Psychology, Public Policy, and Law ® provides a forum to critically evaluate the contributions of psychology and related disciplines (hereinafter psychology) to public policy and legal issues, and vice versa. It is intended to appeal to law professors, legal professionals, judges, and public policy analysts, as well as psychology researchers and practitioners working at the interface of the three fields.

The journal publishes theoretical and empirical articles that

  • critically evaluate the contributions and potential contributions of psychology to public policy and legal issues;
  • assess the desirability of different public policy and legal alternatives in light of the scientific knowledge base in psychology;
  • articulate research needs that address public policy and legal issues for which there is currently insufficient theoretical and empirical knowledge;
  • present empirical work that makes a significant contribution to the application of psychological knowledge to public policy or the law; and
  • examine public policy and legal issues relating to the conduct of psychology and related disciplines (e.g., human subjects, protection policies; informed consent procedures).

Although some of these issues may be addressed in articles currently being submitted to traditional law reviews, this publication uniquely provides peer review, scientific and legal input, and editorial guidance from psychologists and lawyers. Through publication in a single forum, it will also focus attention of scholarly, public policy, and legal audiences on such work.

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law® is a registered trademark of American Psychological Association
Editorial Board


Michael E. Lamb
University of Cambridge

Editorial Board

J. Lawrence Aber
New York University

Laurence J. Alison
University of Liverpool

Karen Bogenschneider
University of Wisconsin

Judith Cashmore
University of Sydney

Elizabeth Cauffman
University of California, Irvine

Stephen J. Ceci
Cornell University

Lois Condie
Harvard Medical School

Deborah A. Connolly
Simon Fraser University

Graham M. Davies
University of Leicester

David DeMatteo
Drexel University

Shari S. Diamond
Northwestern University

Manuel Eisner
University of Cambridge

Ira Ellman
Arizona State University

Phoebe Ellsworth
University of Michigan

Francis Gardner
Oxford University

Gail S. Goodman
University of California, Davis

Thomas Grisso
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Jennifer Groscup
Scripps College

Michelle R. Guyton
Pacific University Oregon

Wendy Heath
Rider University

Kirk Heilbrun
Drexel University

Irit Hershkowitz
University of Haifa

Elizabeth L. Jeglic
John Jay College, CUNY

Margaret Bull Kovera
John Jay College, CUNY

Daniel A. Krauss
Claremont McKenna College

Scott O. Lilienfeld
Emory University

Thomas D. Lyon
University of Southern California

Christian A. Meissner
Iowa State University

Kristin A. Moore
Child Trends, Washington, DC

John E. B. Myers
Pacific University

Patrick Parkinson
University of Sydney

Margaret-Ellen Pipe
Brooklyn College

Debra Poole
Central Michigan University

Martine Powell
Deakin University, Australia

Jeffrey J. Rachlinski
Cornell Law School

Allison D. Redlich
University of New York, Albany

N. Dickon Reppucci
University of Virginia

Kim P. Roberts
Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

Randall T. Salekin
University of Alabama

Jessica M. Salerno
Arizona State University

Alissa Sherry
University of Texas, Austin

Jennifer L. Skeem
University of California, Irvine

Christopher Slobogin
Vanderbilt University

Brent Snook
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Cheryl Thomas
University College London

Thomas Tyler
Yale University

Jodi Viljoen
Simon Fraser University

Aldert Vrij
University of Portsmouth

Lois A. Weithorn
UC Hastings College of Law

Gary L. Wells
Iowa State University

Richard Wiener
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Abstracting & Indexing

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law®

  • Criminal Justice Abstracts
  • Current Contents
  • Family Index
  • Journals@Ovid
  • PsycINFO
  • PubMed
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
Manuscript Submission

Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Manuscripts that do not conform to the submission guidelines may be returned without review.


Psychology, Public Policy, and Law® is now using a software system to screen submitted content for similarity with other published content. The system compares each submitted manuscript against a database of 25+ million scholarly publications, as well as content appearing on the open web.

This allows APA to check submissions for potential overlap with material previously published in scholarly journals (e.g., lifted or republished material). A similarity report will be generated by the system and provided to the Psychology, Public Policy, and Law Editorial office for review immediately upon submission.

Submit manuscripts electronically through the Manuscript Submission Portal. Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word or Open Office format.

Manuscript Submission Portal Entrance

Michael E. Lamb
Department of Psychology
University of Cambridge
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 3RQ
United Kingdom

General correspondence should be directed to the Editor.

The journal encourages authors to write comprehensive pieces, rather than submitting smaller pieces to multiple journals.

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law encourages the submission by scholars of empirical studies, as well as theoretical, conceptual, and critical reviews dealing with psychology and with relevant information derived from related disciplines, law, and policy studies.

Masked Review Policy

This journal has adopted a policy of masked review for all submissions.

Each copy of the manuscript must include a separate title page with the authors' names and affiliations, and these should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript. Footnotes that identify the authors must be typed on a separate page.

Authors must make every effort to see that the manuscript itself contains no clues to their identities.

