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Psychology Research Paper Topics List

08 Jun 2018

What Is a Psychology Research Paper?

A psychology research paper is a kind of paper that is written on the psychological topic. You should know that psychology is a developmental study. If you are supposed to complete the paper on the psychological topic, you would primarily focus on the different psychological aspects of human’s life such as mental processes, behavior in various situations, subconsciousness, and consciousness. This branch of study is the unique and interesting one. Psychology research papers can be of different types such as original research report or literature review.

If you have the task to create an original research report, it means that you are supposed to do your research and place the details of your experiments. This type of writing requires a previous preparation and practical steps. You should obligatory distinguish the methods that should be used for experimenting and include the method section in your paper. Your work should also include a results section, where you place all your observations, and discussion section. An obligatory part of your paper is the references which made your thoughts completed and accomplished.

The other type of writing is a literature review. In this paper, you are supposed to give the summary of researchers on the specific topic that other people once did. You may have a specific number of sources that you should choose to create your paper. Literature reviews commonly require to have cited up to 20 studies and are usually written in 10 – 20 pages.

Speaking of its sections, they are slightly different from the ones in the original research. The literature review includes an introduction, a body, and discussion/conclusions. The first step is to introduce a question that you are going to recover and then narrow the focus to the particular subtopics. You can also place a comparison of the studies and give the discussion of the findings.

How to Choose a Good Psychology Essay Topic?

In some cases, you might be required to do a research paper on the specific given theme. However, mostly the students are supposed to choose their topic themselves. Choosing a topic is not an easy task and might be the hardest step in the process of writing. Try to avoid general theme and concentrate on the narrow ones that would be easy to recover.

One of the most important aspects you should take into consideration is your attitude to the topic. Pick up the one that would be appealing and interesting to you. Doing so, you will be able to create more saturated and exhaustive paper.

Before you start writing a paper, think carefully about your audience. It is important to distinguish your readers and to know exactly who is going to read you. Completing this step will enable you to focus your paper on those subtopics and arguments that would be interesting and capturing specifically to those who are potentially your readers. Create the paper that would be attractive to your audience and state the topic that will make them fully interested in.

Selecting a topic, you should distinguish what kind of paper you should write and what is its size. Your theme can be more general, and it also can be specifically narrowed. The main rule is to state strict ideas for your topic and recover the topic.

Psychology is a wide subject, and there could be a great variety of topics to choose from. If you have to select the one yourself, you should pick up the one that is connected with your class. Do not fly away from your focus and concentrate on something that particularly refers to your branch of study.  For example, if you have a course on the history of psychology, it wouldn’t be appropriate to write about mental disorders.

If the variation field is wide, narrow it yourself. Concentrate on the one branch of psychology and pick up something specific within this branch. Additionally, make sure that there is enough information that will help you write your paper.

Psychology research papers are not the ones that require only theoretical information. Mostly you should include the practical part that means you are supposed to do some experiments or observation. Think carefully what would be better for you to complete perfectly and what methods you should use to cover the subject.

There are many ways how to narrow your thoughts and select the one theme. The first one is to choose the one branch of psychology; for instance, you can focus on the social psychology or developmental psychology.

Moreover, you can write about a type of therapy or a specific disorder. You can also pick up the topic connected with human cognition. In this field, you can write about thinking, learning, language, and intelligence. You can also choose the subject that relates to human development. Here you can create a focus on the peculiarities of the different stages of childhood and adulthood.

There is an opportunity to create a critique paper on psychological books or articles. You can write a critical analysis of the written papers or do some analyses of the well-known experiment. One more option is to choose the one famous figure that influenced the development of the psychology and write a research paper about him or her. Another idea is to study the group of individuals and write about your experiments.

You can come across many other different and interesting ideas that you might choose. Try to use all your imagination and theoretical knowledge to create the best paper you can.

A List of Psychology Research Paper Topics for College Students

If you are the one who is looking for a perfect topic for one’s psychological research, you can study the list placed below.

History of Psychology Research Paper Topics

  1. Was Gestalt Psychology a success or a failure?
  2. Cognitive psychology as a revolution in psychology
  3. John B. Watson and his influence on the development of psychology
  4. Trinity psychology
  5. Works in the psychology history
  6. Clinical psychology
  7. Chomsky and his influence on the development of psychology
  8. Sigmund Freud and his theory
  9. Harry Harlow and his works

Mental Health Research Paper Topics

  1. Depression and its consequences
  2. The effect of cannabis on bipolar disorder
  3. Factors that cause the depression
  4. Social Anxiety
  5. The first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
  6. Forms of dementia
  7. Anxiety disorders
  8. The problem of autism

