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Introcluction The behavioral and social sciences strive to understand the conduct of human beings and animals, singly and in groups, from the moments of their birth to the moments of their death. The subject matter of these sciences ranges from global commerce and conflict to the neurochemical substrates of memory and motivation. The interests of research carry from the origins of species to fore- casts of political, economic, and technological behavior and events. Psycho- logical, social, and cultural studies pertain to virtually everything that people treat as a problem in our civilizationviolence, theft, pollution, and illness- and nearly everything hailed as a triumphjustice, plenitude, artistry, and freedom. Even in events that are nominally quite technical in character, such as the eradication of polio or the explosion of the space shuttle, human factors, behavioral and organizational, play a large role. The proximate goal of the behavioral and social sciences is to discover, describe, and explain behavioral and social phenomena in accord with the canons of scientific logic and method. As in all sciences, curiosity and imagi- nation, the desire to understand events and the capacity to create ideas, strongly motivate research on behavior and society. Motivation also comes from de- mands for practical knowledge that can shape and improve behavior and ad- vance social purposes, demands fueled by past achievements and encouraged by promises of future returns. Modern life has been and continues to be pro- foundly transformedmore than is commonly realized by such widely dif- fused innovations as standardized tests, probability sampling methods, longi- 1

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2 / The Behavioral and Social Sciences tudinal survey techniques, and industrial quality-control methods. It has also been profoundly changed by an understanding of visual and auditory percep- tion, the aging process, the roles of families and schools in the development of cognitive skills, the causes of gender and racial differences, the dynamics of inflation, and the nature of poverty and dependency. The harvest of the behavioral and social sciences has been rich at the same time that the modes of cultivation have undergone far-reaching shifts. Before the 1960s, research in these sciences was largely a project of universities and private foundations. A major but temporary addition to this partnership was the national mobilization of behavioral and social researchers from 1942 to 1945 to help manage the wartime economy, train and assign millions of soldiers and sailors, analyze and outwit the enemy, and, finally, devise plans for peace- time demobilization and reconstruction. This highly successful effort was not extended in the immediate post-war period. With some exceptions (for ex- ample, the Council of Economic Advisers, RAND, and certain programs of the Office of Naval Research), the professors returned to their chairs, and federal research support focused largely on the physical and life sciences. In the late l9S0s and early 1960s, a major change occurred: the federal government significantly expanded and private foundations dramatically re- duced support for basic and applied research, including advanced training, in the behavioral and social sciences. The federal government became a direct producer of such research as well as the dominant patron for research in universities and colleges, free-standing research institutes, and a variety of contractors specializing in program evaluation. In the past 15 years, the federal role has diminished in many respects and no other sector has compensated. This change is perhaps best represented in the shrinkage of federal support. Between fiscal 1972 and fiscal 1987, federal support for behavioral and social sciences research decreased by about 25 percent in constant dollars; during the same period, constant-dollar federal support for other fields of scientific research increased by about 36 percent. Of the total federal budget for research, the percentage for behavioral and social sciences declined from 8.0 percent in 1972 to 4.6 percent in 1987; in constant (1987) dollars, from $1.03 billion to $0.78 billion. The United States has been in the forefront of virtually every behavioral and social sciences field since the 1960s. But if the funding trends of recent years persist, many of these leading roles are likely to be taken by other countries in the 1990s. Cross-national statistics suggest that Japan and, to a lesser extent, some European countries now spend substantially larger proportions of their national resources on behavioral and social sciences research than does the United States. In the light of past contributions, but even more so in the light of present opportunities for scientific advances with their concomitant yield of practical benefits, it is time for a new national commitment to the behavioral and social sciences in the United States.

