Psychological Research and Public Policy: Bridging the Gap


*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to John F. Dovidio, Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8205, U.S.A. [e-mail:].


Opportunities for communicating psychological findings beyond the discipline are limited and often under-rewarded. In this article, we discuss reasons why psychological research often fails to be communicated beyond the discipline, and we provide suggestions for what needs to be changed in order to bridge this gap. Specifically, we identify barriers to communicating beyond the discipline, and we note that more effectively and broadly disseminating knowledge requires a different style than conveying information within the profession. We further illustrate how psychology offers unique perspectives and information that are of considerable value to lay audiences and policy makers. We conclude by articulating the potential benefits for society and psychology of efforts and venues whose explicit intention is to understand social problems and inform policy through the psychological study of social issues.