Are you searching for a great topic for your psychology paper? Sometimes it seems like coming up with a good idea for a paper is more challenging than the actual research and writing. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to find inspiration and the following list contains just a few ideas to help get you started.
Finding a solid topic is one of the most important steps when writing any type of paper. It can be particularly important when you are writing a psychology research paper or essay. Psychology is such a broad topic, so you want to find a topic that allows you to adequately cover the subject without becoming overwhelmed with information.
As you begin your search for a topic for your psychology paper, it is first important to consider the guidelines established by your instructor. In some cases, such as in a general psychology class, you might have had the option to select any topic from within psychology's broad reaches. Other instances, such as in an abnormal psychology course, might require you to write your paper on a specific subject such as a psychological disorder.
Focus on a Topic Within a Particular Branch of Psychology
The key to selecting a good topic for your psychology paper is to select something that is narrow enough to allow you to really focus on the subject, but not so narrow that it is difficult to find sources or information to write about.
One approach is to narrow your focus down to a subject within a specific branch of psychology. For example, you might start by deciding that you want to write a paper on some sort of social psychology topic. Next, you might narrow your focus down to how persuasion can be used to influence behavior.
Other social psychology topics you might consider include:
Write About a Disorder or Type of Therapy
Exploring a psychological disorder or a specific treatment modality can also be a good topic for a psychology paper. Some potential abnormal psychology topics include specific psychological disorders or particular treatment modalities, including:
Choose a Topic Related to Human Cognition
Some of the possible topics you might explore in this area include thinking, language, intelligence, and decision-making. Other ideas might include:
Consider a Topic Related to Human Development
In this area, you might opt to focus on issues pertinent to early childhood such as language development, 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:
Critique a Book or Academic Journal Article
One option is to consider writing a psychology critique paper of a published psychology book or academic journal article. For example, you might write a critical analysis of Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams or you might evaluate a more recent book such as Philip Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.
Professional and academic journals are also a great place to find materials for a critique paper. Browse through the collection at your university library to find titles devoted to the subject that you are most interested in, then look through recent articles until you find what that grabs your attention.
Analyze a Famous Experiment
There have been many fascinating and groundbreaking experiments throughout the history of psychology, providing ample material for students looking for an interesting term paper topic. In your paper, you might choose to summarize the experiment, analyze the ethics of the research, or evaluate the implications of the study. Possible experiments that you might consider include:
Write a Paper About a Historical Figure
One of the simplest ways to find a great topic is to choose an interesting person in the history of psychology and write a paper about them. Your paper might focus on many different elements of the individual's life, such as their biography, professional history, theories, or influence on psychology.
While this type of paper may be historical in nature, there is no need for this assignment to be dry or boring. Psychology is full of fascinating figures rife with intriguing stories and anecdotes. Consider such famous individuals as Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Harry Harlow, or one of the many other eminent psychologists.
Write About a Specific Psychology Career
Another possible topic, depending on the course in which you are enrolled, is to write about specific career paths within the field of psychology. This type of paper is especially appropriate if you are exploring different subtopics or considering which area interests you the most. In your paper, you might opt to explore the typical duties of a psychologist, how much people working in these fields typically earn, and different employment options that are available.
Create a Case Study of an Individual or Group of People
One potentially interesting idea is to write a psychology case study of a particular individual or group of people. In this type of paper, you will provide an in depth analysis of your subject, including a thorough biography. Generally, you will also assess the person, often using a major psychological theory such as Piaget's stages of cognitive development or Erikson's eight-stage theory of human development. It is also important to note that your paper doesn't necessarily have to be about someone you know personally. In fact, many professors encourage students to write case studies on historical figures or fictional characters from books, television programs, or films.
Conduct a Literature Review
The demand for psychology graduates is continuously on the rise, thanks to the growing number of people with psychic problems and alcohol users. Essentially, psychology as a profession and a discipline aims to study the mental processes and behaviour. There are a range of specialization options available to psychology students including industrial, physiological, mental health and abnormality, social, learning, developmental and educational, cognitive, clinical, and organizational/industrial. The purpose of this article is to provide free psychology dissertation topics to help students select the most appropriate topic for their dissertation assignment. An overview of how to perfectly structure a psychology dissertation is also provided at the end of this article.
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Psychology Dissertation Topics for 2018
Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of positive reinforcement in special education
Purpose: The strength and importance of praise in workplace can have a significant impact on employees and move them from apathy to more happiness and satisfaction. Positive reinforcement motivates and encourages people for their respective tasks. The main purpose of this research is to assess the advantages and disadvantages of positive reinforcement in special education.
