Psychology Research Paper Ideas

Psychology Research Paper Ideas

The term psychology is derived from a Latin word which means the study of soul or mind. Psychology is a science based on the study of human psychology and mental health. The field of psychology is a vast arena, with a variety of sub fields like child psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, industrial psychology, etc. With psychology being such an interesting and challenging field, where one gets the opportunity to know about human psychology and behavior in detail, many students are taking it up as a career.

General Psychology Topics

Because general psychology classes cover such a wide range of topics, you have a very large selection of psychology research paper ideas to choose from. Start by choosing a general topic, and then narrow your focus down so that you can fully cover the subject.

Some ideas include:

  • An issue paper: Tackle one of the current issues in psychology, such as parity in mental health care or the involvement of psychologists in military interrogations.
  • Profile a famous psychologist: Select a well-known psychologist, and then write a profile exploring his or her life, theories and work.
  • Explore a well-known psychology experiment: Write a paper on a classic psychology study, such as the Milgram Obedience Experiment or the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Abnormal Psychology Topics

Abnormal psychology is a segment of psychology that deals with psychopathology and abnormal behavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and many more. Some potential abnormal psychology research paper ideas include specific psychological disorders or particular treatment modalities, including:

  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Profile a type of therapy (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, psychoanalysis)

Cognitive Psychology Topics

Cognitive psychology looks at mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy and linguistics. Some of the possible topics you might explore in this area include thinking, language, intelligence and decision-making. Other ideas might include:

  • Dreams
  • False memories
  • Attention span
  • Perception
  • Language
  • Problem-solving
  • Judgment

Developmental Psychology Topics

Developmental psychology focuses on the entire human lifespan, from conception to death. With such a wide and diverse range of human issues to cover, you have a tremendous variety of topics to choose from for your psychology term papers.

For example, you might opt to focus on issues pertinent to early childhood, such as the development of language, social learning or childhood attachment or you might instead opt to concentrate on issues that affect older adults, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some other topics you might consider include:

  • Bullying
  • Language acquisition
  • Media violence and children
  • Learning disabilities
  • Gender roles
  • Child abuse
  • Prenatal development
  • Parenting styles
  • The aging process

Social Psychology Topics

Social psychology is the scientific study of social behavior. In a social psychology class, you will learn about a wide range of issues related to how people interact with each other and behave in groups. Broad areas that you can consider when selecting a psychology research paper idea might be group behaviors, violence and social attitudes. Some more specific subjects that you should consider include:

  • Prejudice and discrimination (i.e., homophobia, sexism, racism)
  • Social cognition
  • Person perception
  • Attitudes
  • Social control and cults
  • Persuasion, propaganda and marketing
  • Attraction, romance and love
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Leadership

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