For a research paper with an example of a person who tends to have...

For a research paper with an example of a person who tends to have a paranoid personality, please make an example with an outline of which main points are included in the paper. The research paper supports Freud's theory point of view. 

References I found below:

Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)

Yorke, C. (2015). Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition) , 413-419.

Traits Versus States: Understanding Personality Disorders

Tannenbaum, L., & Rodzen, M. (2021). Traits Versus States: Understanding Personality Disorders. Physician Assistant Clinics , 6 (3), 467-477.


Hartman, J. J. (2022). Psychoanalysis. Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (Third Edition) , 606-612.

The Paranoid-Masochistic Character

Nydes, J. (2013). The Paranoid-Masochistic Character.  Psychoanalytic Review, 100 (3), 473-512. 101521prev20131003473

Answer & Explanation

Example Outline for a Research Paper on Paranoid PersonalityFreud's Theory Perspective


  • What is paranoid personality?
  • What are the main characteristics of paranoid personality?
  • How does Freud's theory explain paranoid personality?
  • Include a brief overview of Freud's theory, such as the structure of the psyche, the defense mechanisms, and the stages of psychosexual development
  • Provide a brief overview of the person's life and history.
  • Discuss the person's main personality traits and symptoms.
  • Explain how Freud's theory can be used to understand the person's personality and behavior.

Body Paragraph 1: Paranoid Personality Traits

  • Discuss the main traits associated with paranoid personality, such as suspiciousness, distrust, and hypersensitivity.
  • Use Freud's theory to explain how these traits may develop, such as through early childhood experiences or defense mechanisms.
  • Provide examples of how these traits may manifest in everyday life.
  • Provide specific examples of the person's paranoid personality traits, such as suspiciousness, distrust, and hypersensitivity.
  • Relate the person's traits to Freud's theory of personality development and defense mechanisms.
  • Explain how the person's traits may have developed and how they impact their life.

Body Paragraph 2: Paranoid Personality Symptoms

  • Discuss the main symptoms associated with paranoid personality disorder, such as delusions of persecution, grandiosity, and social isolation.
  • Use Freud's theory to explain how these symptoms may develop, such as through the repression of unconscious conflicts.
  • Provide examples of how these symptoms may impact a person's life.

Body Paragraph 3: Treatment for Paranoid Personality

  • Discuss the different treatment options available for paranoid personality, such as psychotherapy and medication.
  • Use Freud's theory to explain how psychotherapy may be effective in treating paranoid personality, such as through helping the person to understand and resolve their unconscious conflicts.
  • Provide examples of how treatment may help a person with paranoid personality to improve their life.
  • Summarize the main points of the paper.
  • Reiterate how Freud's theory provides a helpful framework for understanding and treating paranoid personality.

Approach to solving the question:

just an idea and statements that can help you create a research paper. hope it helps you 

Detailed explanation:

Key references:

  • Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939).
  • Yorke, C. (2015). Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939). International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), 413-419.
  • Tannenbaum, L., & Rodzen, M. (2021). Traits Versus States: Understanding Personality Disorders. Physician Assistant Clinics, 6(3), 467-477.
  • Hartman, J. J. (2022). Psychoanalysis. Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (Third Edition), 606-612.
  • Nydes, J. (2013). The Paranoid-Masochistic Character. Psychoanalytic Review, 100(3), 473-512.

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Research Methods - L1-7 (Experimental Method) - AQA Psychology

Research Methods - L1-7 (Experimental Method) - AQA Psychology


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1 November 2023

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Research Methods PLC - AQA Psychology - Paper 2

Research Methods PLC - AQA Psychology - Paper 2

L7: Ethical Issues - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L7: Ethical Issues - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L6: Pilot Studies / Control Of Variables - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L6: Pilot Studies / Control Of Variables - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L5: Types Of Experiment - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L5: Types Of Experiment - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L4: Experimental Design - AQA Psychology - Research Methods (Full Lesson + Practical Activity)

L4: Experimental Design - AQA Psychology - Research Methods (Full Lesson + Practical Activity)

L3: Variables and Hypotheses - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L3: Variables and Hypotheses - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L2: Sampling - AQA Psychology - Research Methods (Full Lesson  + Practical Activity)

L2: Sampling - AQA Psychology - Research Methods (Full Lesson + Practical Activity)

L1: Features Of Science - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

L1: Features Of Science - AQA Psychology - Research Methods

AQA Psychology Paper 2 - Research Methods - Experimental Methods

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L1: Features Of Science L2: Sampling L3: Variables and Hypotheses L4: Experimental Design L5: Types Of Experiment L6: Pilot Studies / Control Of Variables L7: Ethical Issues

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Psychology Research Paper

This sample psychology research paper features: 6000 words (approx. 20 pages), an outline, and a bibliography with 32 sources. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. If you need a thorough research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A! Feel free to contact our writing service for professional assistance. We offer high-quality assignments for reasonable rates.

History of Psychology

Every day, psychologists make history. It can be in an act as small as sending an e-mail or as large as winning a Nobel Prize. What remains of these acts and the contexts in which they occur are the data of history. When transformed by historians of psychology to produce narrative, these data represent our best attempts to make meaning of our science and profession.

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The meaning that is derived from the data of history is most often made available to students of psychology through a course in the history of psychology. For a variety of reasons, the history of psychology has maintained a strong presence in the psychology curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for as long as there has been a psychology curriculum in America (Fuchs & Viney, 2002; Hilgard, Leary, & McGuire, 1991). As a result, most students will have some exposure to the subject matter and some sense of its importance.

Why are psychologists so interested in their own history? In trying to answer this question, consider the following quotations from two eminent British historians. One, Robin Collingwood (1946), wrote that the “proper object of historical study.. .is the human mind, or more properly the activities of the human mind” (p. 215). And the other, Edward H. Carr (1961), proposed that “the historian is not really interested in the unique, but what is general in the unique” and that “the study of history is a study of causes.. .the historian.. .continuously asks the question: Why?” (pp. 80, 113). Thus, according to these historians, to study history is to study the human mind, to be able to generalize beyond the characteristics of a single individual or single event to other individuals and other events, and to be able to answer the “why” of human behavior in terms of motivation, personality, past experience, expectations, and so forth. Historians are not satisfied, for example, with a mere description of the events of May 4, 1970, in which national guard troops killed four unarmed students on a college campus in Ohio. Description is useful, but it is not the scholarly end product that is sought. By itself, description is unlikely to answer the questions that historians want to answer. They want to understand an event, like the shootings at Kent State University, so completely that they can explain why it happened.

Collingwood (1946) has described history as “the science of human nature” (p. 206). In defining history in that way, Collingwood has usurped psychology’s definition for itself. One can certainly argue about the scientific nature of history and thus his use of the term science in his definition. Whereas historians do not do experimental work, they are engaged in empirical work, and they approach their questions in much the same way that psychologists do, by generating hypotheses and then seeking evidence that will confirm or disconfirm those hypotheses. Thus the intellectual pursuits of the historian and the psychologist are not really very different. And so as psychologists or students of psychology, we are not moving very far from our own field of interest when we study the history of psychology.

Historians of psychology seek to understand the development of the discipline by examining the confluence of people, places, and events within larger social, economic, and political contexts. Over the last forty years the history of psychology has become a recognized area of research and scholarship in psychology. Improvements in the tools, methods, and training of historians of psychology have created a substantial body of research that contributes to conversations about our shared past, the meaning of our present divergence, and the promise of our future. In this research-paper you will learn about the theory and practice of research on the history of psychology.

Historiography refers to the philosophy and methods of doing history. Psychology is certainly guided by underlying philosophies and a diversity of research methods. A behaviorist, for example, has certain assumptions about the influence of previous experience, in terms of a history of punishment and reinforcement, on current behavior. And the methods of study take those assumptions into account in the design and conduct of experiments. A psychoanalytic psychologist, on the other hand, has a very different philosophy and methodology in investigating the questions of interest, for example, believing in the influence of unconscious motives and using techniques such as free association or analysis of latent dream content to understand those motives. Historical research is guided in the same way. It will help you understand history by knowing something about its philosophy and methods as well.

The historical point of view is highly compatible with our notions of our science. Psychologists tend to view individuals in developmental terms, and historians of psychology extend this point of view to encompass the developmental life of the discipline. Like any area of inquiry in psychology, historians of psychology modify their theories, principles, and practices with the accumulation of knowledge, the passage of time, and available technology. One simply needs to compare E. G. Boring’s epic 1929 tome, A History of Experimental Psychology, with Duane and Sydney Ellen Schultz’s 2004 text, A History of Modern Psychology, to see the difference that 75 years can make.

Approaches to history have changed dramatically over the last 75 years. Indeed much of the early research and scholarship in the history of psychology was ceremonial and celebratory. Most often it was not written by historians. It was, and in some circles remains, a reflexive view of history—great people cause great change. Such a view is naive and simplistic. Psychological theories, research practices, and applications are all bound in a context, and it is this dynamic and fluid model that is the trend in historical research today. Just as inferential statistics have advanced from simple regression analysis to structural equation modeling, so too has historical research embraced a notion of multiple determinants and estimates of their relative impact on historical construction. In 1989 historian of psychology Laurel Furumoto christened this “the new history,” a signifier denoting that historic research should strive to be more contextual and less internal.

Postmodern, deconstructionist, and social constructionist perspectives all share an emphasis on context, and have influenced historical research in psychology. The postmodern approach embraces a more critical and questioning attitude toward the enterprise of science (Anderson, 1998). The rise of science studies has led to what some have dubbed the “science wars” and to contentious arguments between those who see science as an honest attempt at objective and dispassionate fact-finding and those who see science (psychological and otherwise) as a political exercise subject to disorder, bias, control, and authority mongering. It is an issue that is present in today’s history of psychology (for examples and discussions see Popplestone, 2004; Zammito, 2004).

Perhaps the largest growth in scholarship on the history of psychology has been in the area of intellectual history. As mentioned earlier, the construction of narrative in these works tends to eschew the older, more ceremonial, and internal histories in favor of a point of view that is more external and contextual. Rather than merely providing a combination of dates and achievements, modern historical scholarship in psychology tends to illuminate. The value of this point of view is in its contributions to our ongoing discussions of the meanings and directions of our field. The ever-expanding universe that psychology occupies and the ongoing debates of the unity of psychology are sufficient to warrant consideration and discussion of how our science and practice have evolved and developed. Historical analysis offers insight into personal, professional, and situational variables that impact and influence the field.

There is also a growing interest in what can be termed the material culture of psychology. The objects and artifacts that occupy psychological laboratories and aid our assessment of mind and behavior are becoming objects of study in their own right (Robinson, 2001; Sturm & Ash, 2005). For example, we continue to study reaction time and memory but we no longer use Hipp chronoscopes or mechanical memory drums. Changes in technology bring changes in methodologies and a host of other variables that are of interest to the historian of psychology.

Another area of increased interest and attention is the impact that racism and discrimination have had on the field. Traditionally underrepresented groups in psychology have often been made invisible by the historical record, but recent scholarship seeks to illuminate the people, places, and practices that have been part of both the problem and the solution to some of the 20th century’s most vexing questions on race, gender, and religion (for examples see Philogène, 2004; Winston, 2004).

Psychologists typically study contemporary events (behaviors and mental processes), whereas historians study events of the distant past. Both might be interested in the same behavior, but the time frame and the methods are usually distinct. Psychologists are interested in marriage, for example, and they might study marriage using surveys, ex post facto methods, or quasi-experimental designs using a sample of married couples (or perhaps divorced couples). Historians, on the other hand, would be likely to look at marriage, for example, as an institution in Victorian England, and they would be unable to use any of the methods listed previously as part of the arsenal of the psychologist. The questions on marriage that would interest psychologists and historians might be similar—how are mates selected in marriage, at what age do people marry, what roles do wives and husbands play in these marriages, what causes marriages to end? But again, the methods of research and the time frame for the events would be different.

History, then, is the branch of knowledge that attempts to analyze and explain events of the past. The explanatory product is a narrative of those events, a story. Central to telling any historical story is the accumulation of facts. We typically think of facts as some kind of demonstrable truth, some real event whose occurrence cannot be disputed. Yet facts are more elusive, as evidenced in the typical dictionary definition, which notes that a fact is information that is “presented” as objectively real. Historians present as fact, for example, that an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Because of detailed records of that event, as well as many eyewitness accounts, that fact seems indisputable; however, there are other kinds of facts.

In addition to the date of the bombing of Hiroshima, historians have also presented a number of facts relevant to the decision made by the United States government to drop that bomb. Not surprisingly, those facts are more debatable. Thus facts differ in terms of their certainty. Sometimes that is because evidence is incomplete and much inference has to be made, sometimes it is because evidence is contradictory, and sometimes it is because of bias introduced in the observation or in the interpretation of these events. Flawed though they may be, facts are the basis of history. It is the job of the historian to uncover these items of the past and to piece them together in an account that is as accurate as can be constructed.

In contemporary historiography, the researcher must always be alert to bias in the selection and interpretation of facts. Objectivity is a critical goal for the historian. Carr (1961) has argued that objectivity is indeed only a dream: “The emphasis on the role of the historian in the making of history tends, if pressed to its logical conclusion, to rule out any objective history at all: history is what the historian makes” (p. 29).

