Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV): Arthur Le Pargneux
Arthur is on the Management and Business Studies Pathway at the University of Warwick, pursuing his PhD in the Behavioural Science Group at Warwick Business School. His research topic is: “The contractualist foundations of moral cognition”. From April to July 2023, he undertook an Overseas Institutional Visit to the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.
During his visit, Arthur mostly worked on two projects, each of which is expected to lead to a publication in an academic journal and a chapter in his PhD thesis. The first paper investigates the role of bargaining power and outside options on moral judgment. Data collection has been completed and the paper is ready for write up. The second paper investigates the relationship and trade-offs between moral rules (precedents set by past agreements) and moral flexibility (our capacity to renegotiate rules when doing so is mutually beneficial) within the framework of resource-rational contractualism. Data collection is on-going, with promising early results, and expected to be completed in the next few months. Activities for these two projects included idea generation, literature review, experimental design, programming experiments, server deployment, piloting and data collection, data analysis, and computational modelling. Arthur has also started to prepare application documents for funding for a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard and MIT. He presented his research in three different labs at Harvard, MIT and Boston College. He also attended a variety of events and seminars, meeting with many researchers based in Cambridge/Boston, thus greatly expanding his research network. He had several productive discussions with researchers with overlapping research interests, which he expects could lead to potential collaborations in the future.
“I cannot overstate how positive this visit has been for both my PhD research and future career plans:
- I made excellent progress on my thesis by starting two new research projects which are already at an advanced stage and are expected to lead to two publications
- I have been actively encouraged to find funding for a 3-year postdoc at Harvard and MIT to continue the work started during my thesis
- I started exciting new collaborations and greatly expanded my research network
- I had many opportunities to present my research and I received excellent feedback on past and on-going projects
- I highly benefited from working in a lab environment and discussing ideas with great researchers at different career stages (undergraduate students, summer interns, graduate students, postdocs, professors)
I can confidently say that this research visit was the highlight of my PhD journey.”
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