Translate research by psychologists and other social and behavioral scientists into policy, and you could help solve such seemingly intractable problems as
excess energy consumption and children’s diarrhea deaths, says
psychologist Maya Shankar, PhD, senior advisor to the deputy
director at the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy and leader of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Initiative.
“Research in the social and behavioral sciences can help
us to design policies that are more effective, less costly and
better for citizens,” Shankar told diplomats, nongovernmental
organization representatives, students and others at the seventh
annual Psychology Day at the United Nations.
That message was central to the event, held April 24 at U.N.
headquarters in New York. The many psychology organizations
accredited to the U.N., including APA, cosponsored the event
under the patronage of the ambassador to the U.N. from El
Salvador, with support from the International Association of
Applied Psychology, APA’s Div. 9 (Society for the Psychological
Study of Social Issues), APA’s Div. 14 (Society for Industrial
and Organizational Psychology), the International Union
of Psychological Science and a variety of other local and
“This is an opportunity to learn how psychologists contribute
to the United Nations, share ideas, exchange dialogue and
establish partnerships on global issues,” said co-chair Lori Foster
Thompson, PhD, a North Carolina State University psychology
professor who represents Div. 14 at the U.N.
BY REBECCA A. CLAY
At a meeting at the United
explain how the discipline
can contribute to