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BPS Conservative conference event on the psychology of democracy

02 October 2019

Understanding the psychology behind politics is critical if our democracy is to remain fit for purpose, a BPS-sponsored meeting at the Conservative Party conference heard this week.

Chaired by our director of policy Kathryn Scott, ‘The psychology of democracy: a new approach to an old chessboard?’ looked at how psychology can help politicians improve the way they take decisions.

Dr Ashley Weinberg, the chair of our political psychology section, was on the panel. He was joined by the Conservative MP Richard Graham, the economist Dr Vicky Pryce and Dr Hannah White, the deputy director of the Institute of Government.

Kathryn Scott said:

“We are living in a time of unprecedented political uncertainty. There is a growing understanding that to make real change, we need to think not just about the decisions we take but how they are made, the context and the people they will impact. People are the units of policy-making, and policy-makers are people too.

This meeting is part of an important programme of work for the BPS. We are working with politicians and policy-makers to help bring the insights of psychological science into government structures, systems and processes.”

We also sponsored a meeting at the conference on the wellbeing of schoolchildren.

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