Social scientists influence our lives usually without us being aware they are doing so. For example, a study of behaviour at football matches has shown that if police avoid heavy-handed tactics this can help maintain crowd control in potentially hostile situations. The study's findings on how to create a less confrontational atmosphere are being included in police training across Europe.

Other research findings have informed policies aimed at reducing child poverty and reforming the UK tax system to help poorer families. Charities such as Save the Children have used such research to highlight the higher prices paid by the poor for basic necessities such as fuel and banking.

Other examples of areas in which social science influences our lives include:

  • The role of governments in an increasingly market-based society, which has been determined by famous thinkers such as John Maynard Keynes and Karl Popper
  • It was an economist who came up with the idea of the National Health Service
  • The payment of billions of pounds of state benefits for the needy has been influenced by the work of social scientists
  • Social science research findings continue to provide invaluable information whether you are a parent, a local councillor, a police officer, or a business executive.