Special Feature: Behavioral Science Careers


When most people think about behavioral scientists, they think of scientists who do research into decisions, interactions, and communications by and among individuals in social systems. But behavioral science training provides a solid foundation for a wide range of professional careers that don’t involve research in the classic, academic sense. We tracked down some behavioral scientists doing important work in a wide variety of settings.

In , freelancer and social psychologist Siri Carpenter introduces us to some behavioral scientists who have stepped off the academic path and into some interesting territory–including a health-care-industry consultant, a designer of social-networking software, and a technical adviser for a leading investment firm.

In , best-selling writer Mark Caldwell looks at the budding field of neuromarketing, in which neuroscience results are employed to elucidate, and perhaps to manipulate, consumer behavior. His conclusion: It’s a rich and interesting research field, but so far cultural differences–and some ethical concerns–have kept neuromarketing from becoming a viable career path in the private sector.

From Europe, in , Science intern Krista Zala explores careers in public-opinion research, concluding that its reach goes well beyond politics and that this expanding field now offers much career potential.

DOI: 10.1126/science.caredit.a0700069

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