Social Psychology Research Paper Topics

  1. Milgram’s obedience experiment
  2. Verbal and nonverbal communication
  3. How to read nonverbal signs
  4. The rules of detecting lies
  5. Common persuasive techniques
  6. Social psychology theory
  7. Online communication and real-life communication
  8. What does our appearance say to other people
  9. People’s reaction to violating social norms

Neuroscience Research Paper Topics

  1. Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis
  2. Cell fate mechanism
  3. Postnatal neurogenesis: spatial and temporal patterns
  4. Pharmacological and environmental regulation
  5. Neural differentiation of pluripotent stem cells.
  6. Dendritic growth and branching
  7. Neurotrophins and other trophic factors in cell death development
  8. Limbic system

Evolution and Behavior Research Paper Topics

  1. Connecting between the evolution theory and psychology
  2. Adaptive behaviors
  3. Mating behavior
  4. The factor of parental behavior
  5. The process of sexual selection
  6. Problems that evolutionary explanations meet
  7. The phenomenon of polygyny
  8. Evolutionary psychologists

Individual Differences and Personality Research Paper Topics

  1. Biographical information
  2. Pessimism and optimism
  3. Need of Power
  4. Cognitive abilities
  5. The role of impression
  6. Peculiarities of emotional intelligence
  7. Personality traits
  8. The problem of stereotype

Developmental Psychology Research Paper Topics

  1. Parenting styles and their peculiarities
  2. The influence of music in studying
  3. The influence of bullying on student’s success
  4. The ways to persuade the students to do their work
  5. Birth order and its influence on personality
  6. Changes in short-term memory limits
  7. Does eating breakfast better the work of the student in school
  8. Teaching sign language

Cognitive Psychology Research Paper Topics

  1. Children cognition
  2. Ability to think critically
  3. Creativity
  4. Cognitive styles
  5. Cognitive science
  6. Memory
  7. Mental models
  8. Solving the problem

Clinical Psychology Research Paper Topics

  1. Psychological disorders
  2. Symptoms of psychological disorders
  3. The reasons for depression
  4. Kinds of therapy
  5. Media violence and its influence on children behavior
  6. Addiction to social media
  7. Effect of social media on people’s behavior
  8. Treating disorders in children behavior

Basic Learning Processes Research Paper Topics

  1. What is the process of learning
  2. Learning as memorizing
  3. Inductive reasoning
  4. Procedural learning
  5. Associative learning
  6. Different definitions of the learning process
  7. Learning theorists

Psychology Research Paper Examples

In the process of writing any paper, the most important and crucial step is to create an outline. In most cases, it might seem that creating an outline is much harder than writing the contest afterward. However, do not be afraid to waste your time on this aspect as it will make the further process easier and faster. Outlining is like stating a plan for your ideas. It helps to make your focus on the important arguments and prevent from flying away from the topic. The outline is the best way to generate your topic.

Here you can find an example of an outline creating on the psychological topic.

The topic: Behavior study of obedience

Abstract: Give a summary of what is your paper about.

There exist some facts about the role of obedience when completing the acts against one’s conscience. Most of the theories state that only disrupted people can commit the pain to others if they are ordered to. Our experiment studied people’s obedience to commands. The results picture that most of the participants follow the orders of the authoritative person. The conclusion states that moral ethic doesn’t mean a lot when it is resisted to authority.


Modern theories make a focus on the individual characteristics to explain the wrong behavior and intentionally harming others. In a survey, a list of doctors and psychologists suggested that 3% of the population would harm others if they had been ordered to.

Adolph Eichmann stated the thesis of “following orders,” and the main purpose is to test this statement. Can someone harm others only because he merely follows the orders? Do people follow the orders that contradict their moral principles? This experiment will show if the people can continue administering electric shocks to others only obeying the orders. The prediction is that only small amount of people will continue giving shocks and most of them will refuse to follow the orders.



35 participants were found with the help of advertisement placed in a newspaper and were paid $5.


A “shock generator” was used to make the participant think that they were committing an electric shock to the person in another room. It had shifts covered with voltages, beginning at 30 volts and growing up to 500 volts. All participant were constantly reminded how dangerous their act is.


Each of the participants met another “participant” who was an actor. Each of them became a “teacher” and would give a shock to the “student” if he gave an incorrect answer to the question. All of them were sure that they delivered a real shock.

The “learner” created a reaction pretended to be shocked. When the volt level increased would plead for stopping and complain about the bad heart condition. At the highest level, he would fall on the wall and keep silence. The experimenter would order to keep giving shocks.


24 participants from all the 35 gave the maximum shocks. 11 of them didn’t obey and stopped at the highest level. All of them kept delivering shocks up to 300 volts.


Most of the people, who took part in the experiment, became extremely stressed, agitated, and angry. Most of them kept following the orders in spite of their unwillingness and uncomfortable feelings. This experiment proves that the person can commit the harm intentionally if he is ordered to do so.


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