Behavioral Insights for COVID-19


Flash Spotlight Behavioral Insights pieces solicited for Behavioral Science & Policy; Deadline 15 Apr 2020

Author: Craig Fox

BSP Flash Spotlight: Behavioral Insights for COVID-19 and other Pandemics

Deadline: Abstracts and manuscripts will be reviewed as they come in, but abstracts should be submitted no later than April 15. Accepted papers will be released as quickly as possible to facilitate real-time availability to decision makers.

Behavioral Science & Policy (BSP) has received a great deal of interest in the past week from authors with potential articles applying behavioral science insights to addressing the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis. In response, we plan to publish a flash spotlight issue to make available scientifically grounded proposals for public and private sector policy makers, as well as short empirical papers that speak to the current crisis and pandemic response more generally. Research on COVID-19 directly, as well as papers that draw on related research and apply it to the current situation are welcome.

We encourage the submission of short manuscripts (up to 2,000 words, but shorter papers are encouraged) for rapid processing and dissemination. Abstracts can be submitted for review and guidance, or full manuscripts will also be reviewed.

We are interested in a wide range of topics that highlight how behavioral insights can help decision makers both navigate the challenging present crisis as well as chart a way forward. Examples of topics that may fit this Spotlight include, but are not limited to:

  • Quarantine adherence
  • Hand washing and other good hygiene habits
  • Public messaging and communication strategies
  • Organizational strategies for leading through crisis
  • Rebuilding trust in institutions and/or health messengers
  • Addressing specific challenges such as employee anxiety, availability of testing and protective equipment

Guest Editors for this Spotlight Issue are: Gretchen Chapman (CMU), Thomas D’Aunno (NYU), Jason Doctor (USC), George Loewenstein (CMU), and Peter Ubel (Duke).

Manuscripts will be processed using a streamlined peer review, professionally edited and rapidly disseminated online. Articles will eventually be compiled into a spotlight issue of Behavioral Science & Policy.

Please submit an abstract (or full manuscript) of your proposed article to the Guest Editors to All submissions will be reviewed as quickly as possible. Promising abstracts will be invited to submit a full manuscript, which will also be handled as quickly as possible.

Behavioral Science & Policy (BSP) is an international peer-reviewed journal published by the Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA) in partnership with the Brookings Institution. Behavioral Science & Policy features short, accessible articles describing actionable advice for policy makers and practitioners that is firmly grounded in the empirical scientific study of individual, group, and organizational behavior. Submissions undergo review by both discipline-focused editors to assess scientific rigor and policy-focused editors to assess practicality. Articles recommended for publication receive feedback from professional writing editors to enhance their appeal to a broad audience of behavioral scientists, policy makers, practitioners, and educated lay readers. Published articles are available online, and are promoted via BSPA’s highly subscribed Weekly Roundup, the Behavioral Scientist (our partner blog), and through ad hoc media placements. Behavioral Scientist is also a source for links to editorials in major newspapers and behavioral insights concerning COVID-19.