Accueil > Public Policy - Psychology and Public Policy

KAFP 3670 - Public Policy: psychology and public policy

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No prerequisite.

Course Description

It isn't enough to have the right policy idea: public policies can be well-intended yet fail because they are not received as planned by the public. Governments around the world are thus applying behavioural sciences to improve policy-making by relying on a more realistic model of human behaviour (e.g., Obama's Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, the Behavioural Insight's Team in Downing Street, the EU Policy Lab, etc.). The goal of the class is to introduce basic theories and experimental findings in psychology to foster more innovative policy-making and to improve citizens' well-being. Each class will provide opportunities to identify obstacles created by people's natural biases and to select the right levers to counter these biases. This psychological toolbox will then be put to use to solve concrete public action issues and to potentiate the efficacy of traditional policy levers (regulations, incentives, and information).


  • CHEVALLIER, Coralie (Chargée de recherche INSERM)
  • SAFRA, Lou (Teaching assistant Sciences Po, Chercheur contracteur ENS)

Pedagogical format

This class will be highly interactive. Students will be asked to read material before each class and to post their comments on the course moodle. The instructor will then review these comments and prepare slides to respond to the students' questions. During the lecture, students will have more opportunities to engage with the content of the course by responding to polls, by asking questions online and by debating among themselves. Group discussions will be encouraged whenever possible. The output of the mid-term exam and of the final exam will be shared online so that all students can benefit from their peers' work.

Course validation

20% comments posted online before each class on the required reading 30% mid-term (3 hours) 50% exam-paper


Students are expected to read the required reading and post their comments online before each class. Each reading will be about 15 pages long (i.e. book chapter, policy report, or short scientific paper). The slides of each lecture will be made available.

Required reading

One 15-page reading per class (i.e. book chapter or short scientific article)