Postdoctoral researcher (m/f/d) for the project: Short-term mindsets and crime: Digging into the relation between risk factors and criminal behavior using unique longitudinal data [closing 01.12.19]

Страна: Германия;

Город: Freiburg

Добавлена: 01.12.2019

Работодатель: The Department of Criminology at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law

Тип: PostDoc vacancy;

Для кого: For researchers;

Дедлайн подачи: 01.12.2019


This Postdoc project is part of the interdisciplinary research program “Crime and Time: How short-term mindsets encourage crime and how the future self can prevent it”. The program is funded through an ERC Consolidator Grant and led by Prof. Jean-Louis van Gelder. The formal position will be in the Department of Criminology at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg, Ger-many. The challenge 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 fac-tors within the individual, such as lack of self-control, lie at the roots of criminal conduct. Socio-genic perspectives, on the other hand, put the locus of study outside the individual and point to-wards 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 corre-lates 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 prem-ised on the idea that short-term mindsets encourage crime and specifies how both individual dis-positions and sociogenic variables can encourage such mindsets. Insofar as short-term thinking is a major cause of crime and not fixed, as assumed by disposi-tional perspectives, changes in shortsightedness can be expected to produce changes in (re-) of-fending. 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 under-standing 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 multidis-ciplinary 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 Zur-ich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood ( and collaborate with members of the zproso team at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.


The project aims to fulfill the following objectives within the larger program: 1.Provide an encompassing test of the interaction between individuals and their social environ-ments which will result in critical information on how criminal careers develop over time, a main feature of the proposed theoretical perspective. 2.Contribute to the development of a new integrative theory explaining crime and delinquency. 3.Test whether committing crime renders people more shortsighted.

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