Choosing a good psychology research topics for college papers can help you gain an edge over your classmates. Whether you are controversial topics in psychology for research paper, clinical psychology research topics, or just easy child psychology research topics to write a paper on, this guide will provide an overview of how to find good psychology research ideas and how to actually write a grade winning psychology papers.
Psychology is the study of human mind, brain, and behavior with a view to understanding how these three components interact with each other. The Greek word “psyche” means “soul” or “mind”. However, the main question that has nagged philosophers for centuries is whether psychology is just some kind of metaphysics or it can be treated as an exact science? Despite some debate on the nature of its object of study, psychology has evolved into an established field of academic inquiry. According to some estimates there are more than 130 million Americans who have undergone some form of psychological counseling in their lifetime.
No wonder this topic provides excellent material for college research papers! You might be interested to know what makes a good research paper topic. Well, it should be controversial enough to provoke a discussion and generate new ideas on the subject. We will share some excellent psychology research topics with you, but let us first briefly run through some of them:
Finding a topic can be challenging especially if you are new to psychology research writing process. We hope that you find the following suggestions helpful in your search for interesting ideas:
Your instructor might have already shared his own insights on his favorite topics so check out his recommendations. In addition, look at the current trends by surfing college websites and teacher’s guides. You might also want to consider pick up a copy of today’s newspaper or popular magazine as they often contain thought-provoking articles on social trends, controversial issues, etc.
At Tutlance – psychology tutoring service, we provide a broad range of psychology research topics and ideas that might be just right for you. Check out the list of great topics that you can write a paper in psychology. If you need help with psychology homework, click here to ask your psychology questions online.
Psychology research papers can be a daunting task, especially for those who are not well versed in the topic. Below is a list of 100+ psychology research paper topics that provides starting points for college students like you to use as you begin to write an assignment.
100+ Psychology Research Paper Topics
Here are more elaborated examples of research topics in psychology. Ask for help if you need immediate assignment help in getting topic ideas for psychology research paper or term paper:
- Are there differences between the way men and women experience depression?
- What is the difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome?
- What types of behavior lead to Romantic Attraction Disorder?
- How does your brain process information when you multitask? How does this affect your ability to focus on one thing at a time?
- Do violent media images have any effect on people’s behavior?
- What do you think about censorship based upon studies that show connections between violence in media and violent behavior?
- Are people who have been traumatized more likely to be repeat victims of crime? What role does the age at which a person is traumatized play in their risk for victimization?
- What are the factors involved in the development of sex addiction? When do men show symptoms of sex addiction vs. women?
- Why are psychiatric conditions often associated with creativity or mental illness, despite the fact that there are many individuals who have these conditions without being considered “creative?” How might this affect your understanding of mental illness if you lack talent in arts or writing?
- How does stress affect people’s health? It has been shown that long-term exposure to stress can lead to all sorts of negative effects on both mind and body, from anxiety and depression to heart problems. How does stress affect the mind? What are some ways that people can reduce their stress levels?
- How do birth order and heredity impact personality development? Do children develop certain traits because of what they learn from their parents or because they have a certain personality at birth?
- What role do family dynamics play in an individual’s behavior and mental state?
- Are there physical factors involved in homosexuality beyond biological sex? If so, what are they?
- Is it possible for someone to be born with genes that predispose them towards homosexuality despite the fact that they were raised by heterosexual parents with no exposure to homosexual individuals or culture? In other words, is sexual orientation determined by nature or nurture?
- What role does self-esteem play in the development of a person’s identity and behavior? In what ways is self-esteem inherited or learned?
- Can you be born with sociopathic tendencies? How do these manifest themselves outside of direct contact with others, e.g., in school or job performance, personal relationships or at home?
- Do inherent personality traits determine if someone will commit violence towards another individual or not, regardless of their environment (culture, upbringing, etc.)? What role might culture play in shaping this behavior over time through social norms and acceptance/rejection of certain types of behavior?
- How do psychopathy vs. sociopathy differ from each other and which one is more dangerous to society?
- How do people come to identify with a particular religion and what role does this identity play in their life? How much does your identification as a Catholic, Jewish or Muslim influence the way you live your life and how much adherence to religious doctrine do you think is necessary for true belief?
- What role does genetics play in determining whether someone develops an addiction, such as alcoholism, gambling or drug abuse? What factors might lead them to develop one addiction vs. another?
- Do girls/boys have different cognitive abilities based on their chromosomal sex (XX vs. XY)? If so, do those differences disappear when children are socialized by parents who attempt to raise their child according to traditional gender roles (e.g., parents trying not to reinforce stereotypes that boys are better at math than girls)?
