ERIC Number: ED164420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Psychologist as Policy-Maker.
Saks, Michael J.
Perhaps the most effective way to increase the utilization of behavioral science knowledge by policy-makers is for the behavioral scientist to become one. The psychologist who serves as a policy-maker becomes aware of the policy issues in addition to relevant empirical evidence. The author, a psychologist, relates his experience as a member of a policy-making group asked by the Massachusetts Legislature to develop legislation to protect the interests of children who are asked to donate organs to a dying sibling. His anticipated role as a member of the committee was to be a statistician-methodologist who could help the group critically evaluate any data presented to it. Research questions which were generated by the problem included: What is the psychological impact of donorship? and How can the moral decision-making of children be measured? It was found that some of these questions exposed gaps in basic theoretical knowledge. The author recommends that, for those who wish to bridge psychology and policy-making, the goals should be to act as broadly educated generalists instead of narrow researchers, gain experience in making decisions, get regularly involved in policy-making bodies, and build the problems encountered in this experience into applied research programs. (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Behavioral Science Research, Behavioral Sciences, Communication Problems, Communication (Thought Transfer), Higher Education, Information Needs, Needs Assessment, Policy Formation, Psychology, Public Policy, Relationship, Research, Research Problems, Research Utilization, Social Psychology
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Toronto, Ontario, 1978)