Out of fascination and need, people have always studied other people.
When scientific methods are applied to those observations,
the studies help characterize and analyze our behavior, social
and political institutions, family and community structures
and our economies. Scientific studies of people and society
help answer age-old human contemplations.
NSF supports research that addresses these broad questions. Study
results have provided insights and pathways to change in such disparate
areas as parent-child relationships, the use of tools in a society
2 million years old, and Federal Communications Commission auctions.
Read more about those studies by clicking on the questions
In building research programs that study people and society,
NSF has sought to fund the best ideas proposed. Although basic
research on people and society does not always lead to direct applications,
scientific results often have important implications for
individual and societal well-being. To enable such results, NSF
sponsors the development and maintenance of data sets that provide
rich opportunities for further research. And NSF invests in students
and researchers who lead the progress of scientific research about people and
Rebuilding the Mosaic--NSF's Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences communities weigh in on the future of basic research in the SBE sciences . . .
Rebuilding the Mosaic: Fostering Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation in the Next Decade
(PDF, 1.96 Mb)