ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (12): 2249-2259.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.02249

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From rational man to behavioral man: The behavioral turn of public policy

LÜ Xiaokang1, WU Di1, SUI Xiaoyang1, WANG Xinjian1, CHENG Jieting2()   

  1. 1. Department of Social Psychology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300350, China
    2. Department of Social Work, Shandong University at Weihai, Weihai 264209, China
  • Received:2017-11-13 Online:2018-12-15 Published:2018-10-30
  • Contact: Jieting CHENG


With the criticism by behavioral economics on the rational man assumption and the accumulation of empirical evidences in the field of judgement and decision making, public policy researchers increasingly paying closer attention to the exploration of psychological and behavioral mechanism of human being in real life. These studies tend to use psychological measures, such as satisfaction and trust indicators that embody public interests and subjective feelings, to assess the performance of public policy. Besides, relevant psychological effects and technologies are employed to improve quality and efficiency of public administration and foster social fairness and justice. It is recommended that studies of public policy in China should learn the experience of two matured organizations, which are Behavioral Insights Team in UK and Social and Behavioral Sciences Team in US, clarify the connotations of this discipline, establish think tanks, and conduct researches based on China’s actual conditions.

Key words: rational man, behavioral man, behavioral science, behavioral public policy

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