Assessing the relationship between depression and anxiety from the perspective student academic performance
Purpose: Emotional disturbance is considered to be a psychological element which can lead towards the deterioration of daily activities of students. Since, academic achievements are an integral dimension of students’ lives, depression, anxiety and other form of emotional disturbance might lead towards low level academic performance. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to assess the relationship between depression and anxiety on student academic performance
How cognitive behaviour therapy helps in dealing with depressed adolescents
Purpose: Cognitive behavioural theory is regarded as a well-established therapy for depression and other various mental illnesses for in children and adolescents. It might be because CBT can reduce suicidal behaviour and thoughts amongst adolescents. The main purpose of this research is to identify how cognitive behaviour therapy can help in dealing with depressed adolescents.
Analysing the psychological impact of bullying on children’s personality and development
Purpose: Any public humiliation can be resulted into child’s misconception; confusion and misunderstanding about his/her own personality. It can be resulted into a psychological impact which can hinder overall development in children. The key purpose of this study is to analyse the psychological impact of bullying on children’s personality and development.
Assessing the impact of psychological pricing on consumer purchase intention
Purpose: Psychological pricing, also known as charm pricing and price ending, is a market pricing strategy in which certain prices can have a psychological impact on consumers. It also includes a slightly less than round number e.g. 2.99 which might also incline consumers to make purchase decisions. Hence, the purpose of this research is to assess the impact of psychological pricing on consumer purchase intention.
Organisational/Industrial Psychology Dissertation Topics
The role of industrial/organisational psychologists is to apply the principles of psychology on marketing, sales, management, administration and human resources problems facing the organisation under consideration. Typical tasks that are performed by organisational psychologists include but not limited to organisational development and analysis, training and development, employee evaluation and selection, policy making. The followingdissertation topics may interest students of organisational psychology:
- Research in Industrial and Organizational Psychology From 1980 to 2015: Changes, Choices, and Trends
- Computerized Adaptive Testing in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Leader Member Exchange as a moderating variable in the relationship between Well-being and Job Security
- Intelligent Leadership and Leadership Competencies – Developing a leadership framework for intelligent organizations
- Burnout amongst executive staff: what are the main predictors? A review of literature from the UK and Europe.
- Interior Design and Industrial Psychology – Investigating the role of employees reward and motivation in shaping up the look of the factory or office
- Investing the impact of strategic business partnering for business organisations – A case study of any UK based company
- To understand international branding in light of the concept of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
- Social Science Strategies for Managing Diversity: Industrial and organizational opportunities to enhance inclusion
Also Read:Business Dissertation Topics
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Clinical Psychology Dissertation Topics
Clinical psychology can be defined as an integration of the clinical knowledge, theory and science in order to understand and prevent psychologically based dysfunction and distress. Another aim of this branch of psychology is to promote personal development and behavioural well-being. The job responsibilities of clinical psychologists include conducting research, teaching, drug and alcohol treatment, assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders, offering testimony in legal settings, and creating and managing programmes to prevent and treat social problems. A well written dissertation is this area of psychology can help students to fetch a high academic grade.
- Which clinical and demographic factors predict poor insight in individuals with obsessions and compulsions?
- Anger Beliefs and Behaviour; An Investigation of associations with Hypomania in A Non-Clinical Sample
- Clinical psychologists’ understandings of endings in therapy
- Providing therapy whilst pregnant: Reflections of clinical psychologists after returning to work
- Clinical psychologists’ experiences of accessing personal therapy during training: A narrative analysis
- Exploring body image and identity in people who have had a heart or lung transplant
- Psychosocial adjustment to renal failure and consequent dialysis
- Experiences of psychosocial formulation within a bio-psychosocial model of care for psychosis
- Experiences and their association with eating behaviour in adulthood
- Barriers to communicating about sexual dysfunction following heart trauma
- Comparing two emotional intelligence (EI) scales
- Validation of a new scale assessing the use of strategies to change another person’s mood or emotional state
- Do speakers co-operatively design their sentences for their listeners?
- Examining major depressive disorder (MDD) within a cognitive framework
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Cognitive Psychology Dissertation Topics
Cognitive Psychology can be defined as the study of mental processes such as thinking, creativity, problem solving, perception, memory, language use, and attention through neuropsychology, computer modelling and experimentation. Cognitive psychologists are primarily responsible to investigate the way the human brain absorbs and interprets information at both micro and macro levels. This study area of psychology is broad, and therefore students will have many topic options to choose from. Please see below some titles if you are looking to base your dissertation on the field of cognitive psychology.
- Adolescent perceptions and beliefs of proactive-reactive aggression explored through the social information processing model of aggression
- To understand how cognitive flexibility is influenced by emotions
- Tractable Cognition: The Role of Complexity Theory in Cognitive Psychology
- Conflict monitoring across sensory modalities
- How familiarity might have an effect on recognition of facial expression?
- Investigating the relationship between cognitive vulnerability and depression
- Effectiveness of mindfulness training on ratings of perceived stress, mindfulness and well-being of adolescents enrolled in an international baccalaureate diploma program
- To understand how information/data is processed in the visual cortex in light of the concept of Grandmother Cells
- Assessing the development of implicit intergroup cognition in relation to in-groups and out-groups: social learning or pre-specified?
