Evidence-based policy is being encouraged in all areas of public service (Black 2001). Unprecedented federal legislation reflects a faith in science “as a force for improved public policy” (Feuer et al. 2002). The objective of evidence-based policy is to use scientific research to drive decision making. Thus, the link between social science research and public policy seems to be a natural one. The purpose of this chapter is to address how psychological science in general, and clinical psychology in particular, can be of use to public policy makers. We discuss how psychological science can be relevant and applicable to informing policy, and we describe the role clinical scientists might play in generating, disseminating, and implementing that information. We also note distinct limitations on the usefulness of psychological research in driving public policy. We discuss some pitfalls and recommend areas where clinical psychology might best serve public policy.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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