Like psychologists, historians are human too, and they bring to their task a bundle of prejudices, preconceptions, penchants, predispositions, premises, and predilections. Such baggage does not mean that they abandon their hope for objectivity, nor does it mean that their histories are hopelessly flawed. Good historians know their biases.

They use their understanding of them to search for evidence in places where they might not otherwise look or to ask questions that they would not ordinarily ask. When this searching and questioning causes them to confront facts contrary to their own views, they must deal with those facts as they would with facts that are more consistent with their biases.

Bias in history begins at the beginning: “The historian displays a bias through the mere choice of a subject…” (Gilderhus, 1992, p. 80). There are an infinite number of historical subjects to pursue. The historian selects from among those, often selecting one of paramount personal interest. The search within that subject begins with a question or questions that the historian hopes to answer, and likely the historian starts with some definite ideas about the answers to those questions.

Bias is evident too in the data of history. It can occur in primary source material—for example, census records or other government documents—even though such sources are often regarded as quite accurate. Yet such sources are inherently biased by the philosophies underlying the construction of the instruments themselves and the ways in which those instruments are used. Secondary sources too are flawed. Their errors occur in transcription, translation, selection, and interpretation.

Oral histories are subject to the biases of the interviewer and the interviewee. Some questions are asked, while others are not. Some are answered, and others are avoided. And memories of events long past are often unreliable. Manuscript collections, the substance of modern archives, are selective and incomplete. They contain the documents that someone decided were worth saving, and they are devoid of those documents that were discarded or lost for a host of reasons, perhaps known only to the discarder.

After they have selected a topic of study and gathered the facts, historians must assemble them into a narrative that can also be subject to biases. Leahey (1986) reviews some of the pitfalls that modern historians of science want to avoid. These include Whig history, presentism, internalist history, and Great Man theories. Whig history refers to historical narrative that views history as a steady movement toward progress in an orderly fashion. Presentism is the tendency to view the past in terms of current values and beliefs. Internalist history focuses solely on developments within a field and fails to acknowledge the larger social, political, and economic contexts in which events and individual actions unfold. Great Man theories credit single, unique individuals (most often white males) as makers of history without regard for the impact that the spirit of the times (often referred to as the zeitgeist) has on the achievements of individuals. Avoiding these errors of interpretation calls for a different approach, which Stocking (1965) has labeled “historicism”: an understanding of the past in its own context and for its own sake. Such an approach requires historians to immerse themselves in the context of the times they are studying.

These are just some of the hurdles that the historian faces in striving for objectivity. They are not described here to suggest that the historian’s task is a hopeless one; instead, they are meant to show the forces against which historians must struggle in attempts at accuracy and objectivity. Carr (1961) has characterized the striving for this ideal as follows:

When we call a historian objective, we mean, I think, two things. First of all, we mean that he has the capacity to rise above the limited vision of his own situation in society and in history… .Secondly, we mean that he has the capacity to project his vision into the future in such a way as to give him a more profound and lasting insight into the past than can be attained by those historians whose outlook is entirely bounded by their own immediate situation. (p. 163)

In summary, history is a product of selection and interpretation. Knowing that helps us understand why books are usually titled “A History…” and not “The History….” There are many histories of psychology, and it would be surprising to find any historians so arrogant as to presume that their individual narratives constituted “The History of Psychology.”

History research is often like detective work: the search for one piece of evidence leads to the search for another and another. One has to follow all leads, some of which produce no useful information. When all of the leads have been exhausted, then you can analyze the facts to see if they are sufficient for telling the story. The leads or the data of history are most often found in original source material. The published record provides access to original source material through monographs and serials that are widely circulated and available in most academic libraries (including reference works such as indexes, encyclopedias, and hand-books). Hard-to-find and out-of-print material (newspapers, newsletters) are now much more easily available thanks to the proliferation of electronic resources. Too often valuable sources of information (obituaries, departmental histories and records, and oral histories) that are vital to maintaining the historical record are not always catalogued and indexed in ways that make them readily available and visible. The most important of all sources of data are archival repositories. Within such repositories one can find records of individuals (referred to as manuscript collections) and organizations (termed archival collections). Manuscript collections preserve and provide access to unique documents such as correspondence, lab notes, drafts of manuscripts, grant proposals, and case records. Archival collections of organizations contain materials such as membership records, minutes of meetings, convention programs, and the like. Archival repositories provide, in essence, the “inside story,” free of editorial revision or censure and marked by the currency of time as opposed to suffering the losses and distortion of later recall. In much the same way, still images, film footage, and artifacts such as apparatus and instrumentation aid in the process of historical discovery.

There are literally thousands of collections of letters of individuals, most of them famous, but some not. And in those historically significant collections are millions of stories waiting to be told. Michael Hill (1993) has described the joys of archival research in this way:

Archival work appears bookish and commonplace to the uninitiated, but this mundane simplicity is deceptive. It bears repeating that events and materials in archives are not always what they seem on the surface. There are perpetual surprises, intrigues, and apprehensions. Suffice it to say that it is a rare treat to visit an archive, to hold in one’s hand the priceless and irreplaceable documents of our unfolding human drama. Each new box of archival material presents opportunities for discovery as well as obligations to treat the subjects of your… research with candor, theoretical sophistication, and a sense of fair play. Each archival visit is a journey into an unknown realm that rewards its visitors with challenging puzzles and unexpected revelations. (pp. 6-7)

“Surprise, intrigue, apprehension, puzzles, and discovery”—those are characteristics of detective work, and historical research is very much about detective work.

The papers of important psychologists are spread among archives and libraries all over the world. In the United States you will find the papers of William James and B. F. Skinner in the collections at Harvard University. The papers of Hugo Munsterberg, a pioneer in the application of psychology to business, can be found at the Boston Public Library. The papers of Mary Whiton Calkins and Christine Ladd-Franklin, important early contributors to experimental psychology, can be found at Wellesley College and at Vassar College and Columbia University, respectively. The Library of Congress includes the papers of James McKeen Cattell and Kenneth B. Clark. Cattell was one of the founders of American psychology and a leader among American scientists in general, and Clark, an African American psychologist, earned fame when his research on self-esteem in black children was cited prominently in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made school segregation illegal (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954).

The single largest collection of archival materials on psychology anywhere in the world can be found at the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP) at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Founded by psychologists John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson in 1965, its purpose is to collect and preserve the historical record of psychology in America (Baker, 2004). Central to this mission is the preservation of personal papers, artifacts, and media that tell the story of psychology in America. In archival terms, “papers” refers to one-of-a-kind (unique) items. Papers can include such things as correspondence (both personal and professional), lecture notes, diaries, and lab journals. Recently named a Smithsonian Affiliate, the AHAP houses more than 1,000 objects and artifacts that offer unique insights into the science and practice of psychology. Instruments from the brass-and-glass era of the late 19th century share space alongside such significant 20th century objects as the simulated shock generator used by Stanley Milgram in his famous studies of obedience and conformity, the flags of the Eagles and Rattlers of the Robbers Cave experiment by Muzafir and Carolyn Sherif, and the props that supported Phillip Zimbardo’s well-known Stanford University prison studies.

Currently, the AHAP houses the personal papers of over 700 psychologists. There are papers of those representing experimental psychology (Leo and Dorothea Hurvich, Kenneth Spence, Ward Halstead, Mary Ainsworth, Frank Beach, Knight Dunlap, Dorothy Rethlingshafer, and Hans Lukas-Tuber), professional psychology (David Shakow, Edgar Doll, Leta Hollingworth, Herbert Freudenberger, Sidney Pressey, Joseph Zubin, Erika Fromm, Jack Bardon, Robert Waldrop, Marie Crissey, and Morris Viteles), and just about everything in between. Also included are the records of more than 50 psychological organizations, including the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the Association for Women in Psychology, Psi Chi, Psi Beta, the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the International Council of Psychologists, and the Psychonomic Society. State and regional association records that can be found at the AHAP include those of the Midwestern Psychological Association, the Ohio Psychological Association, and the Western Psychological Association. The test collection includes more than 8,000 tests and records. There are more than 15,000 photographs and 6,000 reels of film, including home movies of Freud, footage of Pavlov’s research institute, and research film from Arnold Gesell and the Yale Child Study Center. All of these materials serve as trace elements of people, places, and events to which we no longer have access. These archival elements are less fallible than human memory, and if properly preserved, are available to all for review and interpretation. Because an in-person visit to the Archives of the History of American Psychology is not always possible, the AHAP is seeking to make more of its collection available online ( ). Indeed, with the advent of the information age, material that was once available only by visitation to an archival repository can now be scanned, digitized, and otherwise rendered into an electronic format. From the diaries and correspondence of women during the civil war to archival collections of animation movies, the digital movement is revolutionizing access to original source material. More information on electronic resources in the history of psychology can be found in the annotated bibliography at the end of this research-paper.

All archives have a set of finding aids to help the researcher locate relevant materials. Some finding aids are more comprehensive than others. Finding aids are organized around a defined set of characteristics that typically include the following:

  • Collection dates (date range of the material)
  • Size of collection (expressed in linear feet)
  • Provenance (place of origin of a collection, previous ownership)
  • Access (if any part of the collection is restricted)
  • Finding aid preparer name and date of preparation
  • Biographical/historical note (a short, succinct note about the collection’s creator)
  • Scope and content note (general description and highlights of the collection)
  • Series descriptions (headings used to organize records of a similar nature)
  • Inventory (description and location of contents of a collection)

Even if an on-site review of the contents of a collection is not possible, reviewing finding aids can still be useful because of the wealth of information they provide.


In the mid-1960s, a critical mass of sorts was achieved for those interested in teaching, research, and scholarship in the history of psychology. Within the span of a few years, two major organizations appeared: Cheiron: The International Society for the History of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Division 26 (Society for the History of Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Both sponsor annual meetings, and both are affiliated with scholarly journals (Cheiron is represented by the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences and the Society for the History of Psychology by History of Psychology) that provide an outlet for original research. Two doctoral training programs in the history of psychology exist in North America. One is at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the other is at the University of New Hampshire.

For most students in psychology, the closest encounter with historical research comes in the form of a project or paper as part of a requirement for a class on the history of psychology. Using the types of resources that we have described in this research-paper, it should be possible to construct a narrative on any number of topical issues in psychology.

For example, the ascendancy of professional psychology with its concomitant focus on mental health is a topic of interest to historians of psychology and of considerable importance to many students who wish to pursue graduate training in professional psychology. Using archival materials, original published material, secondary sources, and government documents, a brief example of a historical narrative is provided.

World War II and the Rise of Professional Psychology

America’s entrance into World War II greatly expanded the services that American psychologists offered, especially in the area of mental health. Rates of psychiatric illness among recruits were surprisingly high, the majority of discharges from service were for psychiatric reasons, and psychiatric casualties occupied over half of all beds in Veterans Administration hospitals. Not only was this cause for concern among the military, it also alerted federal authorities to the issue among the general population. At the time, the available supply of trained personnel met a fraction of the need. In a response that was fast and sweeping, the federal government passed the National Mental Health Act of 1946, legislation that has been a major determinant in the growth of the mental health profession in America (Pickren & Schneider, 2004). The purpose of the act was clear:

The improvement of the mental health of the people of the United States through the conducting of researches, investigations, experiments, and demonstrations relating to the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders; assisting and fostering such research activities by public and private agencies, and promoting the coordination of all such researches and activities and the useful application of their results; training personnel in matters relating to mental health; and developing, and assisting States in the use of the most effective methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders. (Public Law 487, 1946, p. 421)

The act provided for a massive program of federal assistance to address research, training, and service in the identification, treatment, and prevention of mental illness.

It created the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and provided broad support to psychiatry, psychiatric social work, psychiatric nursing, and psychology for the training of mental health professionals (Rubens tein, 1975). Through the joint efforts of the United States Public Health Service and the Veterans Administration, funds were made available to psychology departments willing to train professional psychologists. Never before had such large sums of money been available to academic psychology. The grants and stipends available from the federal government allowed universities to hire clinical faculty to teach graduate students, whose education and training was often supported by generous stipends. It was these funds that subsidized the Boulder Conference on Graduate Education in Clinical Psychology in 1949 (Baker & Benjamin, 2000).

The chief architect of the Boulder model was David Shakow (1901-1981). At the time, there was no other person in American psychology who had more responsibility and influence in defining standards of training for clinical psychologists. In 1947, Shakow crafted a report on the training of doctoral students in clinical psychology that became the working document for the Boulder Conference of 1949 (APA, 1947; Benjamin & Baker, 2004; Felix, 1947).

By the 1950s, professional psychologists achieved identities that served their members, served their various publics, attracted students and faculty, and ensured survival by maintaining the mechanisms necessary for professional accreditation and later for certification and licensure. In the free-market economy, many trained for public service have found greener pastures in private practice.

The training model inaugurated by the NIMH in 1949 has continued unabated for five decades, planned and supported largely through the auspices of the American Psychological Association. The exigencies that called for the creation of a competent mental health work force have changed, yet the professional psychologist engineered at mid-century has endured, as has the uneasy alliance between science and practice.

