A “Council of Psychological Advisors to the President” ?

[A couple of months ago I interviewed for a Fellow position with the SBST — the U.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.  (You know, like the UK’s Behavioral Insights Team, a/k/a “The Nudge Unit”.)  It was a dream job but a nightmare interview.  So, I ditched the dream and decided to go back to an idea we had at Perspectives on Psychological Science a couple of years ago — let’s publish memos to President Obama about using psychological science to inform public policy.  Instructions for submission below.]


The Council of Economic Advisers to the President of the United States is “charged with offering theecon President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy” and “bases its recommendations and analysis on economic research and empirical evidence, using the best data available to support the President in setting our nation’s economic policy.”

Imagine serving on a new “Council of Psychological Advisers” on which you had the chance to send memos to the President offering insights from the best research in psychological science to help solve specific, pressing problems facing society.

Perspectives on Psychological Science is planning a special series of memos by the Council of Psychological Advisers to the President. This is an open call inviting authors to pair a societal problem with a psychological “solution” to make a succinct point about how psychological science can inform policy.

Examples might include (but are not limited to):
— Climate change and affective forecasting
— Inequality and status/hierarchy
— Obesity and self-control
— Water conservation and intertemporal choice

To submit a proposal for consideration for this special series, submit an abstract (250 words maximum) that outlines the central thesis and arguments by September 26, 2014.

Submissions can be made through the journal’s standard web portal entrance (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/pps). Please indicate that the submission is for the “Council of Psychological Advisers” series.

We will select approximately 10 abstracts and invite these authors to submit a full piece. The final pieces will be brief (1000-1500 words maximum) and can even use bullet points. (Think of these as actual brief memos – the goal is to make them short, punchy, and accessible.)

Abstracts are due by September 26, 2014, and you will be notified approximately two weeks later if you are invited for a full submission. The completed piece will be due by December 1, 2014. (Note that this is a hard deadline because all memos will be published in the same issue.)

A few tips to keep in mind: the memos should be based on reliable, established findings, be written from a nonpartisan view, and be pitched for a broad audience of both academics and policymakers (not colleagues in your subfield).

Please direct questions to Bethany Teachman (bat5x@virginia.edu) and Michael Norton (mnorton@hbs.edu), co-editors of the series.

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Bethany Teachman, Associate Editor
Michael Norton, Guest Editor
Barbara Spellman, Editor
Perspectives on Psychological Science

This entry was posted in Psychology and Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A “Council of Psychological Advisors to the President” ?

  1. Pingback: A Council of Psychological Advisors | Character and Context

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