Updated Aug 2021
Psychology research papers are some of the most intriguing writing assignments, but they can be pretty daunting to complete. Studying the human mind and behavior is just as fascinating as it is complicated.
Are you having a tough time picking a single idea for your psychology research paper topic? No wonder since psychology encompasses many different disciplines, such as social, experimental, educational, cognitive, developmental, and forensic psychology, to name but a few.
Even after you pinpoint the psychology branch you’d like to tackle in your writing project, regardless of whether you choose to pay to write research paper or complete it on your own, there’s an abundance of topics you can dive into. How can you make the right choice and ensure you’ll captivate the reader? Which topic could bring more value to the community?
This comprehensive list of psychology research topics can give you an idea. Read on to explore some helpful tips for picking a good topic and writing your paper before checking out some of the most interesting topics you could use.
Psychology Research Paper: Definition and Writing Tips for Psychology Research Papers
Psychology research papers aim to inform the reader about new ideas, experiments, or theories regarding the human mind and behavior. They present the latest developments in psychology and provide facts supported by statistical data and other hard evidence.
As such, psychology research papers require extensive research. Fortunately, hundreds of psychology papers get published every year, so there’s a world of excellent sources out there to help you get the hang of your writing.
How to write a high-quality psychology research paper? Here are some general tips to follow:
- Find an interesting topic - You need to find an engaging topic that interests you because that’s how you’ll have the necessary motivation to explore it. Whether that has to do with sociology research topics, clinical psychology, or any other branch, make sure you feel passionate about it.
- Explore different ideas - Whether you have several or no ideas at all, check out relevant literature and other reliable sources, including recent publications in online psychology journals. Gather and evaluate relevant facts before narrowing down your focus to a single idea.
- Conduct extensive research - Once you have your topic and main idea, find as many reliable sources as possible to provide factual knowledge and support all your claims.
- Write an outline - An outline with a clear hypothesis will help you ensure your paper will have a good flow.
- Hook the reader right off the bat - Propose an intriguing question or argument, or make a shocking revelation in the introduction. Grab the reader’s attention and compel them to keep reading.
- Make your writing informative, inspiring, and impeccable - Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting, style, and language to showcase professionalism.
- Cite all your sources - Use proper citations for all the references to credit the original authors and avoid plagiarism. Include in-text citations and make a reference list at the end of your paper.
How to Choose Good Psychology Research Paper Topics
Choosing a good topic for a psychology research paper comes down to thorough research. Here’s what you need to do to gather relevant information and pick right:
- Brainstorm ideas - Pick a psychology branch and think about what interests you the most about it. Come up with several exciting ideas you could explore.
- Do your research - Hit the books and head to reliable online sources to sift through recent academic publications and news articles to find relevant topics for your desired ideas.
- Narrow down your focus - Read up on different topics to find the right one that comes with plenty of credible sources to support your hypothesis. For instance, if you’re interested in communications research topics, you can go with intercultural communication and write about how language connects different cultures.
- Avoid general or too narrow topics - Focus on something specific, but don’t narrow it down too much because you might fail to engage the reader and offer real value.
Research Topics In Psychology For College Students
Considering how diverse psychology is, there’s no doubt that every student will be able to find an interesting topic for their research paper. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of easy topics ideas for your undergraduate research, don’t. Many good papers on psychology have already been written, which is why it is easy for you to find an easily researchable topic for your educational assignment. There’s nothing hard about writing a custom research paper about mental health, so remember to stay positive.
- Gender roles in modern society
- Factors contributing to children’s school performance
- Prejudice and discrimination
- Religion in social psychology
- Physical illnesses and psychological health
- ADHD within family systems
- Asexuality as sexual orientation
- Narcissism in modern society
- What causes schizophrenia?
- How school anxiety affects teens?
Social Psychology Research Topics
Studying social psychology may be hard but interesting because such paper topics usually concern our daily lives. We wanted you not to struggle while choosing a paper topic, so here’s the list of the best psychology research topics in this field.
- Cognitive dissonance
- Persuasion in modern advertisement
- Corporal punishment and criminal activity
- The Halo effect in popular culture
- Experimental social psychology
- Does social media promote conformity or individualism?
