Psychology Paper Topics

Great Topics for Psychology Papers

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.

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.

General Psychology Topics

Choosing a topic for a psychology paper
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Because general psychology classes cover such a wide range of topics, you have a very large selection of subject ideas to choose from. Start by choosing a general topic, and then narrow your focus down so that you can fully cover the subject.

Some ideas include:

  • An issue paper: Tackle one of the current issues in psychology, such as parity in mental health care or involving psychologists in military interrogations.
  • Profile a famous psychologist: Select a well-known psychologist and then write a profile exploring his or her life, theories, and career.
  • Explore a well-known psychology experiment: Write a paper on a classic psychology study, such as the Milgram Obedience Experiment or the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Abnormal Psychology Topics

Abnormal Psychology Paper Topics
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Abnormal psychology is a segment of psychology that deals with psychopathology and abnormal behavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and more. Some potential abnormal psychology topics include specific psychological disorders or particular treatment modalities, including:

Cognitive Psychology Topics

Cognitive Psychology Paper Topics
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Cognitive psychology looks at mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember, and learn. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics.

Some of the possible topics you might explore in this area include thinking, language, intelligence, and decision-making. Other ideas might include:

Developmental Psychology Topics

Developmental Psychology Paper Topics
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Developmental psychology focuses on the entire human lifespan, from conception to death. With such a wide and diverse range of human issues to cover, you have a tremendous variety of topics to choose from for your psychology paper.

For example, you might opt to focus on issues pertinent to early childhood, such as developing language, 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:

Social Psychology Topics

Social Psychology Paper Topics
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Social psychology is the scientific study of social behavior. In a social psychology class, you will learn about a wide range of issues related to how people interact with each other and behave in groups. Broad areas that you can consider when selecting a topic for your psychology paper might be group behaviors, violence, and social attitudes. Some more specific subjects that you should consider include:

Personality Psychology

Personality paper topics
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Personality psychology focuses on the traits and dispositions that contribute to overall personality. This is one of the largest topics within psychology so there are plenty of fascinating research topics from which to choose. Some specific topics that might interest you include whether personality can change, different theories of personality development and the Big Five theory of personality.

More Resources

After looking at this brief list of possible topics for psychology papers, it is easy to see that psychology is a very broad and diverse subject. While this variety makes it possible to find a topic that really catches your interest, it can sometimes make it very difficult for some students to select a good topic. If you're still stumped by your assignment, be sure to check out some of the following resources to learn more about choosing topics and writing psychology papers.

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