Psychology Research Topics

Psychology is a wide field of study that looks at human behavior. It comes from a Latin word that means the study of the mind and soul. In this field, mental health, the human psyche and mental disorders. This field covers a wide range of topics and sub-fields. Some professionals in the industry specialize in things like industrial psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, child psychology and developmental psychology.

If you are a student in this field, you will most likely have to take a number of classes in order to get your degree. Many of these classes will ultimately require that you write a psychology research paper. Like many students, you may feel stumped when it comes to thinking of a good topic for your paper. If you need psychology research topics, check out the following list of ideas.

Psychology Research Topics You Can Use

When you first get the assignment, you should immediately begin to prepare for it. Before long, the weeks and months of the semester will pass and you will be in a rush to prepare for your mid-terms or final exams. If you are given the assignment early, immediately start it so that you can spend your exam week focusing entirely on the test that you need to take.

When you are handed the writing prompt, look at it carefully. Often, your teacher will have specific topics or paper requirements that you have to follow. If you do not stick to the writing prompt exactly, you can end up getting a lower grade than you would otherwise. To prevent this from happening, read through your writing prompt carefully before you choose a research paper topic and read through it again once your paper is complete.

You will need to research significantly in order to write a psychology research paper. Since you will be spending so much time on this topic, you should pick a sub-field that interests you the most. If you actually like the topic, it will be much easier to write about. Make sure to pick a topic that is not too broad or narrow. If it is too narrow of a topic, you will have a problem filling in the page requirement. Likewise, a broad topic can be difficult to fit in adequately without missing important details.

Brainstorming a Topic

To start with, sit down with a blank piece of paper and a timer. Set the timer to ten minutes and begin writing down as many topics as you can. It does not matter if these topics are good or bad because you will be narrowing down the list later. Once the time is up, look at your list. Which topics really interest you? Which ones can you easily research from your school? If you need to, narrow down your potential topic even more so that you can fit it completely into your research paper.

Potential Topics for a Psychology Research Paper



Discuss the topic of preterm delivery and stress on the mother and/or fetus.
Why are Americans obsessed with popular fast food chains like Sonic and Dunkin’ Donuts?
Can the justice system set laws that enforce morality on the population?
Are parents responsible for childhood obesity?
How does having a narcissistic parent influence the mental health of a child?
What types of situations lead to suicidal behavior?
How should society respond to suicidal behavior?
Is there a connection between the rise in television watching and obesity?
What are the mental health effects of having an abortion?
Discuss the link between schizophrenia and cannabis usage.
Is depression linked to gender? Why or why not?
Discuss brain development and mental development issues in children.
What psychological factors are in play in social interactions?
How does dating violence and abuse affect teenagers?
How is stress handled differently by different individuals?
What are the reasons why people experience stress?
How can stress be managed?
What are the psychological causes of depression?
Why is providing sexual education an important thing for children?
How does teenage sexting affect teenagers?
How does schizophrenia work in young adults?
What are the different phases of human development?
What is the relationship between physical illnesses and stress?
What is the affect of social anxiety disorder on the “normal” life of the affected individual?
What are the differences between short-term and long-term memory?
How does aging increase or decrease the rates of mental illness?
How does violent music impact young children?
How does having bipolar disorder affect the individual’s life?
How can the right work environment encourage self-esteem and motivation in workers?
How does the individual’s environment play a role in making their personality?
What is the role of psychologists in the military?
How is counseling used with divorced couples? How does it help?
What are techniques for controlling teen suicide rates?
What are the different theories about motivation?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of hypnosis?
How do genetics and the individual’s environment influence their intelligence?
How does postpartum depression affect the mother and child?
How is an individual’s personality and accomplishments affected by their birth order?
What are the effects of different types of torture?
Discuss the financial, physical and emotional abuse of the elderly.
What are the effects of harsh capital punishment laws for sex offenders?
Can psychology helps pedophiles? How or why not?
What is the psychological profile of a terrorist? What are commonalities that contribute to becoming a terrorist?
Why is divorce becoming more common?
Is it important for the child’s mental well-being to have school uniforms?
Why are attractive and non-attractive people treated different?
Discuss the psychology behind homophobic people.
What are some psychological reasons for long-lasting marriages?
What are some of the psychological problems encountered by homeless people?
How can sports psychology help athletes?
What are some of the effects of solitary confinement?
What are some of the reasons why adults may be introverts? What are the consequences?
How can someone break a habit? How is a habit created?
What are the effects of different colors on your mental state?
How do hate crimes affect the victims and the community?
What are the legal and ethical implications of gay couples adopting children?
Discuss the psychology of sex workers.
How do environment and biology impact or create hyperactive children?
How do various phobias affect your personality?
Discuss the Stanford prison experiment.
Discuss the Milgram Obedience Experiments.

As you consider potential psychology research topics, make sure to choose one that makes sense for the psychology class that you are studying. As mentioned before, it is important to make sure that you pick a topic that your teacher will allow. You can also use online websites and psychology journals to think of new topics. Once you find the right topic, you have to create a thesis statement.

The thesis statement is essentially a hypothesis that your research paper is supposed to prove. It must be something that can be argued. Your paper must have a thesis statement, or it will be automatically graded down by your teacher. If you are not sure if your thesis statement is good enough, visit your professor during office hours to see if it will work.

Abnormal Psychology Research Topics

Some topics in abnormal psychology include:

– Depression
– Borderline personality disorder
– Cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy or mindfulness therapy
– Phobias
– Eating disorders
– Seasonal affective disorder
– Schizophrenia
– Antisocial personality disorder
– Depression

Social Psychology Research Topics

This field looks at social behaviors. Topics could include subjects like racism, homophobia, xenophobia, discrimination, social attitudes and sexism.

Developmental Psychology Research Topics

Developmental psychology is an important field that looks at the human lifespan. While many researchers focus on child development, you can also look at the ways personality and the mind develop in adults or the elderly. Popular topics include harassment, sexual abuse, the aging process, learning disabilities, media violence, bullying, verbal abuse, prenatal development, parenting styles and learning acquisition.

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