ESC & Public policies

The Evolution and Social Cognition team aims to apply some of the insights gained in behavioural sciences to societal issues. We do this is several different ways.


Psychology and Public Policies, Sciences Po & the Cogmaster (starting autumn 2017)

Collaborations with economists on RCTs

Chevallier, C., with Huillery, E., Algan, Y. and Bouguen, A. The Impact of a Large-Scale Mindset Intervention on School Outcomes and Dropouts: Experimental Evidence from France. This randomized experiment tests the impact of motivation in school behaviour, outcomes and dropouts, using student level data from 97 middle schools in France. The intervention involves 12 treatments sessions aiming to develop pupils' "grit" (3 sessions per year, from grade 6 to grade 9). In total, around 25,000 students will take part in the study, half in the treatment group and half in the control group. Results expected in 2018.)

Chevallier, C. with Huillery, E. & Algan, Y. Groupements de créateurs: Mindset Change and Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment with Young Disadvantaged People. This randomized experiment tests the impact of a national program in which youths reflect on their goals and motivations to increase  autonomy and critical thinking. The results suggest that mindset approaches may indeed be a promising lever to support labor market integration.

Collaborations with non-academic institutions

Baumard, N. collaborator on the 2015 World Bank report on Behavioural Economics and public policies

Publications for general audiences

Academic publications

  • Chevallier, C. Evolutionary approaches to deprivation transform the ethics of policy making. BBS comment on target article: "The Behavioural Constellation of Deprivation: Causes and Consequences" by Gillian V. Pepper and Daniel Nettle.
  • Baumard, N. (2016) Evolutionary Psychology and Public Policy, in D. Buss (Ed.) The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Baumard, N. (2014) For public policies, our evolved psychology is the problem AND the solution (commentary to "Evolving the future: toward a science of intentional change" by Wilson, Hayes, Biglan and Embry), BBS, 37(4), p. 418.