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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

Will Lawrence PhD examining the role of online information in the investment decision making process. 2013

PhD Student funded by EPSRC Web Science DTC

Will Lawrence's Photo

I chose to study in the Centre for Risk Research as their interdisciplinary team of staff and researchers fits my interests as a web scientist. My aim is to explore risk from a number of different disciplinary angles such as computer science, psychology and finance. The Centre boasts experts from all these fields, making it ideal for helping me research my interests.

I studied Psychology as an undergraduate, and having always had a strong interest in the experimental side of Psychology. As a  result, I decided to choose the topic of human decision making for my 3rd year project. This allowed me to set up experiments in which decision making could be tested under differing levels of uncertainty. I enjoyed reading about economics during my research and found it interesting to see how Psychology and Economics had different views on a problem. As a result, I came to believe in the importance of interdisciplinary research. After my Psychology degree I started a Masters course in web science. Web science attempts to understand how the web and the human world interact, and addresses this from an interdisciplinary standpoint. The problem I have addressed during my Masters course and now in my PhD is the role that online information can play in the investment decision making process. For example I am interested in the ways in which people use social media to inform investment decisions. There is some very good existing literature in this problem and over the next three years I would like to add to it.

My research is supervised by Professor Ming-Chien Sung, Professor Johnnie Johnson, Dr Tiejun Ma and the Web Science Institute (Electronic and Computer Sciences, University of Southampton).

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