This brief historical analysis shows how archival elements can be gathered from a host of sources and used to illuminate the contextual factors that contributed to a significant development in modern American psychology. This story could not be told without access to a number of original sources. For example, the inner workings of the two-week Boulder conference are told in the surviving papers of conference participants, including the personal papers of David Shakow that are located at Akron in the Archives of the History of American Psychology. Papers relevant to the Mental Health Act of 1946 can be found in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Information about the role of the Veterans Administration in contributing to the development of the profession of clinical psychology can be found in the oral history collection available at the archives of the APA. Such analysis also offers an opportunity for reflection and evaluation, and tells us some of the story of the bifurcation of science and practice that has resulted in American psychology. We believe that historical analysis provides a perspective that can contribute to our understanding of current debates and aid in the consideration of alternatives.

Indeed, almost any contemporary topic that a student of psychology is interested in has a history that can be traced. Topics in cognition, emotions, forensics, group therapy, parenting, sexuality, memory, and animal learning, to name but a very few, can be researched. Archival resources are often more readily available than most might think. Local and regional archives and university library special collections all are sources of original material. For example, students can do interesting research on the history of their own psychology departments (Benjamin, 1990). University archives can offer minutes of faculty meetings, personnel records (those that are public), college yearbooks (which often show faculty members, student groups, etc.), course catalogues, building plans, and many more items. Interviews can be conducted with retired faculty and department staff, and local newspapers can be researched for related stories. The work can be informative, instructive, and very enjoyable.

In the end we are left with an important question: So what? What is the importance of the history of psychology? What do we gain? The history of psychology is not likely to serve as an empirically valid treatment for anxiety, nor is it likely to offer a model of how memory works. But that is not the point. It is easily argued that the history of psychology offers some instrumental benefits. The examination of psychology’s past provides not only a more meaningful understanding of that past, but a more informed and enriched appreciation of our present, and the best crystal ball available in making predictions about our field’s future. It aids critical thinking by providing a compendium of the trials, tribulations, and advances that accrue from the enormous questions we ask of our science and profession, and it offers the opportunity to reduce the interpersonal drift we seem to experience. In recent years, psychologists have become estranged from one another in ways that were unknown not all that long ago. Yet we share a connection, however tenuous, and it is found in our shared history.

At the risk of being labeled Whiggish, we would add that the history of psychology, professional and otherwise, has contributed to a corpus of knowledge that is real, tangible, and capable of improving the quality of life of all living things, including our planet. There are few secrets; we know how to encourage recycling, we understand effective ways of treating drug addiction, we have methods for alleviating some of the suffering of mental illness, we can provide tools to improve reading skills, we can design good foster homes—the list could get quite long.

Our knowledge is a powerful tool that has developed over time and is a narrative worth knowing. Like any good story, it has its heroes and its villains, it is set in a time and place, and it offers us a message we can all hear and use.


  • American Psychological Association, Committee on Training in Clinical Psychology. (1947). Recommended graduate training program in clinical psychology. American Psychologist, 2, 539-558.
  • Anderson, P. (1998). The origins of postmodernity. London: Verso. Archives of the History of American Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Baker, D. B. (2004). Thirty-five years of archival achievement. In D. Baker (Ed.), Thick description and fine texture: Studies in the history of psychology (pp. vii-x). Akron, OH: The University of Akron Press.
  • Baker, D. B., & Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2000). The affirmation of the scientist-practitioner: A look back at Boulder. American Psychologist, 55, 241-247.
  • Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1990). Involving students and faculty in preparing a departmental history. Teaching of Psychology, 17, 97-100.
  • Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2006). A history of psychology in letters (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Baker, D. B. (2004). From séance to science: A history of the profession of psychology in America. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  • Boring, E. G. (1929). A history of experimental psychology. New York: Century Co.
  • Carr, E. H. (1961). What is history? New York: Random House.
  • Collingwood, R. G. (1946). The idea of history. London: Oxford University Press.
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  • Felix, R. H. (1947, December 12). Memo to National Advisory Health Council. (Shakow Papers, M1375). Akron, OH: The University of Akron, Archives of the History of American Psychology.
  • Freedheim, D. K. (Ed.). (2003). History of psychology. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), Handbook of psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 492-495). New York: Wiley.
  • Fuchs, A. H., & Viney, W. (2002). The course in the history of psychology: Present status and future concerns. History of Psychology, 5, 3-15.
  • Furumoto, L. (1989). The new history of psychology. In I. S. Cohen (Ed.), G. Stanley Hall lecture series (Vol. 9, pp. 534). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Gilderhus, M. T. (1992). History and historians: A historiographical introduction (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Green, C. D. (n.d.). Classics in the history of psychology. Retrieved from
  • Green, C. D. (n.d.). This week in the history of psychology. Retrieved from
  • Guthrie, R. V. (2003) Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Hilgard, E. R., Leary, D. E., & McGuire, G. R. (1991). The history of psychology: A survey and critical assessment. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 79-107.
  • Hill, M. R. (1993). Archival strategies and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Leahey, T. H. (1986). History without the past. Contemporary Psychology, 31, 648-650.
  • Philogene, G. (Ed.). (2004). Racial identity in context: The legacy of Kenneth B. Clark. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Pickren, W. E., & Dewsbury, D. A. (Eds.). (2002). Evolving perspectives on the history of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Pickren, W. E., & Schneider, S. F. (2004). Psychology and the National Institute of Mental Health: A historical analysis of science, practice, and policy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Popplestone, J. A. (2004). Reinventing the past through interpretation: Reflections on the history of psychology—35 years in the trenches. In T. C. Dalton & R. B. Evans (Eds.), The life cycle of psychological ideas: Understanding prominence and the dynamics of intellectual change (pp. 59-81). New York: Kluwer.
  • Robinson, D. K. (2001). Reaction-time experiments in Wundt’s institute and beyond. In R. Rieber & D. K. Robinson (Eds.), Wilhelm Wundt in history: The making of a scientific psychology (pp. 161-204). New York: Kluwer.
  • Rubenstein, E. A. (1975). Unpublished interview with Robert Felix. Available from the archives of the American Psychological Association.
  • Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2004). A history of modern psychology (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson.
  • Stocking, G. W., Jr. (1965). On the limits of ‘presentism’ and ‘historicism’ in the historiography of the behavioral sciences. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1, 211-218.
  • Sturm, T., & Ash, M. (2005). Roles of instruments in psychological research. History of Psychology, 8, 3-34.
  • Winston, A. S. (Ed.). (2004). Defining difference: Race and racism in the history of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
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what is a research paper in psychology

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Writing Research Papers

  • Writing a Literature Review

When writing a research paper on a specific topic, you will often need to include an overview of any prior research that has been conducted on that topic.  For example, if your research paper is describing an experiment on fear conditioning, then you will probably need to provide an overview of prior research on fear conditioning.  That overview is typically known as a literature review.  

Please note that a full-length literature review article may be suitable for fulfilling the requirements for the Psychology B.S. Degree Research Paper .  For further details, please check with your faculty advisor.

Different Types of Literature Reviews

Literature reviews come in many forms.  They can be part of a research paper, for example as part of the Introduction section.  They can be one chapter of a doctoral dissertation.  Literature reviews can also “stand alone” as separate articles by themselves.  For instance, some journals such as Annual Review of Psychology , Psychological Bulletin , and others typically publish full-length review articles.  Similarly, in courses at UCSD, you may be asked to write a research paper that is itself a literature review (such as, with an instructor’s permission, in fulfillment of the B.S. Degree Research Paper requirement). Alternatively, you may be expected to include a literature review as part of a larger research paper (such as part of an Honors Thesis). 

Literature reviews can be written using a variety of different styles.  These may differ in the way prior research is reviewed as well as the way in which the literature review is organized.  Examples of stylistic variations in literature reviews include: 

  • Summarization of prior work vs. critical evaluation. In some cases, prior research is simply described and summarized; in other cases, the writer compares, contrasts, and may even critique prior research (for example, discusses their strengths and weaknesses).
  • Chronological vs. categorical and other types of organization. In some cases, the literature review begins with the oldest research and advances until it concludes with the latest research.  In other cases, research is discussed by category (such as in groupings of closely related studies) without regard for chronological order.  In yet other cases, research is discussed in terms of opposing views (such as when different research studies or researchers disagree with one another).

Overall, all literature reviews, whether they are written as a part of a larger work or as separate articles unto themselves, have a common feature: they do not present new research; rather, they provide an overview of prior research on a specific topic . 

How to Write a Literature Review

When writing a literature review, it can be helpful to rely on the following steps.  Please note that these procedures are not necessarily only for writing a literature review that becomes part of a larger article; they can also be used for writing a full-length article that is itself a literature review (although such reviews are typically more detailed and exhaustive; for more information please refer to the Further Resources section of this page).

Steps for Writing a Literature Review

1. Identify and define the topic that you will be reviewing.

The topic, which is commonly a research question (or problem) of some kind, needs to be identified and defined as clearly as possible.  You need to have an idea of what you will be reviewing in order to effectively search for references and to write a coherent summary of the research on it.  At this stage it can be helpful to write down a description of the research question, area, or topic that you will be reviewing, as well as to identify any keywords that you will be using to search for relevant research.

2. Conduct a literature search.

Use a range of keywords to search databases such as PsycINFO and any others that may contain relevant articles.  You should focus on peer-reviewed, scholarly articles.  Published books may also be helpful, but keep in mind that peer-reviewed articles are widely considered to be the “gold standard” of scientific research.  Read through titles and abstracts, select and obtain articles (that is, download, copy, or print them out), and save your searches as needed.  For more information about this step, please see the Using Databases and Finding Scholarly References section of this website.

3. Read through the research that you have found and take notes.

Absorb as much information as you can.  Read through the articles and books that you have found, and as you do, take notes.  The notes should include anything that will be helpful in advancing your own thinking about the topic and in helping you write the literature review (such as key points, ideas, or even page numbers that index key information).  Some references may turn out to be more helpful than others; you may notice patterns or striking contrasts between different sources ; and some sources may refer to yet other sources of potential interest.  This is often the most time-consuming part of the review process.  However, it is also where you get to learn about the topic in great detail.  For more details about taking notes, please see the “Reading Sources and Taking Notes” section of the Finding Scholarly References page of this website.

4. Organize your notes and thoughts; create an outline.

At this stage, you are close to writing the review itself.  However, it is often helpful to first reflect on all the reading that you have done.  What patterns stand out?  Do the different sources converge on a consensus?  Or not?  What unresolved questions still remain?  You should look over your notes (it may also be helpful to reorganize them), and as you do, to think about how you will present this research in your literature review.  Are you going to summarize or critically evaluate?  Are you going to use a chronological or other type of organizational structure?  It can also be helpful to create an outline of how your literature review will be structured.

5. Write the literature review itself and edit and revise as needed.

The final stage involves writing.  When writing, keep in mind that literature reviews are generally characterized by a summary style in which prior research is described sufficiently to explain critical findings but does not include a high level of detail (if readers want to learn about all the specific details of a study, then they can look up the references that you cite and read the original articles themselves).  However, the degree of emphasis that is given to individual studies may vary (more or less detail may be warranted depending on how critical or unique a given study was).   After you have written a first draft, you should read it carefully and then edit and revise as needed.  You may need to repeat this process more than once.  It may be helpful to have another person read through your draft(s) and provide feedback.

6. Incorporate the literature review into your research paper draft.

After the literature review is complete, you should incorporate it into your research paper (if you are writing the review as one component of a larger paper).  Depending on the stage at which your paper is at, this may involve merging your literature review into a partially complete Introduction section, writing the rest of the paper around the literature review, or other processes.

Further Tips for Writing a Literature Review

Full-length literature reviews

  • Many full-length literature review articles use a three-part structure: Introduction (where the topic is identified and any trends or major problems in the literature are introduced), Body (where the studies that comprise the literature on that topic are discussed), and Discussion or Conclusion (where major patterns and points are discussed and the general state of what is known about the topic is summarized)

Literature reviews as part of a larger paper

  • An “express method” of writing a literature review for a research paper is as follows: first, write a one paragraph description of each article that you read. Second, choose how you will order all the paragraphs and combine them in one document.  Third, add transitions between the paragraphs, as well as an introductory and concluding paragraph. 1
  • A literature review that is part of a larger research paper typically does not have to be exhaustive. Rather, it should contain most or all of the significant studies about a research topic but not tangential or loosely related ones. 2   Generally, literature reviews should be sufficient for the reader to understand the major issues and key findings about a research topic.  You may however need to confer with your instructor or editor to determine how comprehensive you need to be.

Benefits of Literature Reviews

By summarizing prior research on a topic, literature reviews have multiple benefits.  These include:

  • Literature reviews help readers understand what is known about a topic without having to find and read through multiple sources.
  • Literature reviews help “set the stage” for later reading about new research on a given topic (such as if they are placed in the Introduction of a larger research paper). In other words, they provide helpful background and context.
  • Literature reviews can also help the writer learn about a given topic while in the process of preparing the review itself. In the act of research and writing the literature review, the writer gains expertise on the topic .