- How do children develop a gender identity? What impact did the social environment have on your own conception of your gender and who you identify as?
- What role does pressure from peers or society play in someone’s decision to join a gang, cult or extremist group? How relevant is this dynamic to individuals born outside of America/Europe/Canada vs. those who live in areas where gangs, cults and terrorist groups operate with regularity? What types of factors lead someone to want to join these groups despite the threat of danger to themselves or their loved ones (e.g., poverty, lack of education) vs. those people who choose not to participate in them even when they feel discouraged or frustrated by their current lot in life?
- What are some of the underlying reasons why teens who experiment with drugs might want to form a drug addiction later on in life, even if they didn’t start out as addicts? What can be done to prevent this type of behavior and reverse it should an individual become hooked on whatever substance they started abusing early on?
- How does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome impact women’s sex drive (libido)? What causes PCOS and how is it treated? How prevalent is PCOS among women living in America/Europe/Canada vs. other parts of the world where female sexuality has not been oppressed for centuries?
- Can you test positive for HIV without actually having AIDS, i.e., does a false positive result happen often? How could you differentiate between the two and what impact would this have on other types of testing that involve HIV as well as treatment for those who may actually suffer from the disease?
- Can people be both gay and racist at the same time? In your opinion, what causes someone to hold bigoted views towards others based upon their skin color, sexuality or other factors out of their control/awareness (e.g., race)? What does it take to overcome those feelings once they’ve been ingrained in one’s psyche over a long period of time?
- What does a Phd. do and how is it different from a Psy.D.? Which one should you pursue if you want to specialize in counseling patients based on some type of neuropsychological issues, e.g., ADHD, anxiety, depression?
- How can you tell if your child is being sexually abused by a housemaid or babysitter? What are the signs to look out for and how are these situations different from someone who may molest children they don’t know/are unrelated to (e.g., an abusive parent)?
- What impact does history have on current events, e.g., major wars in the 20th century and even ongoing ones like the Third World War (Ukraine vs. Russia), and how do we make sure we learn from our mistakes?
- Do people become more or less racist when they’re part of an organization/group that preaches hate towards a particular group of people, e.g., ISIS? What are some of the common traits shared by those who subscribe to extremism and bad behavior as a result? How can you prevent someone from joining such groups or convince them to leave if they already have joined one?
- What motivates members of an organized crime ring (mob) to participate in illegal activities for their entire lives rather than just once in awhile vs. those that may commit crimes for fun without considering themselves criminals or gangsters (e.g., hoodlums)?
- What is the difference between having ADD and ADHD and how can you tell which condition is at hand? How does this impact individuals who suffer from either disorder and what kind of treatments exist for each condition?
- Why are so many people in America/Europe/Canada obese when they have access to healthy food options, e.g., farm fresh produce at their local grocery store or farmer’s market vs. those who live in regions with limited access to basic items like water and flour, let alone organic produce?
- What is the root cause of homelessness in America/Europe/Canada vs. other parts of the world where poverty may be just as high but homeless rates are not nearly as high? What can be done to remedy this issue?
- How would you define insanity vs. “just doing what everyone else around me is doing” when it comes to making clear-headed decisions for one’s self (e.g., drugs, alcohol, gambling, unprotected sex)? What are some of the side effects for those who make bad choices and why do they continue to do so?
- Why is it that a person who had a difficult upbringing with a drug-addicted mother or father may not end up going down that same path vs. someone whose parents instilled values in them from an early age and continued to be involved, e.g., sending text messages encouraging them throughout their day?
- What are the different types of medications for depression and how does one decide which course of treatment they should pursue? How has this impacted people you’ve known personally as well as public figures/celebrities (e.g., Robin Williams, Kurtain)? Why do some choose to end their own lives while others find the strength to carry on?
- What are some of the causes, symptoms and dangers associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) vs. how does this impact people on a daily basis vs. those who suffer from personality disorders? How do you decide which treatment is best for someone based on symptoms they are experiencing?
- What are some of the key differences between bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression that an individual should know about before consulting a professional? What resources can be used to learn more about potential symptoms for each condition so one knows what questions to ask their doctor rather than just pretending they have “nothing wrong” with them?
- Why do people addicted to certain substances/behaviors continue to do so in spite of negative consequences vs. those who manage to break free from their addictions and lead a productive, stable life?
- What are the most common causes for hair loss among men vs. women and when should one consult their doctor about this issue? What’s the average amount of time it takes for one’s hair to grow back after treatment (e.g., chemotherapy)? How does this impact people psychologically?
