Psychology is an interesting area of study connected to almost everything that happens within and around us.
If you are pursuing psychology as a major or any other degree program that has psychology classes, you will be tasked with writing essays, term papers, and research papers. And as you advance, you will write reports, proposals, theses, and dissertations. Regardless of your writing, you will need a good psychology research topic for your papers.
Choosing a psychology essay or research topic is not always easy, especially for first-year college students. They often don’t have the same familiarity with the discipline and its topics as senior psychology students. Even the most senior students struggle with picking a research topic for their psychology papers.
If you have been given the go-ahead to select a topic that interests you and don’t know where to begin, we have you covered.
In this post, we will share all the information you need to develop an excellent topic for your psychology research paper.
How to Choose A Psychology Research Topic
Coming up with cool psychology research topics is never easy, and it is a process that takes a bit of thinking and time. However, it is doable, and you must start and follow the right formula.
Follow the steps below to develop interesting psychology topics, and choose one for your paper.
You need to brainstorm to generate psychology research topics. Think of the things that interest you the most about psychology and write them down. Ideally, you should identify and write down at least six research ideas.
2. Do a bit of research
Find out more about each research idea by searching for information in reliable databases such as your college library, Google Scholar, Scopus, and EBSCO. This will help you refine your research ideas and identify the most interesting ones.
3. Zero in
After finding more information about each research topic, you should zero in on one topic. You can do this by ranking the topics from most to least exciting and picking the first. Or by ranking them from the easiest to write to the most difficult and, again, picking the first.
4. Refine your topic idea
Once you have picked a topic idea, you should rewrite it to ensure it is perfect. You should do this because you don’t want your topic idea to be too general. You also don’t want it to be too narrow. Therefore, reframe it to make sure it is balanced just right. And do it so that the resulting paper will deliver real value to the reader.
Psychology Research Topics and Ideas
If you need the inspiration to come up with topic ideas, this is where you will get it. In this section, you will discover multiple topic ideas for virtually every major branch of psychology.
1. Social Psychology Research Topics
Social psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on social influences and issues. Discover exciting social psychology research topic ideas in the list below.
- Racism and discrimination
- Anti-Semitism in the United States
- Homophobia in Eastern Europe
- Social cognition and its effects
- Social depression and its effects
- National identity
- Fear of the unknown
- Pavlov’s conditioning experiment and its significance
- Gender roles in the United States
- Social media addiction and its effects
- Corporal punishment
- Halo effect
- Use of persuasion in advertisements
- Cognitive dissonance
- Social anxiety and its effects
- Gender discrimination
- Effects of peer pressure on adolescents
- Effects of playing violent/graphic video games on children
- Effects of bullying and related violence on children
- Divorce and its impact on the children
2. Cognitive Psychology Research Topics
Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how people think. Check out trending cognitive psychology research topic ideas in the list below.
- The link between cognition and perception
- Cognition theories
- AI and cognitive neuroscience
- Theories of decision-making
- Problem-solving skills development
- Cognition and consciousness
- Social cognition theories
- Do colors improve attention and memory?
- Single parenting and its effects on child development
- How is mental development affected when a child repeatedly plays violent games?
- How is mental development affected when a teenager watches romantic movies?
- Autism and its effects on mental development
- Effects of memories on behavior
- How to measure critical thinking
- Speech disorder and mental development
- How to measure attention span
- Color psychology and its effectiveness
- How to improve problem-solving abilities in youth
- Causes of increasing violence among children
- Factors affecting child mental development
3. Developmental Psychology Research Topics
Development psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on mental development and associated issues. Discover cool development psychology research topic ideas in the list below.
- How bullying affects mental development
- Self-efficacy and long-term memory
- Authoritative versus permissive parenting
- Does listening to music affect student academic performance
- How do children make food choices
- Short-term memory limits
- Factors affecting the language acquisition process
- Parenting style and psychological development
- Graphic music and violence among teenagers
- Causes of psychopathic behavior
- Factors that create serial killers
- Gender roles and stereotypes in society
- How abusive parents negatively affect child development
- Factors that affect memory development
- Factors that affect aging
- Psychology and aging
- Long-term effects of drug abuse on mental health
- Long-term effects of medication on mental health
- The impact of postpartum depression
- Sleeping disorders and mental illnesses
4. Abnormal Psychology Research Topics
Abnormal psychology is a very important part of psychology, and it is the study of psychological disorders (causes and effects) and perhaps the most popularized or glamorized branch of psychology. Check the list below for abnormal psychology research topic ideas.