Downloadable Resources

  • How to Write APA Style Research Papers (a comprehensive guide) [ PDF ]
  • Tips for Writing APA Style Research Papers (a brief summary) [ PDF ]
  • Example APA Style Research Paper (for B.S. Degree – literature review) [ PDF ]

Further Resources

How-To Videos     

  • Writing Research Paper Videos
  • UCSD Library Psychology Research Guide: Literature Reviews

External Resources

  • Developing and Writing a Literature Review from N Carolina A&T State University
  • Example of a Short Literature Review from York College CUNY
  • How to Write a Review of Literature from UW-Madison
  • Writing a Literature Review from UC Santa Cruz  
  • Pautasso, M. (2013). Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review. PLoS Computational Biology, 9 (7), e1003149. doi : 1371/journal.pcbi.1003149

1 Ashton, W. Writing a short literature review . [PDF]     

2 carver, l. (2014).  writing the research paper [workshop]. , prepared by s. c. pan for ucsd psychology.

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  • Research Paper Structure
  • Formatting Research Papers
  • Using Databases and Finding References
  • What Types of References Are Appropriate?
  • Evaluating References and Taking Notes
  • Citing References
  • Writing Process and Revising
  • Improving Scientific Writing
  • Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Writing Research Papers Videos

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Psychology Research Paper Topics Ideas for Your Next Assignment

Updated Aug 2021

Psychology research papers are some of the most intriguing writing assignments, but they can be pretty daunting to complete. Studying the human mind and behavior is just as fascinating as it is complicated.

Are you having a tough time picking a single idea for your psychology research paper topic? No wonder since psychology encompasses many different disciplines, such as social, experimental, educational, cognitive, developmental, and forensic psychology, to name but a few.

Even after you pinpoint the psychology branch you’d like to tackle in your writing project, regardless of whether you choose to pay to write research paper or complete it on your own, there’s an abundance of topics you can dive into. How can you make the right choice and ensure you’ll captivate the reader? Which topic could bring more value to the community?

This comprehensive list of psychology research topics can give you an idea. Read on to explore some helpful tips for picking a good topic and writing your paper before checking out some of the most interesting topics you could use.

Psychology Research Paper: Definition and Writing Tips for Psychology Research Papers

Psychology research paper topics

Psychology research papers aim to inform the reader about new ideas, experiments, or theories regarding the human mind and behavior. They present the latest developments in psychology and provide facts supported by statistical data and other hard evidence.

As such, psychology research papers require extensive research. Fortunately, hundreds of psychology papers get published every year, so there’s a world of excellent sources out there to help you get the hang of your writing.

How to write a high-quality psychology research paper? Here are some general tips to follow:

  • Find an interesting topic - You need to find an engaging topic that interests you because that’s how you’ll have the necessary motivation to explore it. Whether that has to do with sociology research topics , clinical psychology, or any other branch, make sure you feel passionate about it.
  • Explore different ideas - Whether you have several or no ideas at all, check out relevant literature and other reliable sources, including recent publications in online psychology journals. Gather and evaluate relevant facts before narrowing down your focus to a single idea.
  • Conduct extensive research - Once you have your topic and main idea, find as many reliable sources as possible to provide factual knowledge and support all your claims.
  • Write an outline - An outline with a clear hypothesis will help you ensure your paper will have a good flow.
  • Hook the reader right off the bat - Propose an intriguing question or argument, or make a shocking revelation in the introduction. Grab the reader’s attention and compel them to keep reading.
  • Make your writing informative, inspiring, and impeccable - Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting, style, and language to showcase professionalism.
  • Cite all your sources - Use proper citations for all the references to credit the original authors and avoid plagiarism. Include in-text citations and make a reference list at the end of your paper.

How to Choose Good Psychology Research Paper Topics

How to Choose Good Psychology Research Paper Topics

Choosing a good topic for a psychology research paper comes down to thorough research. Here’s what you need to do to gather relevant information and pick right:

  • Brainstorm ideas - Pick a psychology branch and think about what interests you the most about it. Come up with several exciting ideas you could explore.
  • Do your research - Hit the books and head to reliable online sources to sift through recent academic publications and news articles to find relevant topics for your desired ideas.
  • Narrow down your focus - Read up on different topics to find the right one that comes with plenty of credible sources to support your hypothesis. For instance, if you’re interested in communications research topics , you can go with intercultural communication and write about how language connects different cultures.
  • Avoid general or too narrow topics - Focus on something specific, but don’t narrow it down too much because you might fail to engage the reader and offer real value.

Research Topics In Psychology For College Students

Considering how diverse psychology is, there’s no doubt that every student will be able to find an interesting topic for their research paper. If you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of easy topics ideas for your undergraduate research, don’t. Many good papers on psychology have already been written, which is why it is easy for you to find an easily researchable topic for your educational assignment. There’s nothing hard about writing a custom research paper about mental health, so remember to stay positive.

  • Gender roles in modern society
  • Factors contributing to children’s school performance
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Religion in social psychology
  • Physical illnesses and psychological health
  • ADHD within family systems
  • Asexuality as sexual orientation
  • Narcissism in modern society
  • What causes schizophrenia?
  • How school anxiety affects teens?

Social Psychology Research Topics

Studying social psychology may be hard but interesting because such paper topics usually concern our daily lives. We wanted you not to struggle while choosing a paper topic, so here’s the list of the best psychology research topics in this field.

  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Persuasion in modern advertisement
  • Corporal punishment and criminal activity
  • The Halo effect in popular culture
  • Experimental social psychology
  • Does social media promote conformity or individualism?
  • Correlation between Pavlov’s conditioning in advertising
  • “Fear of happiness” in modern society
  • National identity

Clinical Psychology Research Topics

Clinical psychology, while complicated, is a very interesting science branch. When it comes to its examination, students often can’t choose appropriate psychology research topics. From therapy types to childhood disorders, there are interesting topics for anyone.

  • Childhood neurosis effects on adult mental health
  • Compare two therapy types
  • Effects of anxiety disorder on one’s daily life
  • Childhood trauma, its effects in adulthood
  • Mental health issues in adolescents
  • Effects of “pro-ana” websites on eating disorder rates
  • Risk factors associated with eating disorders
  • Therapy for childhood behavioral disorders
  • Correlation between violence in media and childhood behavior
  • Social media addiction

Experimental Psychology Research Topics

Experimental psychology may probably be the most engaging study of the human mind. Besides, the results of psychological tests can be used to improve our understanding of certain behaviors. In college, we can start by choosing experimental psychology topics for our written assignments.

  • Does color affect mood?
  • Does color affect appetite?
  • Can colors affect academic performance?
  • Physiological responses to music
  • Does social media cause addiction?
  • Can facial symmetry cause attraction?
  • Correlation between gender and memory
  • What causes differences in people seeing optical illusions?
  • What causes conformity in groups?
  • Is music taste affected by personality traits?

Child Psychology Research Topics

We all know that there are many factors that influence psychological children's development. Although we can’t always prevent the development of abnormalities, we can study child psychology, which can help in the long run. Check out the child psychology research topics below for your next assignment.

  • Attachment theory
  • Social interaction in children
  • Effects of children facing loss at a young age on psychological development
  • Gender-differentiated toys in the advertisement
  • The impact of color on a child’s development
  • How children perceive aggression
  • Cognitive processes in young children
  • Do make-believe games affect socialization?
  • Socio-emotional growth at an early age
  • Effects of play on a child’s development

Developmental Psychology Research Topics

what is a research paper in psychology

There’s no doubt you have, at some point, wondered which events in your childhood shaped you into the person you became today. Developmental psychology studies exactly that. Besides being an interesting topic of scientific research, it also is useful for our understanding of the family's role in one’s development.

  • What affects the language acquisition process?
  • Parenting style’s effect on a child’s physical, psychological development
  • How bullying affects one’s development
  • Does birth order define procrastination?
  • Short-term memory limits at various stages in life
  • Reinforcement in the learning environment
  • What affects a child’s food choices?
  • Correlation between listening to music and academic performance
  • Permissive vs. authoritative parents
  • Does self-efficacy affect long-term memory?

Abnormal Psychology Research Topics

It is critical that we study mental disorders to improve society. Abnormal psychology allows scientists to understand psychological disorders, their causes, and their effects. Because of the improvements caused by such analysis, we believe that you should take a look at these research topics.

  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Correlation between eating disorders and anxiety disorders
  • Phobias caused by childhood traumas
  • Group therapy vs. cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Psychoanalytic therapy: history, development
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder

Cognitive Psychology Research Topics

Understanding how the human mind works is fascinating, which is why you should probably study cognitive psychology. If you’ve given an assignment on the topic in college, look no further. We have gathered the most exciting cognitive psychology research topics in the list below.

  • Does sport affect attention?
  • Applied research in cognition
  • A theme of memory in popular culture
  • Consciousness and cognition
  • Narrative psychology
  • Development of problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making processes
  • Role of cognitive neuroscience in AI development
  • Theories of cognition
  • How cognition relates to perception?

Forensic Psychology Research Paper Topics

Many people are passionate about forensics, which is why they will also find forensic psychology interesting. When it comes to the below topics, many of them are of critical importance in modern society. If you want to impress your professor, be sure to check them out.

  • Psychological evaluation in a court trial
  • AMBER Alert system in social psychology
  • Early signs of serial killers
  • Juvenile offenders and corporal punishment
  • Psychopathy in criminal behaviors
  • Antisocial personality disorder in forensic examination
  • Domestic violence against men
  • Does a career in law enforcement affect social life?
  • Effects of upbringing on serial killers
  • Special needs education in the prevention of criminal behavior

Controversial Topics In Psychology For Research Paper

Many of us have strong opinions about different topics. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s one side to each story. Psychology can be controversial, and some of the below topics may help you think twice about what you were sure about before.

  • Is civil marriage a marriage?
  • Abortion: pro-choice or pro-life?
  • Is homeopathy a fraud?
  • Can convicted individuals become ordinary citizens?
  • Single parents in modern society
  • Teenage parents and a child’s development
  • Single-sex schools and socio-emotional development
  • Legalization of prostitution
  • Surrogate motherhood or adoption: ethical dilemmas
  • Veganism in psychology

Criminal Psychology Research Topics

Understanding what causes criminal behavior on a psychological level can help us prevent it. Criminal psychology is not only interesting but also valuable science. Below, you’ll find some examples of criminal psychology research topics for your college assignments.

  • Mental illness and the death penalty
  • Competence to stand trial
  • Prejudice in jury selection
  • Prison system and rehabilitation
  • The effects of social media on copycat crimes
  • Causes and effects of mass school shootings
  • Psychological disorders and incarceration
  • Socioeconomic status and criminal behavior
  • Social environment and aggression
  • Incarceration rates and education

Cultural Psychology Research Paper Topics

It should come as no surprise that our actions and beliefs are greatly affected by our cultures. When it comes to cultural psychology, science helps us understand how exactly that happens. Culture and behavior are closely related, which is why we believe you should never underestimate cultural psychology.

  • Social media in different cultures
  • Effects of culture on online shopping
  • Regional humor peculiarities
  • Hollywood and modern perception of beauty
  • Cultural psychology and multinational businesses
  • Research in cultural psychology
  • Perception of motherhood in various cultures
  • Cultural models
  • Culture and self-education
  • Whiting model

Health Psychology Research Topics

When we speak about health, we often only focus on its physical aspects. Unfortunately, that’s not the best approach. Health psychology is multidimensional and valuable for our understanding of psychology in healthcare.

  • Eating disorders and physical health
  • Popular culture and anorexia rates
  • Causes of increased teen suicide rates
  • Mending disaster aftermath: social and health psychology
  • Smoking cessation strategies
  • Safety equipment promotion in modern society
  • Stress management and relaxation
  • PTSD among veterans
  • Psychological effects of caregiving
  • Promoting childhood immunization

Neuropsychology Research Paper Topics

Neuroscience and psychology may be equally different but also equally interesting. Knowing how and why our nervous system affects our behavior is incredibly valuable. Below, you’ll find some of the best topics for your neuropsychology research in college.

  • Music and learning disorder treatment
  • Representation of pronouns and self-perception
  • Theory of mind
  • Neuropsychological data and ADHD treatment
  • Relationship with choice and impulsivity
  • What is pre-choice computation?
  • Cognitive impairment and iron deficiency
  • Neuropsychological testing in patients with dementia
  • Nonverbal neuropsychology and IQ testing
  • Experimental dual-task studies

Personality Psychology Research Topics

As people, we all are different, and personality psychology research topics may help you understand, why. Knowing how our personalities interact and why they are different will greatly help you in life. Besides, it can actually help you receive a high grade in college.

  • Correlation between temperament and creativity
  • Traits linked to prosocial behavior
  • Comparison of personality assessments
  • Correlation between personality types and music preferences
  • Athletics and personality traits
  • Social media and personality
  • Effects of Type A behavior on academic success
  • Art preferences and personality
  • What causes low self-esteem in teens?
  • Effects and causes of high self-efficacy

Sports Psychology Research Topics

Nowadays, you probably can’t find a person who doesn’t like sports. What makes the hobby even more interesting is that the human mind is closely related to one’s physical activity and athletic performance. Because of this, we believe that sports psychology should be of interest to college students.

