Recently, we are facing, worldwide, an increasing interest in applying findings of
the behavioural sciences (mainly cognitive psychology and behavioural economics) to
policymaking. This phenomenon has been sometimes called ‘the behavioural turn’ in
policy. Behavioural approaches are drawn upon in a variety of policy fields such as
health and environmental policy, consumer protection law, as well as, for instance,
in policies that tackle poverty. The behavioural turn gained momentum around ten years
ago after the publication of the book ‘Nudge’ by Thaler & Sunstein. Application of
behavioural research to policy has polarized scholars into fierce critics and devoted
enthusiasts. All participants in the debate take at face value the image of the behavioural
sciences that the advocates of the behavioural policy subscribe to. This image is
mistaken, however. Building upon the scholarship in the history of the behavioural
sciences (especially during the Cold War period in the US), as well as on insights
from the philosophy of science (especially work of Helen Longino), Malecka will show
that behavioural research has been misconceived in policy settings, as well as in
academic discussions accompanying the behavioural turn. She then preliminarily suggests
how a more philosophically sophisticated view on the behavioural sciences could be
conceptualized. She asks whether such a nuanced view on behavioural science poses
a serious challenge for the behavioural turn, as it is recently understood and advocated.
People in SocSci
Faculty & Lecturers
- Outreach & Diversity
- Global Connect
- Ambassador's Council
- Diversity, Inclusion & Racial Healing High School Ambassador Program
- Deconstructing Diversity Initiative
- Olive Tree Initiative
Alumni & Community Organizations
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Resources
- Join us!
We’re seeking your support as we push the limits in neuroscience, population science and emerging conflict research, because solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges lie in our ability to break the mold, to be boundaryless. Learn how you can support and join us in our pursuit.
- Join us!
- News & Events
Be in the know