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Policy

Using Psychology to Make Better Policy

02 March 2020

Saskia Perriard-Abdoh & Nic Murray

Politics does not happen within a vacuum.

People ultimately remain at the heart of policy-making. Understanding people, how they work, and what pressures they work under is of paramount importance if we want to ensure that our political system remains fit for purpose.

Questions of identity and connection have a tremendous impact on the way in which people react to policy, there is a clear need to understand people in order to develop better policy outcomes.

People are units of policy-making and policymakers are human too.

An understanding of policy that is underpinned by psychology opens up the possibility of new, evidence-based tools and frameworks that can lead to more effective decision-making by policy-makers.

This document will show how psychological insights can be applied to political decisionmaking at both the individual and policydevelopment level.

It will introduce the British Psychological Society’s wider programme of work on psychologically-informed policy-making.

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