  • Effects of sports on personality traits
  • Neuro-linguistic programming and performance
  • Gender studies in sport psychology
  • Effects of family psychology on athletic performance
  • Psychological recovery after trauma
  • Aggression in sports
  • Self-image and athletic performance
  • Families of athletes and childhood development
  • Doping in sports: psychological point of view
  • Emotions and personality traits in sports

Educational Psychology Topics

Educational Psychology Topics

Educational psychology is diverse and encompasses many other disciplines, including cognitive, behavioral, and developmental psychology. That’s why it can be challenging to select the right educational psychology topic. Here are some of the most captivating you could use.

  • The inclusion of students with dyslexia
  • School bullying and victimization
  • The theory of operant conditioning
  • Self-esteem, self-confidence, and academic success
  • The effect of music on cognitive performance
  • Motivation and learning strategies
  • The impact of rewards, recognition, and motivation on student achievement
  • The impact of parenting styles on academic achievement and career choices
  • Affection and social behavior in teaching planning
  • Are achievement gaps related to discipline gaps?

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what is a research paper in psychology

Research Paper Guide

Psychology Research Topics

Nova A.

Psychology Research Topics - 220+ Ideas

15 min read

Published on: Jan 6, 2018

Last updated on: Oct 29, 2023

Psychology Research Topics

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Finding a good psychology research paper topic is important for a good paper! Research paper topics are the starting points of research work. They provide a proper direction to the paper and help the students stay focused and in line with their work. Psychology is an interesting branch of science that requires much attention from students. It is indeed a complex knowledge area. Thus, writing a research paper on this subject can be both challenging and exciting at the same time. The starting point of every research work is to choose a proper direction and a unique topic. As psychology has different branches; therefore, it becomes difficult for most students to make a choice. This blog contains some interesting psychology research topics to talk about and help you get started. 

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Good Psychology Research Topics 

Below are some interesting psychology topics to help you get started.

Human Cognition Psychology Research Topics 

  • The role of cognitive processes in decision-making under uncertainty.
  • Investigating the cognitive mechanisms behind creativity and problem-solving.
  • The impact of cognitive training programs on memory and cognitive aging.
  • Cognitive biases and their influence on decision-making in various contexts.
  • The neural correlates of cognitive control and executive function.
  • Exploring the role of attention in learning and memory consolidation.
  • Cognitive development in children and the influence of environmental factors.
  • The effects of cognitive load on multitasking and information processing.
  • Cognitive aspects of language acquisition and bilingualism.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation strategies for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.

Human Development Psychology Research Topics

  • The impact of early childhood attachment on adult interpersonal relationships.
  • Examining the effects of parenting styles on child development outcomes.
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on adolescent identity formation.
  • The role of genetics and environment in shaping personality development.
  • Long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences on mental health and well-being.
  • Gender identity development and its influence on psychological adjustment.
  • Investigating the influence of social media and technology on adolescent development.
  • Cognitive development in the elderly and strategies for enhancing cognitive health.
  • The role of peer relationships in adolescent emotional development.
  • Studying the transition to adulthood and its impact on identity and life satisfaction.

Famous Experiments Related Psychology Research Topics

  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Ethical concerns and psychological effects of simulated incarceration.
  • The Milgram Experiment: Obedience to authority and ethical considerations in research.
  • Little Albert Experiment: Classical conditioning and the development of phobias in children.
  • Pavlov's Dogs: Classical conditioning and its implications for learning and behavior.
  • Harlow's Monkey Experiment: Attachment theory and the importance of maternal care.
  • Asch Conformity Experiment: Social conformity and the influence of group pressure on decision-making.
  • Bobo Doll Experiment: Observational learning and aggression in children.
  • The Marshmallow Test: Delayed gratification and its relationship to self-control and success.
  • Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment: Role-playing and the psychology of power and authority.
  • Skinner's Operant Conditioning Experiments: Learning through reinforcement and shaping behavior.

Historical Figures Related Psychology Research Topics

  • Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis and its impact on modern psychology.
  • B.F. Skinner: Behaviorism and the principles of operant conditioning.
  • Carl Rogers: Humanistic psychology and the concept of self-actualization.
  • Jean Piaget: Cognitive development theory and stages of child learning.
  • Erik Erikson: Psychosocial development and the life stages of identity.
  • Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of needs and motivation in psychology.
  • Ivan Pavlov: Classical conditioning and its application to learning.
  • Albert Bandura: Social learning theory and the role of modeling in behavior.
  • Mary Ainsworth: Attachment theory and its influence on child development.
  • John Bowlby: Attachment theory and the importance of early bonding.

Social Psychology Research Topics 

  • Which factors bring a severe change in a person’s perspective towards religion?
  • How do families cope with grief?
  • Roles of aggression and violence in society.
  • The psychological perspective of disabled beings.
  • Is physical disability equivalent to psychological disability?
  • Depression and its impact on cognitive development.
  • What is the response of the people when nonverbal communication does not match verbal behavior?
  • How good are people at exposing lies?
  • What is the reaction of the people when social norms are violated?
  • Online social platforms enable people to interact more.

Developmental Psychology Research Topics

  • How does development play a role in tackling bullying?
  • Does the media encourage violence and child abuse?
  • What is psychopathic behavior in youth?
  • Learning capabilities diminish with age. Agreed?
  • Students listening to music while studying perform better in exams. 
  • How can bullying impact a student’s achievement?
  • Children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school.
  • Older adults are more likely to have a better memory.
  • Health effects on psychological development.
  • Influence of engaging in violent video games on the cognitive development of children.

Cognitive Psychology Research Topics

  • How does autism affect young children?
  • How do people encounter memories?
  • Memories affect psychological abilities. Discuss. 
  • Can critical thinking be measured?
  • How to increase critical abilities?
  • How can memory loss be recovered?
  • How is the use of color important in cognitive psychology?
  • How can judgments influence us?
  • How do speech disorders impact children?
  • How can ADHD influence our development and growth?

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Forensic Psychology Research Topics

  • Discuss the causes of mass suicide among teenagers.
  • Serial killers do have a mental disorder? Discuss.
  • Discuss the factors behind the higher rates of murderers.
  • How is forensic psychology different from clinical psychology?
  • Can forensic psychologists use YouTube as a source of information and learning?
  • What causes a rise in the number of terror groups?
  • Explain the causes of mass killings in the U.S.
  • Discuss practical strategies for effective internet policing.
  • A better upbringing can prevent a person from becoming a serial killer. How? 
  • How effective is rehabilitation in prisons?

Health Psychology Research Topics

  • What will psychological approaches help one conform to diets and exercise? 
  • Is there a link between the "ideal body" and eating disorders? 
  • Discuss psychological strategies to deal with the long-term effects of losing a parent.
  • Explain the dynamics of anxiety.
  • Are there any psychological approaches to dealing with chain smokers and drinkers?
  • What are the possible solutions for seasonal affective disorder? 
  • How to manage stress in cancer patients?
  • How is physical exercise essential for controlling mood swings?
  • How to cure chronic pain through yoga?
  • Discuss effective communication strategies to encourage AIDS patients.

History Psychology Research Topics

  • What is the history of psychology and its usage?
  • Discuss the core concept of Freud and theories.
  • Mythology and psychology. Define the relationship between them.
  • History of psychological issues, causes, and treatment.
  • Discuss the development in the stages of psychology.
  • Psychological age of humans, and how is it measured?
  • Does Socionics really work?
  • What is the difference between psychology and psychiatry?
  • Was Gestalt Psychology a failure or a success?
  • The cognitive process was a true revolution in psychology. How?

Experimental Psychology Research Topics

  • What are the validity and reliability concerns in psychological testing?
  • How is qualitative research more appropriate than quantitative research?
  • What is Mood Freezing? What are its implications?
  • What are the important statistical techniques for psychology?
  • Sleep deprivation has an impact on short-term memory. Discuss.
  • What are the primary techniques for psychological research?
  • Are women better at remembering words and numbers?
  • Explain experimental designs in psychological studies.
  • What are the imaging techniques for the effective functioning of the brain?
  • A person’s taste in music offers hints about its personality. Discuss the concept.

Clinical Psychology Research Topics

  • Describe the role of therapists.
  • Discuss the anxiety disorders in male adults.
  • Is family therapy helpful?
  • Discuss the difference between mood disorders and mental disorders.
  • What are the factors leading to dissociative orders? Controlling chronic pain through psychology. How?
  • Antidepressants are the best form of therapy. Elaborate.
  • What are the effects of abusive relationships?
  • Discuss the effects of insomnia.
  • Cognitive therapy can be used to treat anxiety disorders. How?

Applied Psychology Research Topics

  • What are the human factors that affect applied psychology?
  • What is environmental psychology?
  • Discuss the organizational behavior in management.
  • Community psychology affects individuals’ psychology. Discuss.
  • Is there a relationship between law and psychology?
  • Elaborate on Psychology and recognition of the discipline.
  • What is the importance of psychology in the military?
  • What is an applied behavior analysis?
  • What are the major offender treatment programs?
  • Discuss the effects of domestic abuse.

Sport Psychology Research Topics

  • Discuss future trends in sports psychology.
  • Enlist the challenges faced by new coaches.
  • What is meant by the term team chemistry?
  • How has sports psychology evolved in the last ten years?
  • How do athletes control and manage their emotions effectively?
  • Discuss the role of team chemistry in building a team.
  • Discuss the role of the coach in developing self-confidence in a player.
  • What are the techniques to handle pressure by the players? 
  • Discuss the results of having good behavior in the sports field.
  • Football coaches also have a mental role and not just a physical one. Discuss.

Psychology Research Topics About Dreams

  • Dreams are directly connected to the soul. How?
  • Can dreams indicate a person’s future personality?
  • Can dreams reveal who we are as an individual?
  • How do adolescent dreams differ from those of college students?
  • What are the ways to transform dreams into reality?
  • How can dreams influence our decisions?
  • What do you dream about?
  • Why does your brain need to dream?
  • Discuss how dreaming is a healthy exercise for the brain.
  • Men's dreams seem to be more violent and physical. Why?

Psychology Research Topics on Depression

  • Discuss the major causes of depression among teenagers.
  • What are the methods to treat depression effectively?
  • Is depression a mental illness?
  • Can depression be diagnosed?
  • Explain the types of depression.
  • What role can teachers play in solving depression among students?
  • How can the government solve mental health issues like depression?
  • Discuss the common signs that you are entering into depression.
  • How can parental neglect lead to depression among children?
  • Poor financial conditions cause depression. Discuss.

Psychology Research Topics Autism

  • The rise in autism is caused by environmental pressure. Discuss.
  • Why is autism referred to as a spectrum?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of autism?
  • What skills do people with the artistic spectrum bring to their jobs?
  • Discuss the advantages of being autistic.
  • What are the drawbacks of being autistic?
  • How can autism be diagnosed in the early stages?
  • What educational programs the government has introduced for autistic people?
  • Discuss the behavior of autistic people with their family members.
  • Discuss the effects of music on the life of an autistic person.

Psychology Research Topics on Social Media

  • What are the effects of social media on youth?
  • Explain cyberbullying and its negative consequences.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of social media.
  • How can social media cause people to commit suicide?
  • Social media can also help people to deal with chronic diseases. How?
  • How can social media strengthen or break relationships?
  • Can the world survive without social media?
  • How has social media transformed psychological education?
  • Social media relationships do not last for a longer time. Discuss reasons.
  • Social media is doing more harm than good. How?

Psychology Research Topics for High School Students

  • What is the relationship between physical illness and depression?
  • How can overcrowding affect human beings?
  • How can phobias impact personalities?
  • What are the causes of shyness in adults?
  • How can habits be changed?
  • Discuss the factors that can cause multiple personality disorders among children.
  • What are the effects of hate crimes on the community?
  • Environmental factors in triggering depression. Discuss.
  • Social isolation can cause anxiety. How?
  • What are the effects of terrorism on child psychology?

Psychology Research Topics for College Students

  • Why is psychological relaxation important?
  • Happiness is a psychological well-being measure. Discuss the concept.
  • What are the effects of miscarriage on the mental health of the couple?
  • What are the psychological impacts of terrorism?
  • Can faith be an extended source of human cognition?
  • Can postpartum depression be reduced?
  • Discuss the best treatment for adults having dementia.
  • Elderly and Alzheimer’s disease. Reasons and remedies.
  • What are the stages of loss and coping with grief?
  • What is the psychology of propaganda?

Psychology Research Topics for Undergraduate Students

  • What are the impacts of childhood trauma on the mental state?
  • How does psychology differ in different countries?
  • What techniques help to cure mental illnesses?
  • Violent music has adverse effects on children. Discuss.
  • Are child obesity and parental negligence linked?
  • Are school uniforms necessary?
  • Tolerance can improve mental health. How?
  • How to understand and control teenage suicide?
  • What problems do homeless people usually face?
  • Discuss the link between TV and obesity.