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Introduction / 3 Although the federal government is the major source of support for behav- ioral and social sciences research, that support is quite decentralized. It comes from many different departments arid agencies, which have divergent interests and missions as well as different methods of funding: for example, grants from research agencies, such as the National Institute of Mental Health, and contracts from operational agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Indoor. This decen- tralization has some benefits: for example, it corresponds to the great diversity of research interests across the behavioral and social sciences. But it also ac- counts in part for the lack of consideration of research support as a whole, marked fluctuations in levels of support, and resistance to planning or sustain- ing a general strategy to keep the behavioral and social sciences strong. Just as research support in the federal government is divided among many, diverse agencies, researchers themselves inhabit a decentralized realm. The behavioral and social sciences consist of distinct disciplines that typically con- stitute separate departments in colleges and universities as well as separate associations of professionals and scientists. The original core of disciplines, which emerged in the late nineteenth century, included anthropology, eco- nomics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Their number has since grown. Linguistics and geography have been added to the original core. History is now to a large degree a social science, from the standpoint of both subject matter and methods of investigation and explanation. The same can be said of much research in business, education, law, and psychiatry. More specialized, newer fields, such as artificial intelligence, child development, cognitive sci- ence, communications, demography, and management and decision science, involve one or more of the classic behavioral and social sciences. Mathematics, computer science, and, especially, statistics find many applications and con- nections to research conducted by behavioral and social scientists.* In sum- mary, the disciplinary foundations of the behavioral and social sciences are strong. Academic departments, professional associations, and journals have attended capably to instruction, professional accreditation, and identification of professional opportunities and needs. The disciplines as such are not the main concern of this report. Instead, we have tried to track and spotlight some of the most important and promising lines of research in the behavioral and social sciences as a whole, to project a vision of how such lines might develop in the near future, and to specify the resources and organizational arrangements that can contribute to achieving their greatest scientific potential over that term. Chapters 1 through 5 of this report characterize the substantive research * For a more detailed account of the disciplinary structure of the behavioral and social sciences, see Chapter 2 of Behavioral and Social Science Research: A National Resource, Part I, Robert McC. Adams, Neil J. Smelser, and Donald J. Treiman, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, (1982).

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4 / The Behavioral and Social Sciences opportunities that lead most directly to our recommendations. Chapter 1, "Behavior, Mind, and Brain," focuses on research concerning individual be- havioral and mental processes of sensory perception, memory and learning, cognition, and language. Chapter 2, "Motivational and Social Contexts of Be- havior," considers affective states and processes, the linkages between health, behavior, and social context, the causes and control of violent crime, and the nature of social interaction. Chapter 3, "Choice and Allocation," deals with research on individual and collective decisions and their consequences in mar- ket-based and other economic systems, contracts, organizational hierarchies, and occupational systems. Chapter 4, "Institutions and Cultures," considers more global and historical aspects of society including human evolution, demography, modernization processes, science and technology, world trade, and international conflict. Chapter 5, "Methods of Data Collection, Represen- tation, and Analysis," concerns methodological research, which sharpens the observational and explanatory powers of the behavioral and social sciences. The committee considers this selection of substantive topics to be a very good sample of high-quality and promising work in the behavioral and social sciences. The particular results and studies noted are illustrative, not exhaus- tive. We have necessarily not discussed numerous other lines of research that may turn out to be comparable in excellence and importance to those included. Moreover, the new and highly original are by their very nature not easily anticipated. We certainly do not advocate that only the lines of research spe- cifically cited here should be supported and all others given low priority. Detailed decisions about which specific research projects, fellowships, insti- tutes, equipment, data collections, or centers to support and especially de- cisions about which not to support will best emerge from the continuing review by qualified scientists of well-executed studies, proposals, and appli- cations. Priority-scored review by disinterested committees of researchers is a form of competitive selection that cuts off less-compelling research investments with, if anything, an excess of ruthlessness. The last two chapters of this report step back from the substantive specifics to give an overall perspective on the scientific enterprise and its conditions. Chapter 6, "The Research Support System," deals with the human, technolog- ical, data-generating, and funding resources that shape opportunities in the behavioral and social sciences. This chapter draws together our conclusions on how to make the support system stronger and more productive. Chapter 7 "Raising the Scientific Yield," summarizes the research opportunities and new initiatives that we recommend. (Appendix A supplements this chapter with analyses of trends in the scale of federal and private foundation research fund- ing.) We believe that this agenda of activities will go far toward ensuring the vitality and preeminence of the national effort in behavioral and social sciences research.