Open PhD-position: Psychological and Social Mechanisms Underlying the Diffusion of AI in Society

Social and ethical impact of any technology presupposes its diffusion. The overall aim of this PhD project is therefore to contribute to the development of a methodological framework for predicting the diffusion of consumer AI in different demographics within the coming decade. The aim of the framework is to identify the features that affect the spread of applications so that clear hypotheses can be made about what applications are likely to spread fast or slow. It will also be built so that it can be improved over time as more detailed information becomes available about the actual spread of AI applications. A key part of understanding technological diffusion is understanding the psychological factors behind consumers’ decisions to buy, use and recommend particular products. Investigating which these factors are in the domain of AI will be a key part of this PhD project.

The PhD position is a collaboration between the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University and the Institute for Futures Studies. The candidate offered a position will be accepted to the PhD program at the Department of Psychology, but will also be an integrated part of a research team at the Institute for Futures Studies located in central Stockholm. To read more about this research please have a look at, the team’s blog about the social impact of AI.

When you apply you should write a project plan that fits with the topic described here. For example, your plan may include research hypotheses, suggested experiments and/or surveys that will help us investigate the psychological processes that govern the adoption and spread of consumer AI in society. No previous experience of AI research is necessary.

For further information regarding the project Psychological and Social Mechanisms Underlying the Diffusion of AI in Society, please contact Emma Engström,, Pontus Strimling,, or Per Carlbring.

Closing date
1 April 2020. Apply here: