The role of psychology in evidence-based policymaking: Mapping opportunities for strategic investment in poverty reduction

Max Crowley, Lauren Supplee, Taylor Scott, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing efforts are being undertaken to understand how to improve the use of research evidence in policy settings. In particular, growing efforts to understand the use of research in legislative contexts. Although high-profile examples of psychology's contributions to public policy exist-particularly around antipoverty legislation-little systematic review has quantified how the field has informed federal policy across time. Recognizing the importance of exploring psychology's use in policymaking, we provide an overview of psychology's presence in federal antipoverty legislation over the last 2 decades by reviewing the over 6,000 antipoverty bills introduced to the U.S. Congress since 1993 for mentions of psychology. Further, to explore how psychology's contributions are related to policymakers' attributions about the causes of poverty, their public statements and voting behavior is considered. Key gaps in our scientific knowledge for informing poverty-related policy are identified. Opportunities to enhance the relevance of psychology in poverty reduction efforts, including the evidence-based policy movement, are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-697
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume74
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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