- History and development of psychoanalytic therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy versus group therapy
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Childhood traumas and phobias
- The link between anxiety and eating disorders
- Causes of the increasing numbers of anorexic teenagers
- Causes of anxiety and effects
- Major depressive disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- The link between lying and psychology
- Causes of eating disorders
- Suicide ideation and how to stop it
- How to control depressing thoughts
- Causes of multiple personality disorders
- Causes of PTSD in the workplace
- What is stalking and its effects
- Violent games and personality disorders
- Causes of phobias and how to deal with them
- Stalking as a psychological disorder
5. Clinical Psychology Research Topics
Clinical psychology is very closely related to abnormal psychology, and this branch of psychology focuses on the evaluation and treatment of psychological problems and mental illnesses. Below is a list of some of the most exciting clinical psychology research topic ideas.
- Social addiction and interventions
- Childhood behavioral disorders therapies
- Causes of eating disorders and treatments
- What causes bullying, and what effective interventions
- How to address depression in adolescents
- How to negate peer pressure
- A comparison of two types of therapy addressing the same illness or problem
- Long-term effects of childhood neurosis and interventions
- Antidepressant addiction and how to stop it
- Effective depression therapy practices for adults
- The most effective clinical insomnia treatment therapies
- How to treat panic attacks through therapy
- Effectiveness of cognitive therapy in the treatment of panic attacks and anxiety
- Causes of PTSD and effective treatments
- Can criminals be treated using behavioral therapy
- Treatment of schizophrenia through therapy and medication
- Clinical treatments of major psychological disorders
- Social anxiety and how best to treat it
- Major depressive disorder and its treatments
- ADHD and recommended therapies
6. Child Psychology Research Topics
Child psychology, aka child development psychology, looks at both conscious and subconscious childhood development. In simpler words, it is the study of the mental development of children and related issues. Here are some of the most exciting child psychology research topic ideas.
- Play and childhood development
- Early-stage emotional growth
- Make-believe games and socialization
- Does color affect a child's mental development
- How children perceive violence and aggression
- How great loss can affect the psychological development of children
- Attachment theory
- Psychological effects of adoption on children
- Ethical and legal aspects of adoption
- Is parental negligence one of the causes of childhood obesity?
- What are the causes of depression among children?
- Effects of being a child introvert
- Effects of spanking on child psychology
- Psychological effects of child abuse and effective therapies
- Effects of authoritarian parenting on children
- Major child psychological development phases
- The link between birth order and child personality
- Do violent video games change child behavior?
- Causes of depression among children
- Causes of ADHD and its effects
7. Sports Psychology Research Topics
Sports psychology is concerned with using psychology theories and knowledge to improve performance, improve team spirit and psyche, and address mental blocks and related issues. Nowadays, many sports teams worldwide hire sports psychologists to help them win championships. Check out trending sports psychology research topic ideas in the list below.
- Self-belief and athletic performance
- What are the psychological causes of bad performance
- How the families of athletes can help them to improve their performance
- Negative emotions and effects on team performance
- Aggression in sports
- How recovery from injury can be accelerated through psychological techniques
- Psychology techniques that can help new players quickly settle in
- How neuro-linguistic programming can be used to improve performance
- The evolution of sports psychology over the last two decades
- How sports psychology can help to enhance mental health
- The future of sports psychology
- How psychology can help teams to improve second-half performance
- How sports psychology can be used to recruit better players
- Psychological techniques that can be utilized to enhance team chemistry
- Tactics and interventions that can be used to help athletes manage emotions better
- How doping can negatively affect athletes and what can be done about it
- Panic attacks among athletes and effective treatments
- How relationship issues can affect the performance of athletes
- Psychological effects of having a successful coach
- Sleeping disorders and their impact on athletic performance
8. Experimental Psychology Research Topics
Experimental psychology is a science that looks at how individuals respond to various stimuli in controlled scenarios. Here are 20 exciting experimental psychology topics:
- Color and academic performance
- Color and appetite
- Does color affect mood?
- Does music taste show personality?
- Music and its physiological effects
- Can TikTok cause addiction?
- Is facial symmetry the biggest determinant of attraction?
- Causes of conformity in groups
- Does the color blue make people feel calm and relaxed?
- The most notorious psychological human experiments to date?
- Vital ethical considerations for experimental psychology research projects
- How does breakfast affect mood?