Psychology Research Topics for University Students

  • The role of genetics in determining personality traits.
  • The effects of social media on self-esteem and body image among adolescents.
  • Examining the relationship between sleep patterns and cognitive functioning.
  • The impact of mindfulness meditation on stress reduction and overall well-being.
  • Investigating the psychological factors influencing addictive behaviors.
  • Exploring the psychological mechanisms behind the placebo effect.
  • The influence of culture on perceptions of mental health and stigma.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different therapies in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Understanding the psychology of decision-making in high-pressure situations.
  • Examining the relationship between parental attachment styles and adult romantic relationships.

Are you still in search of more topics? Explore our blog on research paper topics for inspiring ideas.

How to Choose Psychology Research Paper Topics? H2

To choose a topic for a psychology paper, follow the below tips.

  • Brainstorm an idea based on your knowledge. Then, try to search it online using more specific keywords. If it is a valid research theory, you will find more links to scholarly papers on the topic. Similarly, you can also look for similar interesting ideas. 
  • Search for a broad list of topics related to the subfield that interests you the most. It will help to explore a large number of topics in psychology rather than just a few ideas.
  • Read any publications and articles about your area of interest. This way, you will also find several ideas that can be used in detail. Avoid generic topics such as abortion, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • If you have some good psychology topics in mind and are confused about which one to decide on, conduct research . It will help to access the existing literature and write a good topic for a psychology paper.

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How to Write a Good Psychology Research Paper?

Writing a good psychology research paper can be a structured process if you follow these steps:

  • Select a Compelling Topic: Choose a research topic that interests you and is relevant. Ensure it's specific, researchable, and has a clear research question. 
  • Review Existing Literature: Conduct a thorough literature review to understand the current state of knowledge on your topic.
  • Formulate a Hypothesis: Based on your research question and literature review, create a clear and testable hypothesis.
  • Design Your Study: Decide on your research method (experimental, survey, observational, etc.) and create a detailed research design.
  • Collect Data: Execute your study, following your design meticulously. Ensure ethical considerations are met.
  • Analyze Data: Use appropriate statistical tools to analyze your data. Interpret the results in the context of your hypothesis.
  • Organize Your Paper: Follow a standard research paper outline or structure with sections like Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Write clearly and concisely.
  • Cite Sources: Properly cite all sources using a recognized citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).
  • Edit and Proofread: Revise your paper for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Proofread to eliminate errors.
  • Seek Feedback: Have peers or mentors review your paper for feedback and suggestions.

Check out this video to learn how to write a research paper more in-depth!

Remember, a good psychology research paper is not just about the content but also the presentation. By following these steps and paying attention to detail, you'll increase your chances of producing a high-quality research paper that contributes to the field.

You can also get some interesting  research paper topics  and ideas from this list for your paper.

To Sum it Up!

The vast field of psychology offers an abundance of intriguing research topics that can contribute to our understanding of the human mind and behavior. With over 220 ideas presented in this comprehensive list, we hope you've found inspiration for your next psychology research project.

However, all types of psychology papers require extensive research and writing effort by the students.

This is where the professional help from  comes in.

Our paper writing service provides 100% original research papers written from scratch. 

Contact our 24/7 available team for any " pay for my research paper " queries!

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Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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How to Write a Methods Section for a Psychology Paper

Tips and Examples of an APA Methods Section

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

what is a research paper in psychology

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity,, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

what is a research paper in psychology

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin 

The methods section of an APA format psychology paper provides the methods and procedures used in a research study or experiment . This part of an APA paper is critical because it allows other researchers to see exactly how you conducted your research.

Method refers to the procedure that was used in a research study. It included a precise description of how the experiments were performed and why particular procedures were selected. While the APA technically refers to this section as the 'method section,' it is also often known as a 'methods section.'

The methods section ensures the experiment's reproducibility and the assessment of alternative methods that might produce different results. It also allows researchers to replicate the experiment and judge the study's validity.

This article discusses how to write a methods section for a psychology paper, including important elements to include and tips that can help.

What to Include in a Method Section

So what exactly do you need to include when writing your method section? You should provide detailed information on the following:

  • Research design
  • Participants
  • Participant behavior

The method section should provide enough information to allow other researchers to replicate your experiment or study.

Components of a Method Section

The method section should utilize subheadings to divide up different subsections. These subsections typically include participants, materials, design, and procedure.


In this part of the method section, you should describe the participants in your experiment, including who they were (and any unique features that set them apart from the general population), how many there were, and how they were selected. If you utilized random selection to choose your participants, it should be noted here.

For example: "We randomly selected 100 children from elementary schools near the University of Arizona."

At the very minimum, this part of your method section must convey:

  • Basic demographic characteristics of your participants (such as sex, age, ethnicity, or religion)
  • The population from which your participants were drawn
  • Any restrictions on your pool of participants
  • How many participants were assigned to each condition and how they were assigned to each group (i.e., randomly assignment , another selection method, etc.)
  • Why participants took part in your research (i.e., the study was advertised at a college or hospital, they received some type of incentive, etc.)

Information about participants helps other researchers understand how your study was performed, how generalizable the result might be, and allows other researchers to replicate the experiment with other populations to see if they might obtain the same results.

In this part of the method section, you should describe the materials, measures, equipment, or stimuli used in the experiment. This may include:

  • Testing instruments
  • Technical equipment
  • Any psychological assessments that were used
  • Any special equipment that was used

For example: "Two stories from Sullivan et al.'s (1994) second-order false belief attribution tasks were used to assess children's understanding of second-order beliefs."

For standard equipment such as computers, televisions, and videos, you can simply name the device and not provide further explanation.

Specialized equipment should be given greater detail, especially if it is complex or created for a niche purpose. In some instances, such as if you created a special material or apparatus for your study, you might need to include an illustration of the item in the appendix of your paper.

In this part of your method section, describe the type of design used in the experiment. Specify the variables as well as the levels of these variables. Identify:

  • The independent variables
  • Dependent variables
  • Control variables
  • Any extraneous variables that might influence your results.

Also, explain whether your experiment uses a  within-groups  or between-groups design.

For example: "The experiment used a 3x2 between-subjects design. The independent variables were age and understanding of second-order beliefs."

The next part of your method section should detail the procedures used in your experiment. Your procedures should explain:

  • What the participants did
  • How data was collected
  • The order in which steps occurred

For example: "An examiner interviewed children individually at their school in one session that lasted 20 minutes on average. The examiner explained to each child that he or she would be told two short stories and that some questions would be asked after each story. All sessions were videotaped so the data could later be coded."

Keep this subsection concise yet detailed. Explain what you did and how you did it, but do not overwhelm your readers with too much information.

Tips for How to Write a Methods Section

In addition to following the basic structure of an APA method section, there are also certain things you should remember when writing this section of your paper. Consider the following tips when writing this section:

  • Use the past tense : Always write the method section in the past tense.
  • Be descriptive : Provide enough detail that another researcher could replicate your experiment, but focus on brevity. Avoid unnecessary detail that is not relevant to the outcome of the experiment.
  • Use an academic tone : Use formal language and avoid slang or colloquial expressions. Word choice is also important. Refer to the people in your experiment or study as "participants" rather than "subjects."
  • Use APA format : Keep a style guide on hand as you write your method section. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the official source for APA style.
  • Make connections : Read through each section of your paper for agreement with other sections. If you mention procedures in the method section, these elements should be discussed in the results and discussion sections.
  • Proofread : Check your paper for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.. typos, grammar problems, and spelling errors. Although a spell checker is a handy tool, there are some errors only you can catch.

After writing a draft of your method section, be sure to get a second opinion. You can often become too close to your work to see errors or lack of clarity. Take a rough draft of your method section to your university's writing lab for additional assistance.

A Word From Verywell

The method section is one of the most important components of your APA format paper. The goal of your paper should be to clearly detail what you did in your experiment. Provide enough detail that another researcher could replicate your study if they wanted.

Finally, if you are writing your paper for a class or for a specific publication, be sure to keep in mind any specific instructions provided by your instructor or by the journal editor. Your instructor may have certain requirements that you need to follow while writing your method section.

Frequently Asked Questions

While the subsections can vary, the three components that should be included are sections on the participants, the materials, and the procedures.

  • Describe who the participants were in the study and how they were selected.
  • Define and describe the materials that were used including any equipment, tests, or assessments
  • Describe how the data was collected

To write your methods section in APA format, describe your participants, materials, study design, and procedures. Keep this section succinct, and always write in the past tense. The main heading of this section should be labeled "Method" and it should be centered, bolded, and capitalized. Each subheading within this section should be bolded, left-aligned and in title case.

The purpose of the methods section is to describe what you did in your experiment. It should be brief, but include enough detail that someone could replicate your experiment based on this information. Your methods section should detail what you did to answer your research question. Describe how the study was conducted, the study design that was used and why it was chosen, and how you collected the data and analyzed the results.

Erdemir F. How to write a materials and methods section of a scientific article ? Turk J Urol . 2013;39(Suppl 1):10-5. doi:10.5152/tud.2013.047

Kallet RH. How to write the methods section of a research paper . Respir Care . 2004;49(10):1229-32. PMID: 15447808.

American Psychological Association.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.

American Psychological Association. APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards . Published 2020.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Psychology Research Papers Samples For Students

4104 samples of this type

While studying in college, you will certainly have to compose a lot of Research Papers on Psychology. Lucky you if linking words together and organizing them into relevant text comes easy to you; if it's not the case, you can save the day by finding an already written Psychology Research Paper example and using it as a template to follow.

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Good Example Of Clinical Psychology Research Paper

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Increased competition and globalization has led to the need to ensure production of quality products by not only using the latest technology, but also retaining the best work force. Currently, the human resource departments have a hard task of motivating employees within the organization. The human resource department in consultation with industrial psychologists base their decisions on various motivation theories including humanistic, drive and incentive theory. This paper seeks to discuss about the theory that relates to needs, traits or values, which I believe is the humanistic theory.

Free Brain Functions Research Paper Example

What does Sacks tell us directly or by implications about the relationship of the brain to time (past, present, future), to identity, and to living a life? Consider: Greg’s history, his neurological disorder, his symptoms suggesting the disorder, what he was like before and after the discovery of his problems, the affected area of his brain, loss and gain, adaptation, the importance of music in his life, the role his parents played, the significance of the historical context in which he lived, the effects on memory, what the disorder implies about identity, how Sacks feels about Greg.

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The recruitment and development of an organizations’ leaders requires the analysis of several of factors. Among the factors considered is the analysis of leadership traits present in potential and current leaders; this shows the relevance of leadership traits among leaders in the airline industry.

The diverse leadership traits include; cognitive ability, personality, motivation, social appraisal skills (social intelligence), emotional intelligence, expertise, problem-solving skills and tacit knowledge. Several personal characteristics influence the development of diverse traits in leaders.

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This paper seeks to discuss about social memory and more particular childhood memories. Secondly, this paper will discuss the uses of childhood memory such as psychological interpretation. Lastly, this paper will discuss at length on the ways in which childhood and social memory influence of future well-being.

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Good example of research paper on psychological testing.

Psychological Testing is a field in psychological studies also referred to as psychological assessment. It is a process through which individuals in the profession of psychology try to evaluate and understand a person and his mental behavior in depth. In addition, this testing allows for the determination of one’s personality, individuality and their IQ and the mental components. In this study one gains the ability decipher a person's strengths and their weaknesses.

1.What are at least two ethical issues associated with psychological testing? What impact do these issues have on the field of psychological testing?

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In the study of psychology, there are five broad dimensions used to describe personality of individuals. These include; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience (Srivastava, 2013). These factors have a variety of other aspects and characteristics acquired from a study of traits evident in individuals’ descriptions of themselves and other people around them.

Research Paper On Cats and Dogs

Human beings often seek the companionship of animals and have been known to develop strong emotional bonds with them over long term interactions. Of all domesticated animals, cats and dogs are known to be the most popular pets. While cat owners and dogs owners can indulge in a never ending debate about which animal makes a better pet, cats and dogs themselves have several similarities and even more dissimilarities.

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- Interview questions

The applicants applying for job positions in the interior design occupation normally face Behavioral, Skill- based, and Situational interview questions.

- Behavioral interview question In the behavioral profession interviews, the employers decide the skills that they need in applicants they are about to hire and ask questions to establish whether the applicants possess those skills. Therefore, the behavioral interview questions are more focused than the traditional interview questions and the candidate need to reply with specific examples of the way he/she handled certain situations in the place of work.

Behavioral interview question to ask an Interior Designer candidate

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Sexual offenses are a social menace and affect the public health directly. The growing instances of sexual crimes and growing numbers of sexual offenders have emerged as a major issue. The government, policymakers, and law enforcement agencies are very apprehensive regarding this issue and want this issue to be resolved as soon as possible. A number of steps, including treatment of sexual offenders, have been taken in order to improve the situation. This paper intends to discuss several treatment programs that are designed for the sexual offenders.

Literature Review

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Within the major profession of criminology, one recurring problem is the explanation of criminal behavior patterns and their relationship to crime, involving the subtopics of the sociological legal and psychiatric aspects of crime which contribute to defining and elaborating on criminal behavior.