- How can you tell if someone has an eating disorder and what may be triggering them to engage in such unhealthy behavior (e.g., poor self-esteem, depression)? What kinds of treatments exist and how effective are they likely to be based on the severity of health issues associated with such conditions (e.g., anorexia nervosa, bulimia)?
- What kinds of medical treatments/therapies exist for patients suffering from various types of cancer and how effective are they? How does this impact family members emotionally in the wake of a loved one’s diagnosis?
- Is schizophrenia mainly attributed to genetics or environmental factors and why do you think so? What is the prognosis for someone who has been diagnosed with this disorder vs. those who have not been diagnosed (e.g., will they live a normal life span or end up institutionalized?)?
- Why is it that some people seem to experience more pain than others when engaging in strenuous physical activity without thinking twice about it (e.g., lifting something heavy) while others have a difficult time physically going about their daily routines but have to take strong pain medication just to deal with routine injury issues?
- What causes depression and how does this impact individuals who suffer from it vs. those who don’t? How can you tell if someone is depressed or simply experiencing stress, sadness and grief over a particular situation in their lives vs. having clinical depression? What kinds of treatments exist for depressive disorders and which ones are likely to be effective for various symptoms (e.g., thoughts of suicide, thoughts about death and dying)?
- What kind of research has been done on the link between obesity and sleep apnea as well as how do doctors treat patients with this condition? Are there any medical treatments that work better than others for this particular sleep disorder?
- What kinds of emotional risks do pregnant women face on a daily basis (e.g., depression, anxiety) and how does this impact the developing fetus throughout the gestation period (e.g., does fetal development compensate for any maternal issues)? How can one balance their priorities of providing for themselves/future child vs. taking care of themselves physically/mentally in order to have a healthy baby?
- How are people identified as being sociopaths. What is known about sociopaths based on research that has been conducted over the years? What are some of the warning signs that an individual may be a sociopath or is likely to develop into one later in life if certain risk factors are present during youth (e.g., negative feelings about others, tendency to be physically/verbally abusive)?
- What are some of the common characteristics in people who suffer from major depressive disorder in addition to bipolar disorder and how might this impact their ability to lead a normal life (e.g., work, pursue personal goals)? What treatments exist for these mental health conditions and which ones tend to be more effective than others?
- What kinds of research has been conducted on sleep deprivation with respect to its effect on cognitive abilities (e.g., problem solving, memory) vs. physical capabilities (e.g., muscle function)? Do certain types of individuals experience more problems when they don’t get enough rest vs. others with different personality traits What are some of the ramifications associated with sleep deprivation (e.g., workplace accidents, family responsibilities missed due to poor job performance)?
- What are some of the effects associated with sleep apnea and how do doctors treat this condition? Does weight loss really help at all or is it more important for an individual to lose fat around the neck vs. gaining muscle mass elsewhere in their body?
- What kinds of research has been conducted on eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa and what types of treatments seem to work best for each disorder? How prevalent are these conditions based on data that has been collected over time via medical studies/research projects?
- Why is it that some people can’t seem to remember certain life events while others have no trouble recalling details about significant events in their lives? What does this say about our memory and how we store information in our mind vs. what is there to say about the power of suggestion and selective memory recall among certain individuals who may not want to remember something that was particularly painful at one point in time?
- What kinds of research has been done on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how can people tell when an individual is suffering from PTSD as opposed to depression or another type of mental health condition such as anxiety? How might a person recover from PTSD through treatment options such as talk therapy or medication?
- How do genetics impact personality traits such as risk taking, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, openness to experience, etc.?
- What are some of the better known psychological disorders that people suffer from in developed countries (e.g., anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia) and how might doctors treat these conditions without incorporating psychotherapy?
- What is known about gifted children vs. those who have average intelligence levels or below average IQ scores? What differences exist between these groups with respect to their academic performance vs. their ability to solve complex problems compared to others within their age group?
- What kinds of research has been done on child abuse prevention over the years and what are some of the key takeaways associated with this topic? How can one get involved locally/regionally when it comes to advocating for children’s rights vs. raising awareness in the community about the importance of teaching children coping skills when they are feeling angry or frustrated?
- What role does sleep play when it comes to memory and how might an individual improve their ability to remember certain events from days, weeks, months, etc. ago? What happens when a person doesn’t get enough rest due to shift work vs. poor sleeping habits and what impact might this have on their cognitive abilities compared to others who don’t suffer from sleep deprivation?
- What kinds of research has been done on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and how might this impact people’s daily lives (e.g., getting up at different times each day, visualizing tasks before beginning them)? How can people get help for OCD if they are struggling with this condition?
