Applying Behavioral Insights in Policy Analysis: Recent Trends in the United States

Maithreyi Gopalan, Maureen A. Pirog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


An understanding of human nature and of the motivations that drive human behavior have always informed public policies. The use of behavioral research in public policy analysis, which flows largely from social and cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and other behavioral sciences, came into sharp focus in the last decade. Since then, policy initiatives incorporating behavioral insights have flourished, and thousands of research articles have been published on that topic. A lot of this research has focused on how behavioral insights used by governments at all levels can improve the delivery of governmental services and improve compliance and use of government services by the public. We review recent trends in policy initiatives that specifically incorporate behavioral insights in the United States and outline a framework for further integrating behavioral insights into the various stages of policy analysis and policy design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S82-S114
JournalPolicy Studies Journal
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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