In a recent letter to Secretary Xavier Becerra, head of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), APS executive director Robert Gropp urged Secretary Becerra to direct all units of HHS to review whether they are appropriately working with psychological scientists and deploying the insights gained from the empirical research conducted by psychological scientists to improve the effectiveness of their programs and interventions.
In the June 22, 2021, letter, the Association for Psychological Science (APS) commended the department for its commitment to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing the vaccine is part of the broader public health response that must include insights from behavioral science.
APS further highlighted how psychological science provides information that is key to achieving the goals of nearly all HHS programs, such as an understanding of how we perceive the world around us, learn, and make decisions; how we judge risk; how our behavior and brains change with age; how we interact with others in social or employment settings; how we use artificial intelligence and robots; and how our biology and behavior intersect to shape our responses to environmental factors. Ensuring that psychological scientists are included in the broader work of HHS is key to advancing public health.
APS continues to work actively to promote the inclusion of psychological scientists in public policy decision-making roles from local communities to national governments and international organizations.