- What research has been conducted on borderline personality disorder and what can be done to prevent this from happening? How does a person diagnose BPD and how might they go about finding treatment options that have worked for others in the past who have dealt with similar issues?
- How do different drugs impact our moods, emotions, and behavior over time due to tolerance levels being built up when we use them repeatedly? What signs should someone watch out for if their loved one is using drugs too frequently/regularly vs. only every once in a while or perhaps just during specific times of the year (e.g., New Years Eve) without having major impacts on their daily lives overall?
- Why is it that some people who suffer from childhood abuse experience negative health outcomes as an adult vs. others who seem to do just fine without seeking out therapy for themselves? What can we learn about resilience and how might this save someone’s life down the road if they find themselves in a difficult situation (e.g., domestic violence, natural disaster, job loss)?
- What is the current state of research when it comes to ADHD among children and how has it changed over time? How does one go about diagnosing this condition compared to others such as autism or dyslexia?
- What types of psychological disorders are associated with sleep deprivation and how might we identify these conditions early on so that we can treat them before they become worse?
- How do different methods for treating mental health conditions affect people on an individual basis? For instance, is one person more likely to experience negative outcomes if they are taking medication for their condition vs. participating in psychotherapy sessions on a regular basis?
- What kinds of research have been conducted on the link between schizophrenia and creativity? How does this impact people’s lives on both an individual level as well as within the field of psychology as a whole over time?
- What are some common problems that depressed individuals face when it comes to their daily functioning (e.g., difficulty concentrating, energy levels, changes in appetite) and how might these problems be addressed with specific strategies that can produce better results compared to traditional methods of treatment (e.., medication)?
- How do different cultures impact a person’s views, values, and overall lifestyles when it comes to their mental health? What does the research say about how our beliefs can have an effect on what kinds of therapy we participate in as well as what kinds of outcomes we experience from these therapies compared to others who might not share similar views or traditions?
- How do different family structures lead to specific types of socialization that can impact children’s behavior, emotions, and thoughts later on in life? For instance, is there a difference between single-family homes vs. those with step-parents/aunts/uncles etc.?
- What role does self-control play in a person’s ability to follow through with various tasks throughout the daye.g., going grocery shopping, doing homework, making dinner)? What other factors might be involved with a person’s ability to resist temptation?
- What psychological factors should we consider when it comes to treating people who experience chronic pain vs. those who do not? Can we use these same strategies for people who have anxiety or depression and what types of benefits could this produce in the long-term (e.g., positive health outcomes) for these individuals?
- How can a person go about finding a therapist if they are experiencing problems within their relationships (e.g., infidelity, domestic violence/abuse, financial struggles)? What kind of advice can you offer them that will help prepare them for this conversation? How do therapists match clients with the best “fit” based on common problems that are seen in therapy?
- Why are support groups so popular for people who have experienced a traumatic event (e.g., natural disasters, terrorist attacks)? What does the research say about these types of groups and how might they be helpful in the treatment process if someone is suffering from depression or PTSD?
- What role do drugs play when it comes to mental illness and addiction? How can treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy help teach people to stay sober while also treating their underlying conditions (e.g., bipolar disorder, depression)?
- How do clinicians go about diagnosing various forms of personality disorders? What are some similarities/differences between narcissistic personality disorder vs. borderline personality disorder?
- What percentage of Americans experience a mental health condition each year? What percentage of Americans have a substance abuse problem during the same time period? How might these numbers be impacted by cultural differences, financial status, age/gender/race etc.?
- What are some common symptoms that people with an eating disorder experience (e.g., depression, body dysmorphia, obsessive-compulsive thoughts)? What role can family members play in helping this person get treatment and what should they avoid doing when it comes to trying to help their loved one stop the behavior?
- How effective is cognitive behavioral therapy for treating children who have been diagnosed with ADHD? What benefits does this approach offer over other forms of treatment such as medication or alternative techniques?
- Which personality factors contribute most to a person’s likelihood of developing alcoholism? What about their risk for committing suicide later on in life?
- What are some common signs that someone might be experiencing schizophrenia or psychosis? How can these behaviors be treated most effectively with antipsychotic medication and what other forms of therapy might be helpful as well (e.g., family-based therapies)?
- How might an individual go about finding the right therapist for them if they are having trouble connecting with their current one or feel like their needs aren’t being met by their treatment sessions? How do you recommend a person prepare for this conversation and who should they speak to first before having it?
- What percentage of individuals diagnosed with anxiety will also experience depression at some point in their lives? Why do certain people fall into this category?
- What is the best approach for helping people cope with chronic pain, depression, and/or anxiety disorders simultaneously?
