No. 40



How to Design Policies with the Help of Psychology?*

  • Andero Uusberg

    Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Psychology, University of Tartu

  • Kariina Laas

    Head, Institute of Psychology, University of Tartu

Psychology can aid policymaking in three main areas.

First, sound policies should be built upon modern and realistic models of human behaviour. Second, before resorting to more restrictive instruments, policymakers can influence citizens’ behaviour by using behaviour modification techniques validated by psychologists and recently collected under the umbrella of ‘nudging’. Third, it is often useful to assess the outcomes of a policy on the psychological level which requires surveys designed on psychometric best practices. Using the example of traffic safety intervention, we illustrate how the three steps of models, modification techniques and measuring can be combined to design evidence-based policies.

* peer-reviewed article