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(Insert Institute)


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A group of researchers, Raeanne C. Moore, Donald J. Viglione, Irwin S. Rosenfarb, Thomas L. Patterson, & Brent T. Mausbach, conducted a study on measures of cognition associated with functional disability of the schizophrenics. American Psychological Association published in their journal “Psychological Assessment, (Vol. 25, No. 1, 253–263)” in the year 2013, this study (Rorschach Measures of Cognition Relate to Everyday and Social Functioning in Schizophrenia) with conceptual framework, the rationale, the research, the results and conclusions. The study is a scholarly work with plausible, useful and applicable findings that can help the practitioners and researchers in the management of Schizophrenics.

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As early as Biblical times, dreams have been given a special place; in ancient Egypt, Joseph’s interpretation of pharaoh’s dreams had awarded him an honorary place among his advisors, and was said to have saved Egypt from starvation. Working with dreams in therapy implies a belief that that dreams are meaningful and provide added value to the therapeutic process. Studies have shown that dreams can be influenced by a certain psychopathology, and that their content and patterns (e.g. recurring dreams, nightmares) reflect a person’s wellbeing (Pesant & Zadra, 2004).

The Nature of Dreams

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Is ‘Play’ on Its Way Out?

The paper addresses two questions in service of the overall query, “Is ‘play’ on its way out?” The two questions are: - Do children play less than they used to? - Why should we be concerned?

Good Research Paper About Extensive Studies Of Schizophrenia

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APA Sample Paper: Experimental Psychology

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Research Methods In Psychology

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

Research methods in psychology are systematic procedures used to observe, describe, predict, and explain behavior and mental processes. They include experiments, surveys, case studies, and naturalistic observations, ensuring data collection is objective and reliable to understand and explain psychological phenomena.

research methods3

Hypotheses are statements about the prediction of the results, that can be verified or disproved by some kind of investigation.

There are four types of hypotheses :

  • Null Hypotheses (H0 ) – these predict that no difference will be found in the results between the conditions. Typically these are written ‘There will be no difference…’
  • Alternative Hypotheses (Ha or H1) – these predict that there will be a significant difference in the results between the two conditions. This is also known as the experimental hypothesis.
  • One-tailed (directional) hypotheses – these state the specific direction the researcher expects the results to move in, e.g. higher, lower, more, less. In a correlation study, the predicted direction of the correlation can be either positive or negative.
  • Two-tailed (non-directional) hypotheses – these state that a difference will be found between the conditions of the independent variable but does not state the direction of a difference or relationship. Typically these are always written ‘There will be a difference ….’

All research has an alternative hypothesis (either a one-tailed or two-tailed) and a corresponding null hypothesis.

Once the research is conducted and results are found, psychologists must accept one hypothesis and reject the other. 

So if a difference is found, the Psychologist would accept the alternative hypothesis and reject the null.  The opposite applies if no difference is found.

Sampling techniques

Sampling is the process of selecting a representative group from the population under study.

Sample Target Population

A sample is the participants you select from a target population (the group you are interested in) to make generalisations about.

Representative means the extent to which a sample mirrors a researcher’s target population and reflects its characteristics.

Generalisability means the extent to which their findings can be applied to the larger population of which their sample was a part.

  • Volunteer sample : where participants pick themselves through newspaper adverts, noticeboards or online.
  • Opportunity sampling : also known as convenience sampling , uses people who are available at the time the study is carried out and willing to take part. It is based on convenience.
  • Random sampling : when every person in the target population has an equal chance of being selected. An example of random sampling would be picking names out of a hat.
  • Systematic sampling : when a system is used to select participants. Picking every Nth person from all possible participants. N = the number of people in the research population / the number of people needed for the sample.
  • Stratified sampling : when you identify the subgroups and select participants in proportion to their occurrences.
  • Snowball sampling : when researchers find a few participants, and then ask them to find participants themselves and so on.
  • Quota sampling : when researchers will be told to ensure the sample fits with certain quotas, for example they might be told to find 90 participants, with 30 of them being unemployed.

Experiments always have an independent and dependent variable .

  • The independent variable is the one the experimenter manipulates (the thing that changes between the conditions the participants are placed into). It is aassumed to have a direct effect on the dependent variable.
  • The dependent variable is the thing being measured, or the results of the experiment.


Operationalization of variables means making them measurable/quantifiable. We must use operationalization to ensure that variables are in a form that can be easily tested.

For instance, we can’t really measure ‘happiness’ but we can measure how many times a person smiles within a two hour period. 

By operationalizing variables, we make it easy for someone else to replicate our research. Remember, this is important because we can check if our findings are reliable.

Extraneous variables are all variables, which are not the independent variable, but could affect the results of the experiment.

It can be a natural characteristic of the participant, such as intelligence levels, gender, or age for example, or it could be a situational feature of the environment such as lighting or noise.

Demand characteristics are a type of extraneous variable that occurs if the participants work out the aims of the research study, they may begin to behave in a certain way.

For example, in Milgram’s research , critics argued that participants worked out that the shocks were not real and they administered them as they thought this was what was required of them. 

Extraneous variables must be controlled so that they do not affect (confound) the results.

Randomly allocating participants to their conditions or using a matched pairs experimental design can help to reduce participant variables. 

Situational variables are controlled by using standardized procedures, ensuring every participant in a given condition is treated in the same way

Experimental Design

Experimental design refers to how participants are allocated to each condition of the independent variable, such as a control or experimental group.
  • Independent design ( between-groups design ): each participant is selected for only one group. With the independent design, the most common way of deciding which participants go into which group is by means of randomization. 
  • Matched participants design : each participant is selected for only one group, but the participants in the two groups are matched for some relevant factor or factors (e.g. ability; sex; age).
  • Repeated measures design ( within groups) : each participant appears in both groups, so that there are exactly the same participants in each group.
  • The main problem with the repeated measures design is that there may well be order effects. Their experiences during the experiment may change the participants in various ways.
  • They may perform better when they appear in the second group because they have gained useful information about the experiment or about the task. On the other hand, they may perform less well on the second occasion because of tiredness or boredom.
  • Counterbalancing is the best way of preventing order effects from disrupting the findings of an experiment, and involves ensuring that each condition is equally likely to be used first and second by the participants

If we wish to compare two groups with respect to a given independent variable, it is essential to make sure that the two groups do not differ in any other important way. 

Experimental Methods

All experimental methods involve an iv (independent variable) and dv (dependent variable)..

  • Lab Experiments are conducted in a well-controlled environment, not necessarily a laboratory, and therefore accurate and objective measurements are possible. The researcher decides where the experiment will take place, at what time, with which participants, in what circumstances,  using a standardized procedure.
  • Field experiments are conducted in the everyday (natural) environment of the participants. The experimenter still manipulates the IV, but in a real-life setting. It may be possible to control extraneous variables, though such control is more difficult than in a lab experiment.
  • Natural experiments are when a naturally occurring IV is investigated that isn’t deliberately manipulated, it exists anyway. Participants are not randomly allocated, and the natural event may only occur rarely.

Case studies are in-depth investigations of a person, group, event, or community. It uses information from a range of sources, such as from the person concerned and also from their family and friends.

Many techniques may be used such as interviews, psychological tests, observations and experiments. Case studies are generally longitudinal: in other words, they follow the individual or group over an extended period of time. 

Case studies are widely used in psychology and among the best-known ones carried out were by Sigmund Freud . He conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses.

Case studies provide rich qualitative data and have high levels of ecological validity. However, it is difficult to generalize from individual cases as each one has unique characteristics.

Correlational Studies

Correlation means association; it is a measure of the extent to which two variables are related. One of the variables can be regarded as the predictor variable with the other one as the outcome variable.

Correlational studies typically involve obtaining two different measures from a group of participants, and then assessing the degree of association between the measures. 

The predictor variable can be seen as occurring before the outcome variable in some sense. It is called the predictor variable, because it forms the basis for predicting the value of the outcome variable

Relationships between variables can be displayed on a graph or as a numerical score called a correlation coefficient.

types of correlation. Scatter plot. Positive negative and no correlation

  • If an increase in one variable tends to be associated with an increase in the other, then this is known as a positive correlation .
  • If an increase in one variable tends to be associated with a decrease in the other, then this is known as a negative correlation .
  • A zero correlation occurs when there is no relationship between variables.

After looking at the scattergraph, if we want to be sure that a significant relationship does exist between the two variables, a statistical test of correlation can be conducted, such as Spearman’s rho.

The test will give us a score, called a correlation coefficient . This is a value between 0 and 1, and the closer to 1 the score is, the stronger the relationship between the variables. This value can be both positive e.g. 0.63, or negative -0.63.

Types of correlation. Strong, weak, and perfect positive correlation, strong, weak, and perfect negative correlation, no correlation. Graphs or charts ...

A correlation between variables, however, does not automatically mean that the change in one variable is the cause of the change in the values of the other variable. A correlation only shows if there is a relationship between variables.

Correlation does not always prove causation, as a third variable may be involved. 

causation correlation

Interview Methods

Interviews are commonly divided into two types: structured and unstructured.
  • Structured interviews are formal. The interview situation is standardized as far as possible. Structured interviews are formal, like job interviews. A fixed, predetermined set of questions is put to every participant in the same order and in the same way.  Responses are recorded on a questionnaire, and the researcher presets the order and wording of questions, and sometimes the range of alternative answers. The interviewer stays within their role and maintains social distance from the interviewee.
  • Unstructured interviews are informal, like casual conversations. A general conversation normally precedes them, and the researcher deliberately adopts an informal approach in an attempt to break down social barriers. There are no set questions, and the participant can raise whatever topics he/she feels are relevant and ask them in their own way. Questions are posed about participants’ answers to the subject Unstructured interviews are most useful in qualitative research to analyze attitudes and values. Though they rarely provide a valid basis for generalization, their main advantage is that they enable the researcher to probe social actors’ subjective point of view. 

Questionnaire Method

Questionnaires can be thought of as a kind of written interview. They can be carried out face to face, by telephone, or post.

The choice of questions is important because of the need to avoid bias or ambiguity in the questions, ‘leading’ the respondent or causing offense.

  • Open questions are designed to encourage a full, meaningful answer using the subject’s own knowledge and feelings. They provide insights into feelings, opinions, and understanding. Example: “How do you feel about that situation?”
  • Closed questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” or specific information, limiting the depth of response. They are useful for gathering specific facts or confirming details. Example: “Do you feel anxious in crowds?”
  • Postal questionnaires seem to offer the opportunity of getting around the problem of interview bias by reducing the personal involvement of the researcher. Its other practical advantages are that it is cheaper than face-to-face interviews and can be used to contact many respondents scattered over a wide area relatively quickly.


There are different types of observation methods :
  • Covert observation is where the researcher doesn’t tell the participants that they are being observed until after the study is complete. There could be ethical problems or deception and consent with this particular observation method.
  • Overt observation is where a researcher tells the participants that they are being observed and what they are being observed for.
  • Controlled : behavior is observed under controlled laboratory conditions (e.g., Bandura’s Bobo doll study).
  • Natural : Here, spontaneous behavior is recorded in a natural setting.
  • Participant : Here, the observer has direct contact with the group of people they are observing. The researcher becomes a member of the group they are researching.  
  • Non-participant (aka “fly on the wall): The researcher does not have direct contact with the people being observed. The observation of participants’ behavior is from a distance

Pilot Study

A pilot  study is a small scale preliminary study conducted in order to evaluate the feasibility of the key s teps in a future, full-scale project.

A pilot study is an initial run-through of the procedures to be used in an investigation; it involves selecting a few people and trying out the study on them. It is possible to save time, and in some cases, money, by identifying any flaws in the procedures designed by the researcher.

A pilot study can help the researcher spot any ambiguities (i.e. unusual things) or confusion in the information given to participants or problems with the task devised.

Sometimes the task is too hard, and the researcher may get a floor effect, because none of the participants can score at all or can complete the task – all performances are low.

The opposite effect is a ceiling effect, when the task is so easy that all achieve virtually full marks or top performances and are “hitting the ceiling”.

Research Design

In cross-sectional research , a researcher compares multiple segments of the population at the same time

Sometimes we want to see how people change over time, as in studies of human development and lifespan. Longitudinal research is a research design in which data-gathering is administered repeatedly over an extended period of time.

In cohort studies , the participants must share a common factor or characteristic such as age, demographic, or occupation. A cohort study is a type of longitudinal study in which researchers monitor and observe a chosen population over an extended period.

Triangulation means using more than one research method to improve the validity of the study.


Reliability is a measure of consistency, if a particular measurement is repeated and the same result is obtained then it is described as being reliable.

  • Test-retest reliability :  assessing the same person on two different occasions which shows the extent to which the test produces the same answers.
  • Inter-observer reliability : the extent to which there is an agreement between two or more observers.


A meta-analysis is a systematic review that involves identifying an aim and then searching for research studies that have addressed similar aims/hypotheses.

This is done by looking through various databases and then decisions are made about what studies are to be included/excluded.

Strengths: Increases the conclusions’ validity as they’re based on a wider range.

Weaknesses: Research designs in studies can vary so they are not truly comparable.

Peer Review

A researcher submits an article to a journal. The choice of the journal may be determined by the journal’s audience or prestige.

