DIVISION NEWS

Applying psychology to public health issues

This symposium includes illustrations of the usefulness of psychology integrating basic biology, individual perceptual processes, ethical decision-making, and socio-cultural context
Carol Nemeroff, Lisa Rubin, Leonore Tiefer, Nancy Russo, and Linda Bartoshuk celebrate the symposium "Unconventional Applications of Psychology to Public Health: Palatable and Unpalatable Perceptions", which was designed to demonstrate the remarkable diversity of psychological applications to public health. From psychophysics and horticulture to wastewater treatment plants, from the medical clinic to the deconstruction of diagnoses, the symposium participants are using their talents to solve public health problems in ways that might not immediately come to mind.

Psychologists interested in informing policy-makers about the usefulness of the discipline have to be creative in communicating the many different ways in which psychology is useful and the many different levels of analysis and applications that are possible. This symposium provided exemplars of psychology applied to diverse problems, integrating basic biology, individual perceptual processes, ethical decision-making, and socio-cultural context. Watch for the policy section of the division website for more information about these and other illustrations of the usefulness of psychology.