Job: PhD position in Absorption in Film Viewing project at Amsterdam School for Communications Research

The Amsterdam School for Communications Research
PhD Position Opening: Absorption in Film Viewing

The Amsterdam School for Communications Research currently has a four year PhD vacancy. We are looking for a researcher who has knowledge of (cognitive) theories of narrative and film and wants to study experiential states in film viewers. Experience in psychological experimentation is also absolutely necessary. Interest in manufacturing film materials for the experiments is a recommendation.

A scholarship sufficient for costs of living and tuition is related to the position.

Deadline for applications is Sept. 12 2010. For details, applications and all correspondence see:

Some details:

Vacancy number: 2010-11, One PhD candidate (1.0 FTE).

Project: ‘Varieties of absorption in narrative and aesthetic experiences: A comparative study of responses to literature and film’

Film viewers typically exhibit high degrees of absorption in the film’s story world including events and characters. As yet there is no satisfactory definition of what state of mind absorption in film viewing exactly is and what factors account for it. The project aims at obtaining an understanding of the experiential states involved and their determinants with an emphasis on stimulus factors. To this end, firstly questionnaires for a variety of absorption-like states will be validated. Validation will involve a comparison with on-line measures of cognitive and emotional processing. Secondly a set of experiments will be carried out in which test films have been manipulated on the basis of available theories of (literary and filmic) narrative styles and procedures and their effects on (reader and viewer) experiences. The experimental materials will be manufactured in collaboration with film and story authors.

The project is of a highly interdisciplinary nature. Therefore the successful candidate will need to couple knowledge of film and literary theory (or a demonstrable interest in such and comparable theories, including cognitive psychological models of media content processing and linguistic discourse processing) with some experience in psychological on-line experimentation (or a demonstrable interest in this methodology).

This PhD project is part of a larger comparative project aiming at establishing forms of absorption in reading and film viewing and their relations with aesthetic responses to literature and film. The larger project is a cooperative endeavor between Utrecht University’s Institute for Research in History and Culture (OGC) and the University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). The project is sponsored by NWO.

The project will be supervised by Professor Ed Tan (ASCoR) and Professor Frank Kessler (Utrecht University).

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