- How can healthcare professionals help their patients lead healthier lives when it comes to treating their mental illness (e.g., focusing on diet/exercise)? How do these strategies differ from those recommended for physical problems such as diabetes or heart disease?
- Which medications are most effective for schizophrenia and why might a therapist choose one medication over another if they share similar side effects?
- What percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms through adolescence and adulthood? Why does this happen and how can we decrease the number of people who continue to face these challenges into early adulthood?
- What are some common ways people cope with the symptoms of their mental illness? Which strategies are most effective for managing stress, anxiety, etc.? How can these behaviors be incorporated into daily life to help reduce potential triggers leading to relapse?
- How can healthcare professionals best help their patients manage other physical health conditions while also dealing with a mental illness (e.g., diabetes)? What should these professionals focus on during an initial visit and how might this differ from ongoing treatment approaches?
- What are some high-risk factors that lead individuals to develop substance abuse problems later in life? How might these factors be different across age groups?
- What are some early signs that someone is at risk of developing schizophrenia or psychosis later on in life? How might these behaviors be identified early and what steps can a person take to avoid falling into this category entirely?
- What are some common signs that someone is developing an anxiety disorder as a young child, teenager, or adult? How do the symptoms differ across age groups and how should a parent or teacher respond if they notice someone exhibiting these types of behaviors?
- How effective are medications at treating schizophrenia and psychosis, especially in terms of allowing people to return to work and other daily activities? What role does therapy play for this condition as well as for other mental health conditions such as depression, addiction disorders, etc.?
- What percentage of individuals diagnosed with autism will also face an intellectual disability at some point during their lives? Why do certain people fall into this category and how can we help decrease the number of people who experience these challenges?
- What causes schizophrenia or psychosis to develop in young adults and what steps should a parent take if they notice their child might be suffering from either condition? What other signs should a parent look for and what types of therapy are most effective at treating the underlying disorder?
- How does medication impact individuals with autism spectrum disorders, especially in terms of improving their ability to participate in daily life including school, home, work, etc.? How might counseling sessions help an individual with autism better cope with this disorder as well as its potential side effects (e.g., social withdrawal)?
- What percentage of teens diagnosed with depression will continue to exhibit symptoms through adulthood? Why do they experience these symptoms and how can therapists help an individual deal with the underlying disorder?
- How are ADHD medications different from other types of psychiatric medication, especially when it comes to treating co-existing mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder? How do these medications impact a teen/adult who is using this medication for the first time?
- What are some common long-term indicators that someone will develop schizophrenia or psychosis later in life? What steps can be taken to decrease risk factors associated with developing either condition?
- What are some early signs that someone is at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a child, teenager, or adult? How might these behaviors differ across age groups and what should parents be aware of in terms of how they might help prevent the development of ASD?
- How is autism spectrum disorder (ASD) linked to intellectual disabilities and what can be done to support individuals who are at risk for developing this condition? How does medication impact an individual with ASD, especially when it comes to various co-existing conditions including depression or ADHD? What role do therapy sessions play in helping overcome these disorders as well as their symptoms (e.g., lack of eye contact)?
- What percentage of individuals diagnosed with ADHD will develop bipolar disorder or another mental health condition later in life? What types of warning signs should parents look out for if their child is experiencing symptoms associated with either condition?
- What are some common long-term factors that increase risk for developing schizophrenia or psychosis? How does medication impact an individual’s life and what role do therapy sessions play in helping manage the symptoms of this condition as well as its side effects (e.g., hallucinations, delusions)?
- What percentage of individuals diagnosed with depression will become suicidal at some point during their lives? What steps can be taken to help prevent someone from becoming suicidal and how effective are various treatment options such as medications and counseling sessions at preventing a person from taking their own life?
- How do ADHD medications impact a teen or adult on a physical level, especially when it comes to managing co-existing conditions such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, etc.? What other signs should parents look out for if their child is under treatment for ADHD and what factors contribute to the likelihood of developing co-existing mental health conditions?
- What impact does medication used to treat depression have on an individual, especially when it comes to managing co-existing conditions such as bipolar disorder? What steps can be taken by individuals who are likely to develop co-existing conditions in terms of treatment options that may help them better cope with their symptoms (e.g., increased sense of well being)?
- What percentage of adolescents/young adults diagnosed with anxiety disorders will continue to exhibit symptoms into adulthood? What early signs should parents look out for if their child is exhibiting warning signs associated with this condition? How might therapy sessions help an individual cope more effectively with their symptoms as well as how they impact daily life?
Easy psychology research paper topics
We have compiled a list of easy psychology research paper topics for beginners that might inspire you to pick your topic:
- Are boys becoming the new “second sex”?
