Social Psychology, Social Issues, and Social Policy: What Have We Learned?


Victoria M Esses, Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2 [e-mail:].


In this reflection on our term as coeditors of Social Issues and Policy Review (SIPR), we consider what we have learned from our work on the journal and what challenges lie ahead. We suggest that SIPR has been successful as a platform for work demonstrating the relevance of psychological research to issues of concern to policy makers and to the general public. It has been less effective, however, in its goal of stimulating more scholars in the discipline to engage in socially relevant research. We suggest that the current reward system within our discipline is not conducive to research that addresses broad societal issues, and that the emphasis on internal validity has limited the focus of our work. We call on psychologists to bridge micro and macro levels of analysis and to take their rightful place among those making a difference in the world.