- Information modelling and the importance of cross-modulation and feedback – What are the limitations of the modular view of the brain?
- The relationship between impaired social cognition, emotion and anxiety disorders.
- The impact of prefrontal area of cortex on humans
- Attention is better interpreted as a multivariate rather than a uni-modal concept.
- The relationship between forward areas of the brain and attention
- Understating the concept of effective subliminal perception
- Investigating the relationship between attention and working memory
- Investigating the relationship between episodic memory and emotional memory
- Bilingualism, Brain and Cognition
Also Read: Project Management Dissertation Topics
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Social Psychology Dissertation Topics
This branch of psychology has gained tremendous importance in the world of academia in recent times. Essentially, it deals with social interactions including their influence on the individuals and their origin. According to Baron, Byrne and Sulls (1989), “the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behaviour in social situations”. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that social psychology primarily investigates how human behaviour can be influenced by other people and the surrounding social environment. Some relevant social psychology dissertation topics are given below:
- Cognitive, effective and social psychological correlates of psychopathic personality traits in offenders and non-offenders
- The Psychology of Democracy: Psychological concepts in American culture, 1960-1985
- A social-psychological exploration of word-of-mouth traveller information in the digital age
- Investigating the concept of contemporary social and cultural psychology
- Methods for social psychological research: fundamental qualitative and fundamental quantitative methods.
- The impact of gender mistakes on various individual attitudes and behaviours that contribute to gender inequality
- Personality, passion, self-esteem and psychological well-being among junior elite athletes in the UK
- Mad, bad or dangerous? Assessing changing social attitudes to mental illness through a study of magazine and TV advertising.
- Use of images of women in corporate website branding – The role of gender, marketing and internet presence
- How use of music can help to reduce crime rate – A quantitative study of underground tube stations in London
- The enduring legacy of cognitive dissonance
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Abnormal Psychology Dissertation Topics
The abnormal patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviour that may or may not lead to mental disorders are studied under the abnormal psychology branch of psychology. But what is abnormality and who decides what an abnormal behaviour is? Historically, societies have been quick to observe and tag individuals as abnormal when they come across situations that they were not able to understand. Abnormal psychologists are responsible to identify the human characteristics that deviate from the norm. This branch of psychology can be of interest to those students who wish to explore unusual human behaviour and unusual conditions. Following topics on abnormal psychology can help to ease the dissertation topic selection process.
- Investigating the concepts of abnormality and mental health
- A neuropsychological investigation of frontal brain asymmetry in depression with comorbid anxiety
- What is the relationship between children’s home routines and treatment for ADHD? A study of the literature
- Investigating the relationship between depression and diet – A qualitative study of how Mediterranean diet can help to lower depression levels
- Why do schizophrenics tend to experience auditory rather than visual hallucinations?Promoting mental health and psychological wellbeing in children: A socio-cultural activity theory analysis of professional contributions and learning in a multidisciplinary team
- A critical inquiry into the views of professionals working with families, parents and children
- A biographical narrative study exploring mental ill health through the life course
- Stress and coping in mental health nurses
- The role of positive irrational beliefs in mental health & wellbeing
- To understand and establish the relationship between social media websites and self-harm in adolescent females
Developmental and Educational Psychology Dissertation Topics
According to Kendra Cherry (2001), “Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners and learning disabilities”. This branch of psychology takes into consideration not only the learning process but also the social and emotional aspects of development. Developmental and educational psychologists are responsible for designing professional development programmes, evaluating programmes and interventions, designing training programmes, consulting with groups and individuals, counselling, designing effective treatment programmes, assessing developmental learning and behavioural problems among individuals, diagnosing disabilities and disorders and identifying and clarifying problems. Following developmental and educational psychology dissertation topics may interest the readers:
- Investigating parents’ concerns with a child’s development
- To examine the parent child relationship issues
- Managing a child’s difficult temperament or behaviour
- How educational psychologists can assist a child with disabilities
- To understand the causes to sibling rivalries in the family and present solutions
- Problems parents, teachers and children may face in transition from early childhood to school years
- Effects of theory of mind training on the false belief understanding of deaf and hard of hearing students in prekindergarten and kindergarten
- The development of theory of mind in deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing preschool children
- Exploring the impact of consultation on educational psychology service users including pupils, teachers and parents
- Cultural differences and perceptions of autism among school psychologists
- Exploring the 100-year journey of educational psychology from interest, to disdain, to respect for practice
- Brazilian and Nigerian international students’ conceptions of learning
- High school special education teachers’ use of positive behaviour supports: effects of a behaviour prompting routine on specific praise rates
More Psychology Dissertation Topics
- Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of positive reinforcement in special education
- Assessing the relationship between depression, anxiety on student academic performance
- How cognitive behavior therapy helps in dealing with depressed adolescents
- Analyzing the psychological impact of bullying on children’s personality and development
- Assessing the impact of psychological pricing on consumer purchase intention