- What’s behind the current rise in autism? Is childhood obesity caused by bad parenting?
- Are veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receiving adequate treatment?
- How does excessive Internet use affect brain development in adolescents?
- Should student athletes be paid for their contributions to school sports programs?
- Do violent video games encourage aggressive behavior among children and adults?
Hot and Interesting Psychology Research Topics
For more advanced students we suggest these hot psychology research topics:
- Is multitasking at work undermining productivity?
- Should schools ban mobile phones as they are making teenagers dependent on them.
- How do social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Internet change the dynamics of interpersonal relationships?
- How do “virtual” friendships influence teenagers’ social behavior?
- What kind of impact does globalization have on the family structure around the world?
- Are school uniforms an effective school discipline tool?
Experimental Psychology Research Topics
Experimental psychology research is a scientific method used to study the psychological effects of different variables. In an experiment, researchers will manipulate one or more variables to see how it affects the subject’s behavior. Variables can be anything from the type of stimulus used to the subject’s environment. By carefully controlling all of these variables, researchers can isolate the effect that a specific variable has on behavior. This allows them to draw conclusions about how that variable affects the mind and body. Experimental Psychology research is essential for understanding the complexities of human behavior. Without it, we would be left to guess at the causes of our actions. Thanks to experimental research, we are constantly learning new and important information about ourselves and the world around us.
Experimental psychologists use a variety of techniques to study everything from basic perceptual processes to complex social behaviors. Here are ten interesting topics in experimental psychology that are currently being researched:
- How does sleep deprivation affect cognition and mental functioning?
- What role does genetics play in psychological disorders?
- What are the neural correlates of consciousness?
- Can we use brain imaging to predict future criminal behavior?
- Do virtual reality simulations have therapeutic value?
- How do social media and technology affect our social lives?
- How do emotions influence decision-making?
- What is the nature of human altruism?
- Can animals be trained to have empathy for humans?
- What psychological factors contribute to terrorism and extremism?
Developmental Psychology Research Paper Topics
Developmental psychology is a fascinating area and one of the most popular topics in psychology. It can be studied in a number of different ways and at different levels of depth. Here are 10 developmental psychology research topics to get you started:
- How do early experiences affect brain development?
- How does attachment style emerge and what are its consequences?
- What is the role of nature vs. nurture in personality development?
- How do families influence child development?
- How do peer groups influence adolescents?
- What is the impact of trauma on development?
- How do different cultures define and promote adolescence?
- What are the risks and rewards of risk-taking during adolescence?
- What are some common cognitive and social developmental disabilities?
- How can parents best support their child’s psychological development?
Child Psychology Research Paper Topics
Child psychology is a fascinating research topic. There is so much to learn about how children think, feel, and behave. The field of child psychology is constantly evolving, as new research is published all the time. If you are interested in child psychology, there are many great research topics to choose from. For example, you could study how children develop self-control, how they learn to cooperated with others, or how they respond to stress and adversity. You could also investigate different aspects of emotions, such as how children express anger or sadness, or how they develop a sense of empathy. Or you might study cognitive development, looking at how children acquire language skills or learn to solve problems.
- Child development stages: Discuss the major milestones of child development, from birth to adolescence.
- Attachment theory: Explore John Bowlby’s attachment theory and its implication for parenting.
- Nature vs. nurture: How do nature and nurture influence a child’s development?
- Gender identity: How does a child’s gender identity develop, and what are the implications of gender-role socialization?
- Moral development: Discuss Piaget’s theory of moral development, or Kohlberg’s stages of moral reasoning.
- Cognitive development: Explore how a child’s cognitive abilities develop, including language acquisition and memory formation.
- Psychopathology: What causes childhood mental disorders, and how can they be effectively treated?
- Bullying: Examine the psychological effects of bullying, on both the victim and the perpetrator.
- Children and technology: How does technology use impact a child’s psychological development?
- Parenting styles: Compare and contrast different parenting styles, and discuss their effectiveness in promoting healthy child development.
Whichever psychology topic you choose, you are sure to find child psychology research both interesting and rewarding.
Social Psychology Topics For Research Paper
Social psychology is an enormously fascinating field with a rich history and a bright future. Here are ten of the most interesting research paper topics in social psychology:
- Social perception: How do we form impressions of other people? What factors influence our judgments and evaluations?
- Social cognition: How do we process information about other people? What are the cognitive biases that shape our judgments?
- Social influence: How does social pressure impact our behavior? When do we conform to social norms, and when do we resist them?
- Group dynamics: How does being part of a group affect our behavior? What are the factors that contribute to harmonious groups, and what causes conflict between groups?
