Founded in 1936, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues is a group of over 3,000 scientists from psychology and related fields and others who share a common interest in research on the psychological aspects of important social and policy issues. In various ways, SPSSI seeks to bring theory and practice into focus on human problems of the group, the community, and nations, as well as the increasingly important problems that have no national boundaries.
Social psychologist Kurt Lewin once said, “Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.” In keeping with that guiding principle, SPSSI focuses on using sound science to create sound policy.
How do we encourage public education and social activism?
We began, in 1936, with a special emphasis on the three P’s: peace, prejudice, poverty. Today, our members’ research covers the full range of social issues impacting our world, both domestically and internationally. SPSSI members share an intense desire to engage in socially relevant science and to communicate their findings to policy makers in order to ensure that solutions to the major problems of the day are informed by rigorous empirical science.
As Sound Science/Sound Policy suggests, ideology takes a backseat in the development of public policy recommendations as SPSSI members draw conclusions based on the empirical data drawn from the social science research of its members. This allows SPSSI to work with policy makers across the political spectrum and persuade others to join the cause based on where the research leads them.
Our members participate in regular educational seminars on Capitol Hill sharing their expertise and answering questions from legislators and their staff members on issues as far reaching as climate change, implicit bias, domestic terrorism, health disparities, LGBT rights, and criminal justice reform. As an NGO recognized by and participating in activities of the United Nations, we strive to bring science to the policy-making table in its diverse forums.
We sponsor public policy fellowships and internships in the US Congress, where early career scholars can contribute first-hand in the policy process, bringing their scientific research and expertise to bear in areas where it is most needed.
We rely on our members to take the lead in creating content for our social media and blog posts, and we encourage social issuerelated research through a program of competitive research grants.
SPSSI is proud to be a partner in the March for Science, and to support the ideals for which it is being mounted.