- Gender roles in modern society
- Correlation between Pavlov’s conditioning in advertising
- “Fear of happiness” in modern society
- National identity
Clinical Psychology Research Topics
Clinical psychology, while complicated, is a very interesting science branch. When it comes to its examination, students often can’t choose appropriate psychology research topics. From therapy types to childhood disorders, there are interesting topics for anyone.
- Childhood neurosis effects on adult mental health
- Compare two therapy types
- Effects of anxiety disorder on one’s daily life
- Childhood trauma, its effects in adulthood
- Mental health issues in adolescents
- Effects of “pro-ana” websites on eating disorder rates
- Risk factors associated with eating disorders
- Therapy for childhood behavioral disorders
- Correlation between violence in media and childhood behavior
- Social media addiction
Experimental Psychology Research Topics
Experimental psychology may probably be the most engaging study of the human mind. Besides, the results of psychological tests can be used to improve our understanding of certain behaviors. In college, we can start by choosing experimental psychology topics for our written assignments.
- Does color affect mood?
- Does color affect appetite?
- Can colors affect academic performance?
- Physiological responses to music
- Does social media cause addiction?
- Can facial symmetry cause attraction?
- Correlation between gender and memory
- What causes differences in people seeing optical illusions?
- What causes conformity in groups?
- Is music taste affected by personality traits?
Child Psychology Research Topics
We all know that there are many factors that influence psychological children's development. Although we can’t always prevent the development of abnormalities, we can study child psychology, which can help in the long run. Check out the child psychology research topics below for your next assignment.
- Attachment theory
- Social interaction in children
- Effects of children facing loss at a young age on psychological development
- Gender-differentiated toys in the advertisement
- The impact of color on a child’s development
- How children perceive aggression
- Cognitive processes in young children
- Do make-believe games affect socialization?
- Socio-emotional growth at an early age
- Effects of play on a child’s development
Developmental Psychology Research Topics
There’s no doubt you have, at some point, wondered which events in your childhood shaped you into the person you became today. Developmental psychology studies exactly that. Besides being an interesting topic of scientific research, it also is useful for our understanding of the family's role in one’s development.
- What affects the language acquisition process?
- Parenting style’s effect on a child’s physical, psychological development
- How bullying affects one’s development
- Does birth order define procrastination?
- Short-term memory limits at various stages in life
- Reinforcement in the learning environment
- What affects a child’s food choices?
- Correlation between listening to music and academic performance
- Permissive vs. authoritative parents
- Does self-efficacy affect long-term memory?
Abnormal Psychology Research Topics
It is critical that we study mental disorders to improve society. Abnormal psychology allows scientists to understand psychological disorders, their causes, and their effects. Because of the improvements caused by such analysis, we believe that you should take a look at these research topics.
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Correlation between eating disorders and anxiety disorders
- Phobias caused by childhood traumas
- Group therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy
- Psychoanalytic therapy: history, development
- Borderline personality disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
Cognitive Psychology Research Topics
Understanding how the human mind works is fascinating, which is why you should probably study cognitive psychology. If you’ve given an assignment on the topic in college, look no further. We have gathered the most exciting cognitive psychology research topics in the list below.
- Does sport affect attention?
- Applied research in cognition
- A theme of memory in popular culture
- Consciousness and cognition
- Narrative psychology
- Development of problem-solving skills
- Decision-making processes
- Role of cognitive neuroscience in AI development
- Theories of cognition
- How cognition relates to perception?
Forensic Psychology Research Paper Topics
Many people are passionate about forensics, which is why they will also find forensic psychology interesting. When it comes to the below topics, many of them are of critical importance in modern society. If you want to impress your professor, be sure to check them out.
- Psychological evaluation in a court trial
- AMBER Alert system in social psychology
- Early signs of serial killers
- Juvenile offenders and corporal punishment
- Psychopathy in criminal behaviors
- Antisocial personality disorder in forensic examination
- Domestic violence against men
- Does a career in law enforcement affect social life?
- Effects of upbringing on serial killers
- Special needs education in the prevention of criminal behavior
Controversial Topics In Psychology For Research Paper
Many of us have strong opinions about different topics. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s one side to each story. Psychology can be controversial, and some of the below topics may help you think twice about what you were sure about before.
- Is civil marriage a marriage?
- Abortion: pro-choice or pro-life?
- Is homeopathy a fraud?
