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From research to policy and practice: Perspectives from the UK and the US on psychologists as agents of change

Dunsmuir, S; Kratochwill, TR; (2013) From research to policy and practice: Perspectives from the UK and the US on psychologists as agents of change. Educational and Child Psychology , 30 (3) pp. 60-71.

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Abstract

This paper considers the development of professional psychology in education over the past 100 years and reviews how changes to the social, economic, and legal backdrop have influenced the development of knowledge and practice in the UK and the US. Parallels with the professional issues that confronted Cyril Burt a century ago are drawn throughout. First, we review factors that affect the direction of social policy and reflect on the extent to which political decision making is informed by research. Next, the demand for evidence-based practice is considered and relationships between policy makers, researchers, and practitioners explored. The challenge for psychologists of navigating and interpreting the burgeoning evidence-base has led to the development of systems to establish consensus about quality standards for conducting critical reviews of the research literature. To understand and interpret the evidence in relation to assessment, intervention, and evaluation, psychologists need to engage with research agendas and ensure their knowledge and skills retain currency and relevance - such issues are explored in relation to training and professional development. Psychologists, past and present have sought to disseminate and translate key research for practitioners, adopting the role of knowledge transfer and change agents. However, real-life settings often vary from the controlled contexts in which experimental research is conducted and this can reduce effect sizes of interventions. There follows consideration of factors that influence the transportability of interventions to everyday contexts and the competences required by contemporary psychologists to bridge the gap between research, policy, and practice. © The British Psychological Society, 2013.

Type: Article
Title: From research to policy and practice: Perspectives from the UK and the US on psychologists as agents of change
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1411179
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