Research Topic

Psychology and Policy

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About this Research Topic

With increasing emphasis being placed on evidence-based policy globally, it is critical that clear messages be presented on how this is done from various disciplines. While the role of psychological research in policy has been long established, much of this was focused on areas such as unhealthy behaviors or ...

With increasing emphasis being placed on evidence-based policy globally, it is critical that clear messages be presented on how this is done from various disciplines. While the role of psychological research in policy has been long established, much of this was focused on areas such as unhealthy behaviors or clinical therapies in mental illness. Recent shifts in economic and political thinking have elevated psychological science to realize its potential to be at the forefront of public leadership.

Utilizing a diverse series of papers, this Research Topic is being launched as one step toward capitalizing on that position. To do so, we invite original studies, methodological approaches and full spectrum reviews of work in psychology that present clear policy implications and applications directly from the researchers.

As no single paper can provide a comprehensive, definitive answer for a given issue or policy domain, this work aims to generate discussion for building a critical mass of evidence in how research in psychology can directly support policymaking. We request all manuscripts to include a closing subsection on ‘Policy Thinking and Applications’, providing tangible applications for the work, including immediate steps and contextualization.

Key research questions:
What are the key areas where psychology can directly support effective, evidence-based policymaking?

What is the role of psychology in the following policy domains?
Education policy
Corporate & employment policy
Health policy
Economic policy
Social policy
European/multinational policy
Disaster and conflict policy

What methods maintain good scientific practice while addressing topical, urgent issues?

How can psychological research translate findings for use by policymakers?

Key methods:
Quantitative assessment in schools
Applied analyses with Big Data (multinational datasets, national health records)
eHealth and mHealth
Crowdsourced data
Assessment techniques in businesses
Translational research for application
Policy analysis
Comparative models between theory and contextual/applied (truncated or otherwise)
Corporate benchmarking
Interviews and thematic analyses


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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