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
Developmental Psychology Dissertation Topics
Developmental psychology investigates how children’s behaviour changes over time, by studying experience and behaviour. Change is, for example, studied in a variety of areas including language, intelligence and motor skills. Theories of development propose a number of models to account for how change occurs, and gives pre-eminence either to experience or more enduring criteria. Some approaches take a mid-way position, however, by proposing an interaction between the two. Developmental psychology is an interesting area and relevant to many people, including doctors, teachers and parents. A psychology dissertation on developmental psychology may indeed be useful and well read.
• Are abilities unconnected with numeracy of children with dyscalculia affected by the condition or are they relatively independent?
• The role of face stimuli in assessing the development of the human ventral pathway from infancy to adulthood.
• The extent and role of plasticity in shaping visual cognitive development.
• Explaining change during cognitive development: one type of learning mechanism or diverse learning paradigms for different problems?
• Assessing whether intrinsic factors or the quality of interaction between human caregivers and children lead to successful learning outcomes.
• The extent to which understanding the mechanisms of neural development can be informative as to how early cognition occurs.
• Explaining how evidence for increasing integration of systems during the course of development can be assimilated with the increasing dissociation of structures.
• The development of conversational understanding as a domain-general improvement in processing speed and working-memory capacity in cognitive effort.
• The influence of culture on conversational understanding, where children do not normally communicate with adults.
• Scale errors and action planning in children: Assessing the implications of DeLoache’s findings for understanding the “what/where” pathways in the human brain.
• Developmental cognitive neuroscience’s significance for the early detection and treatment of developmental disorders.
• Is Piaget’s theory of cognitive development still a valid theory in the light of modern findings in cognitive neuroscience?
• How young children learn and thrive when their childhood is shaped by positive, secure relationships with knowledgeable adults, who are able to support their child’s learning and development.
• How the notion of plasticity in child development can account for the child’s ability to change in response to negative or positive life experiences.
• The acquirement of culture and biological growth is essential for child development.