Please ensure that the final version for production includes a byline and full author note for typesetting.

Manuscript Preparation

Prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Manuscripts may be copyedited for bias-free language (see Chapter 3 of the Publication Manual).

Review APA's Checklist for Manuscript Submission before submitting your article.

Double-space all copy. Other formatting instructions, as well as instructions on preparing tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts, appear in the Manual.

Below are additional instructions regarding the preparation of display equations, computer code, and tables.

Display Equations

We strongly encourage you to use MathType (third-party software) or Equation Editor 3.0 (built into pre-2007 versions of Word) to construct your equations, rather than the equation support that is built into Word 2007 and Word 2010. Equations composed with the built-in Word 2007/Word 2010 equation support are converted to low-resolution graphics when they enter the production process and must be rekeyed by the typesetter, which may introduce errors.

To construct your equations with MathType or Equation Editor 3.0:

  • Go to the Text section of the Insert tab and select Object.
  • Select MathType or Equation Editor 3.0 in the drop-down menu.

If you have an equation that has already been produced using Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 and you have access to the full version of MathType 6.5 or later, you can convert this equation to MathType by clicking on MathType Insert Equation. Copy the equation from Microsoft Word and paste it into the MathType box. Verify that your equation is correct, click File, and then click Update. Your equation has now been inserted into your Word file as a MathType Equation.

Use Equation Editor 3.0 or MathType only for equations or for formulas that cannot be produced as Word text using the Times or Symbol font.

Computer Code

Because altering computer code in any way (e.g., indents, line spacing, line breaks, page breaks) during the typesetting process could alter its meaning, we treat computer code differently from the rest of your article in our production process. To that end, we request separate files for computer code.

In Online Supplemental Material
We request that runnable source code be included as supplemental material to the article. For more information, visit Supplementing Your Article With Online Material.

In the Text of the Article
If you would like to include code in the text of your published manuscript, please submit a separate file with your code exactly as you want it to appear, using Courier New font with a type size of 8 points. We will make an image of each segment of code in your article that exceeds 40 characters in length. (Shorter snippets of code that appear in text will be typeset in Courier New and run in with the rest of the text.) If an appendix contains a mix of code and explanatory text, please submit a file that contains the entire appendix, with the code keyed in 8-point Courier New.


Use Word's Insert Table function when you create tables. Using spaces or tabs in your table will create problems when the table is typeset and may result in errors.

Submitting Supplemental Materials

APA can place supplemental materials online, available via the published article in the PsycARTICLES® database. Please see Supplementing Your Article With Online Material for more details.

Abstract and Keywords

All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page. After the abstract, please supply up to five keywords or brief phrases.


List references in alphabetical order. Each listed reference should be cited in text, and each text citation should be listed in the References section.

Examples of basic reference formats:

  • Journal Article:
    Hughes, G., Desantis, A., & Waszak, F. (2013). Mechanisms of intentional binding and sensory attenuation: The role of temporal prediction, temporal control, identity prediction, and motor prediction. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 133–151.
  • Authored Book:
    Rogers, T. T., & McClelland, J. L. (2004). Semantic cognition: A parallel distributed processing approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Chapter in an Edited Book:
    Gill, M. J., & Sypher, B. D. (2009). Workplace incivility and organizational trust. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B. D. Sypher (Eds.), Destructive organizational communication: Processes, consequences, and constructive ways of organizing (pp. 53–73). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.


Graphics files are welcome if supplied as Tiff or EPS files. Multipanel figures (i.e., figures with parts labeled a, b, c, d, etc.) should be assembled into one file.

The minimum line weight for line art is 0.5 point for optimal printing.

For more information about acceptable resolutions, fonts, sizing, and other figure issues, please see the general guidelines.

When possible, please place symbol legends below the figure instead of to the side.

APA offers authors the option to publish their figures online in color without the costs associated with print publication of color figures.

The same caption will appear on both the online (color) and print (black and white) versions. To ensure that the figure can be understood in both formats, authors should add alternative wording (e.g., "the red (dark gray) bars represent") as needed.

For authors who prefer their figures to be published in color both in print and online, original color figures can be printed in color at the editor's and publisher's discretion provided the author agrees to pay:

  • $900 for one figure
  • An additional $600 for the second figure
  • An additional $450 for each subsequent figure


Authors of accepted papers must obtain and provide to the editor on final acceptance all necessary permissions to reproduce in print and electronic form any copyrighted work, including test materials (or portions thereof), photographs, and other graphic images (including those used as stimuli in experiments).

On advice of counsel, APA may decline to publish any image whose copyright status is unknown.

Publication Policies

APA policy prohibits an author from submitting the same manuscript for concurrent consideration by two or more publications.

See also APA Journals® Internet Posting Guidelines.

APA requires authors to reveal any possible conflict of interest in the conduct and reporting of research (e.g., financial interests in a test or procedure, funding by pharmaceutical companies for drug research).

Authors of accepted manuscripts are required to transfer the copyright to APA.

Ethical Principles

It is a violation of APA Ethical Principles to publish "as original data, data that have been previously published" (Standard 8.13).

