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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Crystal C Hall
PB AF 514
Seattle Campus

Psychology for Policy Analysis

Examines basic concepts in social psychology, judgment and decision making, and behavioral economics. Explores how these concepts can be applied to the design, implementation, and evaluation of successful policy.

Class description

The content of this course will stem from basic concepts in social psychology, judgment and decision making, and behavioral economics. The course will explore how these concepts can be applied to the design, implementation and evaluation of successful policy.

Basic themes will include: Bounded rationality of decision making and judgment The power of the situation in social judgment Forces that influence attitude and behavior change Intergroup relations Risk perception and communication

Student learning goals

Through lecture, discussion and written assignments, we will explore the relevance and significance of these topics for policy issues. Students will discuss these issues in a series of short memos, each on a specific policy area.

The course will provide students with an additional set of tools for approaching policy issues. In addition, students will gain further experience in the consumption and analysis of scientific research. Those well versed in the literature of psychology will be challenged to describe effective practical applications for these concepts.

General method of instruction

Seminar format, with some lecturing and brief student presentations.

Recommended preparation

Because the material for the course will be drawn from basic psychological research, a familiarity with quantitative methods is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Class assignments and grading

The requirements for this class will be class participation based on weekly reading assignments, a series of short memos (less than 3 pages), and one final paper (about 15 pages).

Grades will be based on written assignments and class participation. Emphasis will be placed on creative, novel application of theoretical principles to real-world policy issues.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Crystal C Hall
Date: 12/21/2009