is found at www.suz.uzh.ch/rauhut. Other research topics are also welcome, but should have a strong connection to the general profile of the professorship.

We offer a stimulating, dynamic and research-oriented environment in Rauhut’s newly founded Professorship of Social Theory and Quantitative Methods. We are looking for creative, prosocial and proactive candidates. Support in teaching and research activities of the chair is expected. After a trial period, the positions are initially limited to 3 years (with an extension to max. 6 years, subject to funding).

Contact Heiko Rauhut for any questions. Please send your application including a statement of interest, CV, transcripts, 1-2 samples of written work and 2 letters of recommendation or alternatively contact details of two referees in one pdf file until 26.2.2017 to Heiko Rauhut via jobs@soziologie.uzh.ch. Notifications will be made in March. The starting dates are flexible from May until the positions are filled.

Research Area 1: Development of a survey on social norms, cooperation and conflicts in scientific collaborations.

The production of scientific knowledge has dramatically changed from solitary scientists to teams (Wuchty et al. 2007). The increasing social character of science raises the question how scientific discoveries can be achieved cooperatively. Are prosocial researchers more successful in their careers, because team work has become more important? Or do we observe more conflicts in collaborations? One problem in collaborations is how to signal different contributions to joint publications and how to fairly share the credits for teamwork. One way of signaling proportional contributions is the ordering of names on articles. Are name ordering norms different in different fields, how do researchers subjectively perceive these norms and how do they assign contribution credits? Finally, are teams more prone to scientific misconduct because of a diffusion of responsibility? Or do they show less misconduct, because of more control mechanisms compared to single authors? The development of the survey involves these and related questions.

See for more details project B and related sections of the CONCISE proposal (www.suz.uzh.ch/rauhut).

Research Area 2: Co-evolution of cooperation and networks

The literature on the evolution of cooperation agrees that cooperation requires a mechanism providing information about preferences, beliefs and opportunities of other interaction partners (Efferson et al. 2016). Direct reciprocity (Gouldner 1960, Axelrod 1984) and indirect reciprocity (Molm et al. 2007) are established mechanisms of cooperation; however, even strangers cooperate when reciprocal behavior is impossible or cannot generate future benefits (Fehr & Gintis 2007). An open research question is whether the selection of network partners could be an effective mechanism of cooperation.

We have collected three waves of large-scale multi-level network panel data of Swiss school classes. Prosociality was measured using the monetarily incentivized social value orientation (SVO) slider measure (Murphy et al. 2011). In addition, we have measured social norms, using dictator game giving and beliefs and norms of fairness about dictator game giving. In addition, the complete networks of the pupils in their classes are measured on different dimensions. This data allows investigating a great variety of interesting questions, such as whether prosocial pupils are more likely to interact with other prosocials and whether they are more popular partners in their network. The statistical analysis requires panel-network analysis, such as stochastic actor-oriented models. Ideally, the research would combine the panel data with other research designs, such as experiments.

This panel-network survey project is part of the Values in Schools Project of the University Research Priority Program (URPP) on Social Networks (http://www.socialnetworks.uzh.ch).

Research Area 3: Conceptual development, implementation and analysis of behavioral scales on cooperation norms in large-scale surveys

In the last twenty years, there has been a dramatic change in the literature on social norms and cooperation. In a large number of behavioral experiments, it has been shown that people are amazingly cooperative and prosocial (Camerer 2003). People are also willing to adhere to norms of cooperation towards strangers, even if it requires effort, expenditures and time (Bowles and Gintis 2011). Social norms of cooperation, prosociality and social preferences are crucial for explaining many social structures and institutions. However, most of these studies are conducted with non-representative convenience samples, mostly using students (Henrich et al. 2006). Moreover, most existing measures of cooperation norms focus only on prosocial preferences, one of the most prominent being the social value orientation slider measure (Murphy et al. 2011). This neglects other crucial elements of cooperation norms, especially beliefs about others’ prosociality and norms of what ought to be done. This project aims at developing a scale of cooperation norms, pretesting it (e.g. at M-Turk) and implementing it in large-scale surveys. Furthermore, work could include a meta-analysis of the social value orientation slider measure (Murphy et al. 2011).