Psychology of Public Policy

The study of human behavior does not stop at the end of a questionnaire. It is found in the incentives to sign up for healthcare; the educational, long-term benefits of Head Start; and regulations over discrimination due to facial recognition technology.  In this course, we will examine major public policy issues in the context of psychological research and advocacy. Drawing from a diverse body of research – from psychology, sociology, policy, legal scholarship, and more, we will try and grapple with two main questions: (1) Where does psychology fit into ‘the real world’, and (2) How can we inform both policymakers and the public about scientific findings? By the end of the course, you will be able to critically analyze existing policy and gain expertise in a specific policy, bringing a recommendation for new policy in an area that matters to you.