- The effects of mood freezing
- Geniuses are not born; they are made
- Comprehensive analysis of Milgram’s shock experiment
- Causes of aggression and how it can be controlled
- Double foot-in-door and its manipulation capacity
- Effects of group belonging on individual behavior
- Is compliance more likely among those in low social class?
- Is obedience more likely among the poor?
9. Forensic Psychology Research Topics
Forensic psychology is the utilization of psychology to provide insight into criminal cases, criminal justice issues, and legal systems. Here are 20 forensic psychology topic ideas.
- Causes of gender-based violence
- How serial killers come to be
- Causes of recidivism and how to address them
- The psychological evaluation process in American courts
- The psychological evaluation process in the UK
- Early signs that one is becoming a serial killer
- What is psychopathy, and what are its main signs
- Forensic examination of antisocial personality disorder
- What is behind the increase in home-grown terrorists
- What is behind the increasingly regular mass shootings in the US?
- Are prisons an effective rehabilitation system?
- Juvenile murders and how they can be tamed?
- How to minimize the number of special education teenagers ending up in prison
- Are violent movies inspiring copycat crimes?
- What role does early exposure to violent video games play in mental development?
- Is internet policing effective? What can be done to improve it?
- What are the main rules of conduct for forensic psychologists in court
- How reliable are eyewitness statements?
- Causes of jury bias and how to minimize them
- The credibility of statements by mentally challenged individuals
10. Psychology Research Question Examples
If you are writing a psychology paper, consider the research questions below.
- Is the society neglecting domestic violence?
- Is mental health stigma widespread among indigineous communities?
- Can rural populations get access to mental healthcare facilities?
- Does the behavior of parents affect a child’s psychological development?
- What is the best approach to treating and managing post traumatic stress disorder?
- Can psychology help understand human development?
- Can implicit bias be larned?
- Do certain moral values lead to more discrimination and prejudice?
- Does fat shaming in the doctors office be mentally and physically harmful?
- Does racial anxiety alter time perception for some white americans?
- Do prospective teachers misperceive black children as angry?
- How does implicit bias by physicians affect patients’ health care?
- Is it ethical to add clients to social media accounts?
- Are women always the main victims of domestic violence?
- Is fetish behavior a result of disturbed mental state?
- Does the use of social media increases the chances of cyberbullying?
- Why do some children become violent?
- Can psychology be used to control chronic pain?
- Are antidepressants the best forms of therapy?
- Is CBT effective in treating mental trauma?
- Is trauma focused cognitive hehavioral therapy effective for adolescents with mental health issues?
- Does temperament affect creativity?
- What is the link between ageing and cognitive decline?
- Is divorce counselling helpful to children?
- Do hate crimes have psychological consequences?
- What factors limit access to mantal health facilities?
- Does stigmatization influence use of psychological resources?
- How does compassion fatigue affect counsellors?
- How can psychologists create, maintain, and terminate therapeutic relationships?
- What factors contribute to childhood obesity?
- Is there a link between working memory and attention?
- Is there a link between reality and dreams?
- Do colors influence learning?
- What causes social media addiction?
- Do heavy mentals impact cognitive development?
- Are mental illnesses curable?
- Are cognitive development studies beneficial to society?
- Do anxiety disorders affect the brain development of children?
- Is mental health associated with violence?
- Does too much homework cause stress to undergraduate students?
- What are the best strategies to address mood disorders?
- Is aromatherapy effective in treatment and management of mood disorders?
- Are complimentary alternative medicine effective in managing psychological disorders?
- What are the factors influencing personality?
- Was the Sanford prison experiment ethical?
- Does domestic violence affect child’s mental wellbeing?
- How has sports psychology evolved?
11. Personality Psychology Research Topics
The personality psychology topics, questions, and ideas below can come in handy in your research paper writing process. When assigned to write psychology research papers, consider personality as a potential area.
- The impacts of temperament on creativity
- Evolution theories of personality
- Are leaders born or made?
- Does marriage change your personality?
- How personality affects cognitive-affective processing system
- The link between social relations and personality
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and personality
- The link between eating disordera and personality
- Personality and workplace safety
- The dispositional perspective theory of personality
- Do people mary the people with the same personality as theirs?
- Is there a link between personality and spending habits?
- The link between low self-esteem and competitiveness
- Is Type A behavior linked to success in school?
- Do people who keep pets have personality issues?
- Are successful people aligned to certain personality characteristics?
- The link between personality and crime
- The best therapeutic approaches for personality disorders
- The link between genetic disorders and personality
- The international theory of personality
What Next After Choosing a Psychology Topic?
