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UPDATED: 08:06, August 11, 2004
Psychologists expected to participate in public policy-making
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Psychology, as a cross-subject science, should be applied to public policy-making, said experts from China, the United States, Germany, Mexico and other countries here Tuesday at the on-going International Congress of Psychology (ICP).

At an invited symposium on "the application of psychology in public policy-making," psychologists from different countries expressed the view that they themselves should be more active in public policy-making. In their prepared speeches, some dealt with application of psychology in unemployment policy, some on how to solve problems arising in an aging society, and some focus on the influence of psychology on the decision-making of government, companies and non-governmental organizations.

Michael Frese, president of the International Psychologists Association of Germany, said psychology as a scientific study on human behavior, mentality and emotions, should be taken into account when creating public policy, which is about serving peopleas well as possible.

"Psychology is useful in education, training, AIDS prevention and many other social problems," he said, adding that psychologists can take part in the policy-making through hearings,document-drafting and raising proposals.

Daniel Kahneman, the first psychologist to receive the Nobel Prize in economics, said that most countries have not paid enough attention to psychology, or even despise it. As a result much constructive advice given by psychologists is turned down or neglected.

Chinese psychological scholar Lu Changqin said now that China is in a period of fast economic growth, the major problem is how to deal with relationships between individuals and organizations. This way, psychologists could give the government much technical support.

According to Lu, the Chinese government has come to realize theimportance of psychology, and some local administrations have already invited psychologists in public policy-making.

He also said China, in comparison with developed countries, still lags behind in this field. In the United States, public policy on children and army recruitment have turned to psychological analysis.

Source: Xinhua

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