PhD Studentship in Implicit bias in Language Models

Keywords Language models, bias in language, behavioural experiments, statistical analysis, modelling bias, detecting bias.

How does what we read influence what we think? Are you interested in psychology? Are you interested in Large Language Models - GloVe, Word2Vec, BERT, GPT (and the like)?

Abstract Prejudicial attitudes, such as those relating to age, race, or gender, are widespread in society. Research suggests that the way words are used in language may reflect people's attitudes. In this project, we use computer models of language to see how well they capture the attitudes people have. We then test whether changing the language we put in the models can predict the differing attitudes of people who read different news content. This project will improve our understanding of where peoples' attitudes come from, showing how computer models can be useful for exploring the effect of information on people's biases.

The project will involve conducting online behavioural studies, so the ideal candidate will be familiar with experiment design, statistical analysis for behavioural studies and writing up study findings to a high standard.

We are keen to start this project as soon as possible in September / October 2023.

PhD Studentship The 4-year PhD Programme covers fees (up to €5,500 per year), and comes with a tax-free stipend of €18,500 annually. The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Psychology, and be jointly supervised by Principle Investigators Lynott (Psychology) and O'Donoghue (Computer Science). The PhD includes opportunities for multidisciplinary research, placements with our industry partners, and funding to attend and present at academic conferences. Maynooth University is an internationally-leading university, known for its collegiate and supportive academic environment.

Prospoective PhD students are invited to apply with the following information.
  1. 2-page CV
  2. Description of why you would make a good fit for this studentship and project. 1 page max.
  3. Transcript of results for all currently held degrees.
  4. Details on any current studies, including interim results if available.
  5. English Language Competence Certificate (if required) eg IELTS 6.5 or higher (this is only necessary for the final application).
  6. A sample of your written work, publication, dissertation or a term paper.

Interested parties are encouraged to informally contact Dermot or Diarmuid with the above information before March 15. Following informal discussion, applicants will be encouraged to submit a formal application via a PAC portal.

Email addressed are avabilabe on the pages below. Dr Dermot Lynott, Deptment of Psychology, and Dr Diarmuid O'Donoghue, Deptment of Computer Science, Maynooth University.

Revised: 2023.
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