In addition, APA Ethical Principles specify that "after research results are published, psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis and who intend to use such data only for that purpose, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and unless legal rights concerning proprietary data preclude their release" (Standard 8.14).

APA expects authors to adhere to these standards. Specifically, APA expects authors to have their data available throughout the editorial review process and for at least 5 years after the date of publication.

Authors are required to state in writing that they have complied with APA ethical standards in the treatment of their sample, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment.

The APA Ethics Office provides the full Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct electronically on its website in HTML, PDF, and Word format. You may also request a copy by emailing or calling the APA Ethics Office (202-336-5930). You may also read "Ethical Principles," December 1992, American Psychologist, Vol. 47, pp. 1597–1611.

Other Information

Special Issues
  • Mental Health Courts

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 11, No. 4, December 2005. The articles discuss issues in mental health courts, defining the concept, describing the reasons for its inception, and noting the controversies it has provoked.

  • Capital Punishment in the United States

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Vol. 10, No. 4, December 2004. Includes articles about Supreme Court decisions; the accused's competence to assist and consult in capital cases; attitudes toward the death penalty; dangerousness and risk assessment; the influence of victim impact statements; and jury discretion.

  • Pragmatic Psychology and the Law (Part II)

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 10, No. 1/2, March/June 2004. Includes articles about termination of parental rights in light of attachment theory; forensic mental health assessment; offender profiling; the defense of extreme emotional disturbance; the Vermont Defendant Accommodation Project; and infant mental health interventions in juvenile court.

  • Pragmatic Psychology and the Law (Part I)

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 9, No. 3/4, September/December 2003. Includes articles about pragmatic forensic psychology; expert testimony from mental health professionals; forensics and the institutional epistemology of the courts; psycholegal problems in the criminal justice system; transfer of juveniles to adult court; and competency to stand trial.

  • Preventive Outpatient Commitment for Persons With Serious Mental Illness

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and the Law, Vol. 9, No. 1/2, March/June 2003. As revealed by the dialogue and debate in the articles contained in this volume, outpatient commitment is a controversial and multifaceted issue.

  • The Other-Race Effect and Contemporary Criminal Justice

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2001. Articles discuss racial categorization of faces; own-race bias; face recognition; postdictors of eyewitness errors; cross-race effect; White juror bias; cross-racial identification testimony; and cross-racial false alarms in contemporary criminal justice.

  • The Jury Instruction Process

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 6, No. 3, September 2000. Includes articles about jury instructions and the impact on corrections of juror judgments; the influence of personality on reactions to judicial instructions; understanding the limits of limiting instructions:pretrial publicity and inadmissible evidence; general damages in personal injury cases; precision and flexibility in explaining "beyond a reasonable doubt"; and juror comprehension and public policy.

  • Hastened Death

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2000. The issue focuses on the implementation and implications of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

  • Ranking Ourselves

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 6, No. 1, March 2000. Includes articles about intelligence testing, affirmative action, and educational policy; use of standardized tests in college admissions; conceptual foundations of IQ testing; predicting later labor market outcomes; the dilemma of group differences; bias in mental testing; IQ and special education; curriculum-based external exit exam systems; and use of general intelligence measures for employment screening.

  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Preventive Law

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 5, No. 4, December 1999. Articles discuss therapeutic jurisprudence and preventive law in terms of creative problem solving; professional responsibility; the law–business paradigm debate; child welfare proceedings; collaborative law in divorce proceedings; relapse prevention planning principles; plea bargaining and sentencing; alternative dispute resolution; mediation; and emotional intelligence and legal education.

  • Sexual Harassment

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 1999. Includes articles about the reasonable victim standard in hostile workplace sexual harassment cases; utility of the reasonable woman legal standard in hostile environment sexual harassment cases; sexual harassment of men; gender stereotyping in sex discrimination; arbitration and mediation; the abuse defense in sexual harassment litigation; and cross-cultural exploration of factors affecting reactions to sexual harassment.

  • Hearsay Testimony in Trials Involving Child Witnesses

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 5, No. 2, June 1999. Includes articles about innovations for child witnesses; perspectives from the United Kingdom; child hearsay statutes; child witnesses in the Canadian criminal courts; reliability of hearsay testimony; effects of suggestion; jurors' perceptions; effect of witness age; conviction rates; and hearing and believing hearsay.

  • Daubert's Meanings for the Admissibility of Behavioral and Social Science Evidence

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 1999. Includes articles about the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1993 decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on admissability of evidence in disability; mental capacity; business litigation; expert testimony; criminal trials; and polygraph tests.

  • Final Report of the APA Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 4, No. 4, December 1998. The report presented includes substantive reviews of the applicable literature on childhood abuse and trauma and memory as well as clear recommendations for future research and training.

  • Sex Offenders

    Special issue of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Vol. 4, No. 1/2, March/June 1998. The articles analyze sex offender law in its historical context, the science of sex offenders (including risk assessment, treatment, and prevention), legal theory relating to sex offender law, evidentiary and remedial issues, and policy issues.