Dissertation Ideas For Psychology

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

30 Dissertation Topics for Psychology: How to Impress Your Professor

Pursuing a course with the aim of becoming a psychologist simply means that you will engaged in exploring such areas as human perception, cognitive, intelligence, personality and human behaviour in your career. Psychology is indeed a wide academic discipline, which gives you many dissertation topics you can write on.

Below are 30 dissertation topics for psychology, topics that can go a long way in impressing your professors:

  1. The Limits of Modular View of the Brain: The Importance of Feedback in Information Processing
  2. Direct and Indirect Theories of Perception
  3. The relationship that exists Between Emotion, Anxiety Disorder and Impaired Social Cognition
  4. The Importance of Visual Processing in Identification of Objects: Pathways and Neutral Mechanisms
  5. MRI Studies as Reliable Indicator of Brain Function
  6. How Hierarchy Explains Information Flow and Parallel Distributed Processing
  7. The Role of Plasticity in Visual Cognitive Development
  8. Changes during Cognitive Development: a Type of Learning Mechanism or Different Learning Paradigms for Different Problems?
  9. The Extent to which Neural Development Mechanism Informs Early Cognition
  10. Influence of Culture on Conversational Understanding among Children
  11. Validity of Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development in Light of Modern Findings in Cognitive Neuroscience
  12. Factors that Modulate Automatic Priming Effects in Relation to Social Behaviour: Assessing Duration and Magnitude
  13. How Automatic Effects Influence Priming on Complex Behaviour in Real-Life Situations
  14. Theory of Behavioural Game: How Different Players Learn from Each Other and How They Influence Others in Relation to Strategic Thinking
  15. Reason and Emotion in Moral Judgment through Social Intuitionist Model
  16. How Cognitive Neuroscience Informs Social Psychology
  17. An Investigation into Whether or not Reciprocal Altruism is Enough in Explaining Altruism in Different Social Situations
  18. Facial Symmetry and Secondary Sex Characteristics as Reliable Indicators of Choosing a Mate
  19. An Investigation on Whether or not Artificially-Induced Examples of Evolutionary Game Theory is a Valid Means of Assessing Human Behaviour in Real Situations
  20. How Human Cognitive Development Informs Evolution of Human Brain
  21. How Executive Function of the Frontal Cortex Makes Humans Unique
  22. Validity of DSM-IV as a Tool for Categorizing Abnormal Psychological Symptoms
  23. The Importance of Dysfunctional Amygdale and Ventromedial Preffrontal Cortex in Psychopathology
  24. A Investigation into Whether or not Schizophreania is a Multi-Dimensional Syndrome
  25. Effects of Cannabis on Working Memory
  26. An Investigation into how colour Influences Performance in Sports
  27. An Investigation into how colour Influences Emotion
  28. Influence of language on Perception and Thought: The Linguistic Relativity Debate
  29. A Systematic Review of Psychology in Religion
  30. The Effects of Indoor Plants on Employee Productivity


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