- Prejudice and discrimination: What are the psychological roots of prejudice? How does it lead to discrimination, and what can we do to reduce its impact?
- Attitudes and attitude change: What are attitudes, and how do they influence our behavior? What techniques are effective for changing attitudes, and why do some attempts to change attitudes fail?
- Altruism: Why do we help others, even when there is no personal benefit involved? When do we behave altruistically, and what motivates us to do so?
- Aggression and violence: What are the psychological causes of aggression and violence? How can we prevent aggressive and violent behavior?
- Interpersonal attraction: What attracts us to other people? What are the factors that influence our romantic choices?
- Social development: How do we develop as social beings? What are the important milestones in social development, and what factors influence our social progress?
Whatever Social psychology topic you choose, make sure to select a psychology research question that is both interesting and feasible.
Controversial Topics In Psychology
Psychology is full of controversial topics. From the nature vs. nurture debate to the efficacy of different therapeutic approaches, there are many hotly debated issues in the field. Here are 10 of the most controversial topics in psychology:
- The Nature vs. Nurture Debate: This debate centers on the question of whether human behavior is primarily determined by genetic factors (nature) or by environmental influences (nurture).
- The Efficacy of Psychotherapy: There is significant debate over whether psychotherapy is truly effective in treating mental illness.
- The Use of Animals in Research: Many people believe that animals should not be used in psychological research, as they may suffer from stress and other negative consequences.
- The Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD: There is much controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- The Benefits and risks of psychiatric medication: There is significant debate over the benefits and risks of psychiatric medication, with some believing that the risks outweigh the benefits.
- The Definition of Mental illness: There is much debate over how to define mental illness, as there is no clear consensus on what constitutes a mental disorder.
- The Causes of Mental illness: There is significant debate over the causes of mental illness, with some believing that it is primarily due to genetic factors and others believing that it is primarily due to environmental factors.
- The Efficacy of Psychotropic medication: There is significant debate over the efficacy of psychotropic medication, with some believing that the risks outweigh the benefits.
- The Impact of Technology on Human Behavior: There is significant debate over the impact of technology on human behavior, with some believing that it is primarily negative and others believing that it is primarily positive.
- The Impact of Social Media on Human Behavior: There is significant debate over the impact of social media on human behavior, with some believing that it is primarily negative and others believing that it is primarily positive.
Whichever controversial topic you choose to research, make sure to select a psychology research question that is both interesting and feasible.
Popular Types of psychology research topics
Here are popular types of psychology research topics requested by college students:
- Abnormal Psychology – This might seem like a very broad topic, however it can be more specific. This could include topics on mental health issues, disorders, etc. Students who study abnormal psychology focus on diagnosing and treating psychological disorders including mood disorders, personality disorders and others.
- Spirituality in Psychology – Research has always been intrigued by the presence and absence of spirituality and how this relates to mental health and behavior.
- The Brain and Mental Processes – Research around brain science is always popular due to its high interest to students. Just about every psychology professor will have some class material related to the brain and its functions within the mind
- Motivation – Motivation is an important part of any individual’s life and can play a role in how we develop as people. There is no doubt that the majority of psychology research papers written deal with motivation at some point or another
- Stress – Stress is one of those topics that just about every student will write about during their academic career. It’s interesting and there are many different areas to explore when exploring this topic (work, school, family)
- Psychology and Sports – Sports and athletes make up a large part of our society today. We hear about them constantly, watch them on TV and read daily reports on what teams/individuals will be competing next
- Abnormal Child Psychology – Abnormal child psychology covers the issues regarding behavior (and mental health) among children such as ADD/ADHD, Autism and other developmental disorders. Child psychology specifically looks at children as unique individuals. Some topics that could be research paper ideas include child development, socialization and other areas of childhood
- Language Development – A very interesting area of study is language development and how we as human beings learn it. This also includes first language acquisition and bilingualism
- Developmental Psychology – Developmental psychology covers topics such as from birth to death. This can cover areas such as infancy, childhood, puberty, adulthood and the elderly. The field of developmental psychology deals with psychological changes throughout the different stages of our life (such as infant development). Development psychologists look at the broad changes in behavior/abilities over a lifetime. This includes stages such as infancy or adolescence which have distinct patterns differentiating them from one another.
- Aging – Aging is a very interesting area of research because it deals with how we develop in the later years of our life. This could include biological changes and mental health issues among other things
- Mental Health Disorders – The study of mental health disorders in a modern society is extremely important due to its ability to influence people in all stages of life. There are hundreds of different types to explore in this topic area.