- Can convicted individuals become ordinary citizens?
- Single parents in modern society
- Teenage parents and a child’s development
- Single-sex schools and socio-emotional development
- Legalization of prostitution
- Surrogate motherhood or adoption: ethical dilemmas
- Veganism in psychology
Criminal Psychology Research Topics
Understanding what causes criminal behavior on a psychological level can help us prevent it. Criminal psychology is not only interesting but also valuable science. Below, you’ll find some examples of criminal psychology research topics for your college assignments.
- Mental illness and the death penalty
- Competence to stand trial
- Prejudice in jury selection
- Prison system and rehabilitation
- The effects of social media on copycat crimes
- Causes and effects of mass school shootings
- Psychological disorders and incarceration
- Socioeconomic status and criminal behavior
- Social environment and aggression
- Incarceration rates and education
Cultural Psychology Research Paper Topics
It should come as no surprise that our actions and beliefs are greatly affected by our cultures. When it comes to cultural psychology, science helps us understand how exactly that happens. Culture and behavior are closely related, which is why we believe you should never underestimate cultural psychology.
- Social media in different cultures
- Effects of culture on online shopping
- Regional humor peculiarities
- Hollywood and modern perception of beauty
- Cultural psychology and multinational businesses
- Research in cultural psychology
- Perception of motherhood in various cultures
- Cultural models
- Culture and self-education
- Whiting model
Health Psychology Research Topics
When we speak about health, we often only focus on its physical aspects. Unfortunately, that’s not the best approach. Health psychology is multidimensional and valuable for our understanding of psychology in healthcare.
- Eating disorders and physical health
- Popular culture and anorexia rates
- Causes of increased teen suicide rates
- Mending disaster aftermath: social and health psychology
- Smoking cessation strategies
- Safety equipment promotion in modern society
- Stress management and relaxation
- PTSD among veterans
- Psychological effects of caregiving
- Promoting childhood immunization
Neuropsychology Research Paper Topics
Neuroscience and psychology may be equally different but also equally interesting. Knowing how and why our nervous system affects our behavior is incredibly valuable. Below, you’ll find some of the best topics for your neuropsychology research in college.
- Music and learning disorder treatment
- Representation of pronouns and self-perception
- Theory of mind
- Neuropsychological data and ADHD treatment
- Relationship with choice and impulsivity
- What is pre-choice computation?
- Cognitive impairment and iron deficiency
- Neuropsychological testing in patients with dementia
- Nonverbal neuropsychology and IQ testing
- Experimental dual-task studies
Personality Psychology Research Topics
As people, we all are different, and personality psychology research topics may help you understand, why. Knowing how our personalities interact and why they are different will greatly help you in life. Besides, it can actually help you receive a high grade in college.
- Correlation between temperament and creativity
- Traits linked to prosocial behavior
- Comparison of personality assessments
- Correlation between personality types and music preferences
- Athletics and personality traits
- Social media and personality
- Effects of Type A behavior on academic success
- Art preferences and personality
- What causes low self-esteem in teens?
- Effects and causes of high self-efficacy
Sports Psychology Research Topics
Nowadays, you probably can’t find a person who doesn’t like sports. What makes the hobby even more interesting is that the human mind is closely related to one’s physical activity and athletic performance. Because of this, we believe that sports psychology should be of interest to college students.
- Effects of sports on personality traits
- Neuro-linguistic programming and performance
- Gender studies in sport psychology
- Effects of family psychology on athletic performance
- Psychological recovery after trauma
- Aggression in sports
- Self-image and athletic performance
- Families of athletes and childhood development
- Doping in sports: psychological point of view
- Emotions and personality traits in sports
Educational Psychology Topics
Educational psychology is diverse and encompasses many other disciplines, including cognitive, behavioral, and developmental psychology. That’s why it can be challenging to select the right educational psychology topic. Here are some of the most captivating you could use.
- The inclusion of students with dyslexia
- School bullying and victimization
- The theory of operant conditioning
- Self-esteem, self-confidence, and academic success
- The effect of music on cognitive performance
- Motivation and learning strategies
- The impact of rewards, recognition, and motivation on student achievement
- The impact of parenting styles on academic achievement and career choices
- Affection and social behavior in teaching planning
- Are achievement gaps related to discipline gaps?
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