Loading Events
Stauffer Colloquium Series featuring David Yokum, “Behavioral Science in Public Policy”

Since 2002, the John Stauffer Charitable Trust has sponsored a series of informative talks on current research in applied psychology for students, faculty, and the general community. The Division of Behavioral & Organizational Science’s next Stauffer Colloquium for Cognitive Psychology will be a presentation by David Yokum, JD, PhD from Brown University entitled “Behavioral Science in Public Policy.”

Join us in person on Friday, December 2 at 12:00 pm PT in Albrecht Auditorium. Professor Brown’s one-hour talk will be followed by a Q&A session. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Synopsis: There is currently a unique attempt, emerging from within government itself, to integrate the insights and experimental methods from the psychological sciences directly into day-to-day governance. This talk will first provide a quick overview of efforts at the federal and state levels, and then we’ll dive into methods and results from two illustrative projects. The first project involves large-scale field experiments evaluating low-cost, rapid “nudge” interventions aiming to increase influenza and Covid-19 vaccinations. The second project involves another large scale field experiment, but of a much more complicated and expensive intervention, namely, the introduction of a nurse-led triage protocol into Washington, DC’s 911 call system. Together the projects showcase a variety of psychological concepts as well as how to practically design and deploy rigorous methods that inform public policy.

About the Speaker: David Yokum, JD, PhD is Director of The Policy Lab at Brown University and North Carolina’s Chief Scientist in the Office of State Budget & Management. He was previously the founding director of The Lab @ DC in the D.C. Mayor’s Office and, before that, a founding member of the White House’s Social & Behavioral Sciences Team and inaugural director of the U.S. Office of Evaluation Sciences. David’s work—from the world’s largest field experiment of a police body-worn camera program, to building algorithms that predict the location of rats, to a Form-a-Palooza initiative systematically re-designing all government forms—has been published in diverse outlets (e.g. Nature, PNAS, Health Affairs), received widespread media coverage (front-page New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, etc.), and impacted individuals and communities across the country. Over 100 field experiments have now been completed under The Policy Lab, The Lab @ DC, and the Office of Evaluation Sciences.