- Behavioral Psychology – Behavioral psychology looks at psychological processes through an observable behavior (rather than internal thoughts). It’s interested in how certain behaviors identify one personality type over another
- Social Issues – Social issues are those issues that are dealt with in the context of society. This includes poverty, environmental issues, war, etc
- Psychology Research Methods – Research methods are the means by which psychologists formulate research questions and test them out. Different methodologies can yield different results so it is an important area to explore when writing a psychology research paper
- Statistics and Data Analysis for Psychological Research – Statistics and data analysis come into play when performing any type of psychological research study. It’s important to learn about how this process works
- The Critical Evaluation Process When Reading Psychology Journals – The critical evaluation process is something you should be aware of as a student because there may be times where you need to critically evaluate your assigned journal articles (and even suggest changes).
- Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as memory, attention and perception. This method of research is related to functionalism in that it looks at how we think rather than why. Cognitive psychology topics at the way we process information and how we think. Topics could include problem-solving skills, memory and learning processes and more.
- Positive Psychology – Positive psychology focuses specifically on positive aspects of human behavior instead of negative ones. It’s an ever expanding area that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years
- Stress Management Techniques – Stress management techniques are ways to deal with stress in a healthy manner. This could include meditation, exercises and other methods to reduce stress
- Social Psychology: Social psychology is an area of psychology that examines the relationship between individuals and other people (and their environment). For example, this could include topics such as social conformity or helping behaviors. Social psychology is the study of how people interact with one another in social settings. For example, this could include studying group behaviors or interracial interactions. This discipline also examines how perceptions influence behavior. Social psychology research topics covers areas such as self esteem, social interactions, biases, prejudice, emotional well-being and many other interesting topics related to human interaction with others.
- Personality Psychology-Personality psychology looks at what makes us who we are. It’s interested in long term patterns of thoughts and behaviors (rather than surface level interactions)
- Cognitive Dissonance – Cognitive dissonance is the theory behind having conflicting attitudes and beliefs. This can be related to cognitive biases
- Social Cognition – Social cognition focuses on how we understand other people but also ourselves. These areas deal with nonverbal behavior, uncertainty/ambiguity and other factors that influence our thought process
- Clinical Psychology – Clinical psychology is the area of study that deals with mental or behavioral disorders. This could include topics such as anxiety, depression and other conditions. In addition to general research methods for psychological studies, there are specialized methods in clinical psychology. This means a focus on very specific variables including dosage amount and frequency
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology – Industrial psychology refers to the study of working conditions and how they affect people’s behavior at work. It also looks at ways to increase productivity levels among employees.
- Behavioral Neuroscience – Behavioral neuroscience examines the relationship between internal biological factors (such as hormones) and human behaviors. It has been criticized because it studies complex intersectionality between biology and
- Neuropsychology – Neuropsychology is a branch of study that looks at the relationship between the brain and behavior. This specific area studies how areas of the brain affect different behaviors
- Social Neuroscience – Social neuroscience is a combination of sociology, psychology and biology. It focuses on studying human thought process from a social setting.
- Psychometrics – Psychometrics is the field of study that evaluates psychological tests and other assessments for validity/reliability. As an example, if you were to take a personality test or IQ quiz online then there are psychometricians who examine these things for scientific validation.
- Forensic Psychology – Forensic psychologists work with the legal system to help determine criminal responsibility or sanity evaluations for defendants presenting signs of mental illness. In addition, there are many jobs available for forensic because they’re needed in hospitals, correctional facilities and in other areas
- Child Development – Child development looks at psychological changes over time related to growth. It can focus on different stages of child development including infancy or adolescence which have distinct patterns differentiating them from one another
- Educational Psychology – Educational psychologists look at mental processes involved in learning both in school and outside of school. They study cognitive processes but also motivation levels, problems solving skills and more
- Sports Psychology – Sports psychology studies the influence of psychological factors on sports performance. It can also examine how mental well-being (positive or negative) influences physical health.
- Experimental Psychology – Experimental psychologists perform controlled experiments to determine if their hypothesis is correct. Experimental psychology can be one of the most demanding fields because you must have an excellent understanding of statistics and experimental design.
- Community Psychology – People who specialize in community psychology focus on mental health within a specific population. For example, researching the effects of poverty in a neighborhood or examining how certain psychological disorders are different for rural populations compared to urban populations.
- Adolescent/Teen Psychology – Adolescence can as a rough time for people as they make the transition from childhood into adulthood. For this reason, child and adolescent psychology paper topics could be interesting research paper ideas for psychology students.
There are many more psychology ideas to explore when writing a psychology research paper. Remember, these topics above can be more specific (such as Motivation in the Classroom) and still remain effective for your topic.
How to write a psychology research paper – full guide.