The journal selects two or more appropriate experts (psychologists working in a similar field) to peer review the article without payment. The peer reviewers assess: the methods and designs used, originality of the findings, the validity of the original research findings and its content, structure and language.

Feedback from the reviewer determines whether the article is accepted. The article may be: Accepted as it is, accepted with revisions, sent back to the author to revise and re-submit or rejected without the possibility of submission.

The editor makes the final decision whether to accept or reject the research report based on the reviewers comments/ recommendations.

Peer review is important because it prevent faulty data from entering the public domain, it provides a way of checking the validity of findings and the quality of the methodology and is used to assess the research rating of university departments.

Peer reviews may be an ideal, whereas in practice there are lots of problems. For example, it slows publication down and may prevent unusual, new work being published. Some reviewers might use it as an opportunity to prevent competing researchers from publishing work.

Some people doubt whether peer review can really prevent the publication of fraudulent research.

The advent of the internet means that a lot of research and academic comment is being published without official peer reviews than before, though systems are evolving on the internet where everyone really has a chance to offer their opinions and police the quality of research.

Types of Data

  • Quantitative data is numerical data e.g. reaction time or number of mistakes. It represents how much or how long, how many there are of something. A tally of behavioral categories and closed questions in a questionnaire collect quantitative data.
  • Qualitative data is virtually any type of information that can be observed and recorded that is not numerical in nature and can be in the form of written or verbal communication. Open questions in questionnaires and accounts from observational studies collect qualitative data.
  • Primary data is first-hand data collected for the purpose of the investigation.
  • Secondary data is information that has been collected by someone other than the person who is conducting the research e.g. taken from journals, books or articles.

Validity means how well a piece of research actually measures what it sets out to, or how well it reflects the reality it claims to represent.

Validity is whether the observed effect is genuine and represents what is actually out there in the world.

  • Concurrent validity is the extent to which a psychological measure relates to an existing similar measure and obtains close results. For example, a new intelligence test compared to an established test.
  • Face validity : does the test measure what it’s supposed to measure ‘on the face of it’. This is done by ‘eyeballing’ the measuring or by passing it to an expert to check.
  • Ecological validit y is the extent to which findings from a research study can be generalized to other settings / real life.
  • Temporal validity is the extent to which findings from a research study can be generalized to other historical times.

Features of Science

  • Paradigm – A set of shared assumptions and agreed methods within a scientific discipline.
  • Paradigm shift – The result of the scientific revolution: a significant change in the dominant unifying theory within a scientific discipline.
  • Objectivity – When all sources of personal bias are minimised so not to distort or influence the research process.
  • Empirical method – Scientific approaches that are based on the gathering of evidence through direct observation and experience.
  • Replicability – The extent to which scientific procedures and findings can be repeated by other researchers.
  • Falsifiability – The principle that a theory cannot be considered scientific unless it admits the possibility of being proved untrue.

Statistical Testing

A significant result is one where there is a low probability that chance factors were responsible for any observed difference, correlation or association in the variables tested.

If our test is significant, we can reject our null hypothesis and accept our alternative hypothesis.

If our test is not significant, we can accept our null hypothesis and reject our alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis is a statement of no effect.

In Psychology, we use p < 0.05 (as it strikes a balance between making a type I and II error) but p < 0.01 is used in tests that could cause harm like introducing a new drug.

A type I error is when the null hypothesis is rejected when it should have been accepted (happens when a lenient significance level is used, an error of optimism).

A type II error is when the null hypothesis is accepted when it should have been rejected (happens when a stringent significance level is used, an error of pessimism).

Ethical Issues

  • Informed consent is when participants are able to make an informed judgment about whether to take part. It causes them to guess the aims of the study and change their behavior.
  • To deal with it, we can gain presumptive consent or ask them to formally indicate their agreement to participate but it may invalidate the purpose of the study and it is not guaranteed that the participants would understand.
  • Deception should only be used when it is approved by an ethics committee, as it involves deliberately misleading or withholding information. Participants should be fully debriefed after the study but debriefing can’t turn the clock back.
  • All participants should be informed at the beginning that they have the right to withdraw if they ever feel distressed or uncomfortable.
  • It causes bias as the ones that stayed are obedient and some may not withdraw as they may have been given incentives or feel like they’re spoiling the study. Researchers can offer the right to withdraw data after participation.
  • Participants should all have protection from harm . The researcher should avoid risks greater than those experienced in everyday life and they should stop the study if any harm is suspected. However, the harm may not be apparent at the time of the study.
  • Confidentiality concerns the communication of personal information. The researchers should not record any names but use numbers or false names though it may not be possible as it is sometimes possible to work out who the researchers were.

what is a research paper in psychology

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In psychological researches, it’ll be beneficial to apply the cause-and-effect approach to see the whole picture of the key issues. Next, how can we apply the psychology research paper format to represent the subject decently? Our writing geeks adhere to the following structure:

  • Abstract, a coherent research summary.
  • Informative and persuasive introduction.
  • Methodology presenting to solve issues.
  • Well-reasoned discussion of the problems.
  • Clear outcomes & attainments definition.

To sum up the writing process, we’ll pay attention to the considerable meaning of your findings and suggestions that will be backed up with a well-formatted paper.

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Research Paper for Psychology With Originality Score Checked

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To receive a 100% authentic psychology paper, a personal writer will choose an original research topic demonstrating your interests and high competence in the psychology field. To narrow the focus, we’ll pick up a specific issue and craft a catchy psychology research paper introduction to provide a proper background. So, as a result, we vouch for a high assessment rate and plagiarism-free psychology research paper with zero content similarities.

Writing a Psychology Research Paper in APA Format & Extras to Consider

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  1. How to Write a Professional Paper Using Psychology Research Topics

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  2. 🎉 Psychological research paper. Psychology Research Papers Custom

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  3. Sample Research Paper In Psychology

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  4. Psychology Research Paper Topics: 50+ Great Ideas

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  5. FREE 5+ Sample Research Paper Templates in PDF

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  6. ️ Psychology paper titles. 123 Psychology Research Paper Topics Ideas

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  1. Unit-2 Research Methodology and Statistics

  2. What is Research??

  3. Research Basics


  5. Presentations on Social Psychology and New Research



  1. APA PsycArticles

    A comprehensive and essential database of full-text, peer-reviewed articles published by the APA Journals™ and affiliated journals. Overview APA PsycArticles is a must-have for any core collection in the social and behavioral sciences providing access to 119 journals and journal coverage dating back to 1894.

  2. Research Paper Structure

    Whether you are writing a B.S. Degree Research Paper or completing a research report for a Psychology course, it is highly likely that you will need to organize your research paper in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Here we discuss the structure of research papers according to APA style.

  3. 50+ Topics of Psychology Research for Your Student Paper

    Psychology Research Topics Involving 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: Eating disorders

  4. How to Write a Psychology Research Paper

    1 Decide Which Kind of Paper You Are Going to Write / Digital Vision / Getty Images Start by finding out what type of paper your instructor expects you to write. There are a few common types of psychology papers that you might encounter. Original Research or Lab Report

  5. PDF Guide to Writing a Psychology Research Paper

    Guide to Writing a Research Report for Psychology Guide to Writing a Research Report for Psychology Included in this guide are suggestions for formatting and writing each component of a research report as well as tips for writing in a style appropriate for Psychology papers.

  6. Tips for Reading Psychology Journal Articles

    Reading psychology research articles can be complex and may seem daunting, especially to beginners without experience reading or writing this type of paper. Learning to read this type of writing is mostly a matter of experience, but utilizing a few simple tactics can make this process much more manageable.

  7. Free APA Journal Articles

    Free APA Journal Articles - Highlights in Psychological Research | APA Home Publications & Databases Highlights in Psychological Research Free APA Journals ™ Articles Recently published articles from subdisciplines of psychology covered by more than 90 APA Journals™ publications.

  8. For a research paper with an example of a person who tends to have

    For a research paper with an example of a person who tends to have a paranoid personality, please make an example with an outline of which main points are included in the paper. The research paper supports Freud's theory point of view. References I found below: Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939) Yorke, C. (2015). Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939).

  9. PDF Brief Guide to Writing the Psychology Paper

    The primary goal of a research summary or literature review paper is to synthesize research on a topic in psychology while also shedding a new light on that topic. Writing a literature review paper involves first doing substantial research both online and in the library.

  10. Research Methods

    AQA Psychology Paper 2 - Research Methods - Experimental Methods. Complete unit of work that includes lesson powerpoints and activity booklets for: L1: Features Of Science L2: Sampling L3: Variables and Hypotheses L4: Experimental Design L5: Types Of Experiment L6: Pilot Studies / Control Of Variables

  11. Formatting Research Papers

    Research papers written in APA style should follow the formatting rules specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . Most research papers that are written for psychology courses at UCSD, including the B.S. Degree Research Paper and the Honors Thesis, have to follow APA format.

  12. Extramural Research Internship

    Research internship at a host institution to perform scholarly research relevant to student's dissertation work. Research objectives are determined by advisor in conjunction with outside host. A mid-semester progress review and a final paper are required. Enrollment for full-time internships is limited to post-generals students for up to two sem...

  13. Psychology Research Paper

    This sample psychology research paper features: 6000 words (approx. 20 pages), an outline, and a bibliography with 32 sources. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. If you need a thorough research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help.

  14. How to Write an Introduction for a Psychology Paper

    The purpose of an introduction in a psychology paper is to justify the reasons for writing about your topic. Your goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the reader, provide an overview of previous research on the topic, and identify your own hypothesis . Before you begin: Start Your Psychology Paper Introduction by Researching Your Topic

  15. How to Write an Abstract in APA Format with Examples

    An APA abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of an article, research paper, dissertation, or report. It is written in accordance with the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA), which is a widely used format in social and behavioral sciences.

  16. Overview of the Types of Research in Psychology

    Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Updated on April 03, 2023 Fact checked by Emily Swaim There are several different research methods in psychology, each of which can help researchers learn more about the way people think, feel, and behave.

  17. Writing a Literature Review

    When writing a research paper on a specific topic, you will often need to include an overview of any prior research that has been conducted on that topic. For example, if your research paper is describing an experiment on fear conditioning, then you will probably need to provide an overview of prior research on fear conditioning.

  18. 150+ Psychology Research Topics for College Students

    Psychology Research Paper: Definition and Writing Tips for Psychology Research Papers. Psychology research papers aim to inform the reader about new ideas, experiments, or theories regarding the human mind and behavior. They present the latest developments in psychology and provide facts supported by statistical data and other hard evidence.

  19. 220+ Interesting Psychology Research Topics For Your Paper

    This way, you will also find several ideas that can be used in detail. Avoid generic topics such as abortion, depression, anxiety, etc. If you have some good psychology topics in mind and are confused about which one to decide on, conduct research. It will help to access the existing literature and write a good topic for a psychology paper.

  20. How to Write a Methods Section of an APA Paper

    The methods section of an APA format psychology paper provides the methods and procedures used in a research study or experiment. This part of an APA paper is critical because it allows other researchers to see exactly how you conducted your research. Method refers to the procedure that was used in a research study.

  21. Psychology Research Paper Examples That Really Inspire

    Free Research Paper On Behavioral Therapy. According to psychologists, behavioral therapy is a treatment therapy that is based on the application of findings from behavioral science research (Butler, Chapman & Forman 2005). The therapy seeks to improve the quality of life for families, individuals, and systems in the ways they would like to change.

  22. 804869 PDFs

    Explore the latest full-text research PDFs, articles, conference papers, preprints and more on PSYCHOLOGY. Find methods information, sources, references or conduct a literature review on PSYCHOLOGY

  23. APA Sample Paper: Experimental Psychology

    Rhetorical Considerations and Style in Psychology Writing. Writing the Experimental Report: Overview, Introductions, and Literature Reviews. Writing the Experimental Report: Methods, Results, and Discussion. Tables, Appendices, Footnotes and Endnotes. References and Sources for More Information. APA Sample Paper: Experimental Psychology.

  24. Research Methods In Psychology

    Research methods in psychology are systematic procedures used to observe, describe, predict, and explain behavior and mental processes. They include experiments, surveys, case studies, and naturalistic observations, ensuring data collection is objective and reliable to understand and explain psychological phenomena. Hypotheses

  25. Writing a Psychology Research Paper With Topic Fully Covered

    Research Paper for Psychology With Originality Score Checked. No matter what type of academic writing a student should write, particularly a research paper, this assignment assumes presenting unique content and showing personal accomplishments and investigations in the chosen area. The same relates to a psychology research paper.

  26. 32 Psychology Research Topics Ideas to Explore

    Ideas of psychology research paper topics you can write about. Sometimes professors do not give students specific essay topics for research. This means that you can trust your imagination and choose the topic that causes you the most interest. Here are some good options for your research paper. Social psychology research essay topics

  27. PDF Brief Guide to Writing the Psychology Paper

    the Psychology Paper The Challenges of Writing in Psychology Psychology writing, like writing in the other sciences, is meant to inform the reader about a new idea, theory ... disaster" should not be stated as facts in a research paper. Ideally, such statements would be more specific (e.g., "Hurricane Katrina resulted in thousands of deaths ...