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Psychology research topics FAQs
What are 3 to 5 issues in today's world that a psychologist would study?
The following are some of the current psychological research topics a psychologist would study:
- Racism and discrimination.
- Toxic workplaces.
- Mental health.
What are the top 5 most researched topics?
The top five most researched undergraduate research topics in psychology are:
- Sexual abuse.
- Social disorders.
- Social influence.
- Discrimination and bias.
What are some good psychology experiment ideas?
Below are some of the best psychology experiment ideas:
- The effect of colors on mood.
- Can music choice help predict personality?
- Do certain movies influence cause violent tendencies?
- Is social media addiction a real thing?
What are the five major types of psychological research?
The five main types of psychological research are experimental, correlational design, case study, survey method, and naturalist observation.
What are the three major psychological research designs?
The three main psychological research designs are experimental, descriptive, and correlational.
What are the most common research studies in psychology?
The most common research methods in psychology include structured observation, surveys, experimental studies, case studies, meta-analysis, content analysis, naturalistic observation, correlational research, and quasi-experiments.
What are some current issues in psychology?
Current issues in psychology include bullying, climate change, autism disorders, racism, stress, mental health, bias, discrimination, and social media addiction. Topics touching on these issues are the most
What is a sample topic in psychology?
Example psychology research paper topics for college students include:
- The long-term effects of childhood trauma.
- The adverse effects of social anxiety disorder.
- The effectiveness of motivation therapies.
- The link between stress and lack of sleep.
- Child sexual abuse and its impact on the victims.
How do I choose a psychology research topic?
Think of the topics you are interested in (check your course outline to remind yourself of the topics). Write down the ones you are most passionate about (three to five should be enough). Please choose the most interesting one among them for your research.
What are some best survey topics for psychology students?
Below are some of the best survey topics for psychology students:
- The link between stress and insomnia.
- The effects of schizophrenia on social life.
- Effectiveness of motivation theories.
- The psychology of sex workers.
- The psychology of homophobes.
What are good research questions for psychology?
Below are some of the best research questions for psychology:
- What are the causes of gender discrimination?
- Do graphic video games negatively affect child development?
- What is social depression, and how does it affect well-being?
- What is racism, and what are its effects?
- What is homophobia?
What are the five issues and debates in psychology?
Perhaps the five most common issues/debates in psychology include the following:
- Nature versus nurture.
- Free will versus determinism.
- Cultural Universals versus cultural Variability.
- Mind versus body.
- Nomothetic versus idiographic.
How do you start a psychology essay?
You start by using a hook sentence to grab the reader's attention. The hook sentence should be followed by background information and a thesis statement, and these two elements should basically tell the reader what the essay is about.
How do you write a good psychology essay?
To write a good psychology essay, you will need good research and an excellent outline. The research will give you the content to write about, and the outline will ensure you organize your work well.
What are some controversial psychology topics?
There are many controversial topics in psychology. Examples include:
- Child sexual abuse by a family member.
- Causes of sexually deviant behavior.
- Effects of cultural influences on teenager sexual orientation.
- Seligman’s investigation of learned helplessness.
- Zimbardo’s prison experiment.
What are the most interesting areas in psychology?
The most interesting areas in psychology include experimental psychology, forensic psychology, child development psychology, clinical psychology, and addictions psychology.
What are some good experimental research topics?
- Correlation between age and memory.
- Does facial symmetry determine attraction?
- Is TikTok addiction real?
- What are the physiological responses to listening to music?
- Do gender roles still exist in the United States?
What are examples of experimental psychology?
Examples of experimental psychology topics include:
- The long-term effects of the keto diet.
- The four stages of intellectual growth.
- The link between memory and age.
- Gender roles in 21st century America.
- How authoritarian parenting style affects child development.
What is experimental research in psychology?
Experimental research in psychology uses experimental research techniques to investigate human behavior.
What is a good research topic in psychology?
A good psychology research topic focuses on an area society would love to know more about. Check out the different types of psychology research topics on the first half of this page.
How do you find a research question in psychology?
Think of the topics you are interested in (check your course outline to remind yourself of the topics). Write down the ones you are most passionate about (three to five should be enough). Choose a topic from the ones you’ve written down and reframe it as a question.
What is an example of social psychology research?
Social psychology research focuses on societal issues and how they affect individual well-being. Examples of social psychology research issues include bullying, domestic abuse, crime, discrimination, racism, and substance abuse.