Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Social psychology finding role in government

with one comment

Vaughan at Mind Hacks notes that social psychology is actually being used in public planning:

The Times has a brief article noting the growing influence of social psychology in government thinking and economic policy, mirroring the popular interest in a slew of new books on behavioural economics.

It’s interesting that the article lists various ways in those close to the British political establishment are increasingly bringing ideas drawn from empirical social sciences in their thinking, mirroring the murmurings about the Obama team’s interest in behavioural economics.

And, as we’ve noted here, there’s now an increasing interest, causing an ongoing controversy, about the use of social scientists in the occupying military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We hear a great deal about interest and initiatives in these areas, but very little about outcome studies (although its possible that the military keep theirs secret) so I wonder whether the success of these approaches will depend on the maturity of the science in terms of how well it actually predicts changes in the real world.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 July 2008 at 10:33 am

One Response

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  1. “Twenty years later the remark seems charmingly naive.” I hope we don’t look back on this embrace the way we do on other “enlightening” sciences like phrenology or, God forbid, the way we look back on Crocs (please tell me we’re at the point where we’re collectively embarrassed by Crocs).


    16 February 2010 at 10:11 am

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