Psychology Research Paper Topics

In the list of psychology research paper topics below we have attempted to capture psychology’s vast and evolving nature in the 16 categories and more than 100 topics.

100+ Psychology Research Paper Topics

Research Paper Topics in History of Psychology

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  • Psychology Before 1900
  • Psychology in the 20th Century
  • Psychology Into the 21st Century
  • Women and Minorities in Psychology
  • Conducting Research on the History of Psychology

Research Paper Topics in Research Methodology and Analytic Techniques in Psychology

  • Statistical Techniques and Analysis
  • Validity
  • Nonexperimental Research Methods
  • Experimental Designs
  • Single-Subject Designs
  • Qualitative Research
  • Ethics of Psychological Research

Neuroscience Research Paper Topics

  • Biological Psychology
  • Neurotransmission
  • Traditional Neuroscience Research Methods
  • Imaging Techniques for the Localization of Brain Function
  • Drugs and Behavior
  • Behavioral Pharmacology

Research Paper Topics in Sensory Processes and Perception

  • Sensation
  • Psychophysics
  • States of Consciousness
  • Taste
  • Vision
  • Olfaction
  • Audition
  • Somatosensory Systems
  • Perception

Research Paper Topics in Evolution and Behavior

  • Evolutionary Psychology: The Impact of Evolution on Human Behavior
  • Evolutionary Perspectives on Mate Preferences
  • Animal Learning and Behavior
  • Animal Cognition
  • Comparative Psychology

Research Paper Topics in Basic Learning Processes

  • Classical Conditioning
  • Recent Trends in Classical Conditioning
  • Taste-Aversion Learning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Recent Trends in Operant Conditioning
  • Social Learning
  • Stimulus Equivalence

Research Paper Topics in Individual Differences and Personality

  • Psychometrics
  • Testing and Assessment
  • Personality Development
  • Personality Psychology
  • Intelligence
  • Motivation and Emotion

Cognitive Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Memory: A Look Into the Past, Present, and Future
  • Memory and Eyewitness Testimony
  • Repressed and Recovered Memory
  • Language and Language Development
  • Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Artificial Intelligence

Developmental Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Prenatal Development and Infancy
  • Childhood and Adolescence
  • Adulthood and Aging: Perspectives on Adult Development
  • Disabilities
  • Autism
  • Giftedness
  • Death, Dying, and Bereavement
  • Nature Versus Nurture
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Myth or Mental Disorder?

Social Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Social Cognition
  • Attitudes and Attitude Change
  • Group Processes
  • Social Influence
  • The Nature of Love
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Leadership: Theory and Practice

Research Paper Topics in Health, Stress, and Coping

  • Health Psychology
  • Stress and Stressors
  • Coping Skills
  • Resilience
  • Positive Psychology
  • Human Performance in Extreme Environments
  • HIV
  • Suicide

Behavior Disorders and Clinical Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Ethics of Therapists
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders: An Overview
  • Schizophrenia: Understanding a Split Mind
  • Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Therapy and Therapy With Children
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Forensic Clinical Psychology: Sensationalism and Reality
  • Sexual Offending Behavior

Applied Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Human Factors
  • Community Psychology
  • Sport Psychology
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Psychology and the Law
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Organizational Behavior Management

Research Paper Topics in Human Diversity

  • Gender and Sexual Orientation
  • Multiple Axes of Human Diversity
  • Psychology and Religion
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology and Research
  • International Psychology

Mental Health Research Paper Topics

  • Agoraphobia
  • Alcohol Problems
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amnesia
  • Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Classifying Mental Disorders: Nontraditional Approaches
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Dementia
  • Dependent Personality
  • Depression
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • DSM-IV
  • Epilepsy
  • Gambling
  • Mental Retardation and Mental Health
  • Mood Disorders
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Psychopathology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Somatization and Hypochondriasis
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide

Assessment and Psychotherapy Research Paper Topics

  • Assessment of Mental Health in Older Adults
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Biofeedback
  • Brain Scanning/Neuroimaging
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Classifying Mental Disorders
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Community Mental Health
  • Constructivist Psychotherapies
  • Coping with Stress
  • Couples Therapy
  • Depression—Applied Aspects
  • Domestic Violence Intervention
  • Family Therapy
  • Hypnosis and the Psychological Unconscious
  • Meditation and the Relaxation Response
  • Personality Assessment
  • Premenstrual Syndrome Treatment Interventions
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Sexual Dysfunction Therapy
  • Standards for Psychotherapy
  • Support Groups

Psychology Research TopicsAlthough human and animal behaviors have been topics of interest to scientists and others since antiquity, historians typically date the inception of modern psychology to the mid-19th century. More specifically, they have selected 1879, the year that Wilhelm Wundt established his experimental psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig, as the year that modern psychology originated. At that time, Wundt believed that the goals of psychology were (a) to study “immediate” conscious experience using experimental methodology and (b) to investigate higher mental processes using nonexperimental techniques. The change that psychology has undergone in the nearly 130 years since its founding has been nothing short of phenomenal.

For example, the early years of the 20th century witnessed the development and popularization of the now classic “schools of psychology” such as structuralism, functionalism, Gestalt psychology, and behaviorism. World War II and the Korean War spurred the development of modern clinical psychology. In the middle of the 20th century, individual schools rose to prominence and tended to dominate psychological research and theorizing. These dominant schools often clashed with clinical psychology. For example, disagreements between behaviorists and clinicians, which have their roots in the 1940s and 1950s, still persist.

Toward the end of the 1960s, the nature of the field began to change, and the face of modern psychology was forever altered. First, Ulrich Neisser’s 1967 book, Cognitive Psychology, ushered in the “cognitive revolution” and put behaviorism on the decline. Technological advances in computer technology, which allowed researchers to simulate human thought and memory processes and to create images of neurological processes, played an inestimable role in modern psychology’s metamorphosis. Likewise, advances in social concern and action increased psychologists’ awareness of psychology’s diversity and its ability to make significant contributions in these areas. To be sure, the face of contemporary psychology was changing drastically. In fact, in 1992 former American Psychological Association (APA) president George A. Miller believed that psychology had become “an intellectual zoo” (p. 40). Clearly, that situation has not changed, as psychology is evolving in the 21st century.

Nowhere are psychology’s expansion and change seen more clearly than in the evolution of the APA. Founded in 1892 by G. Stanley Hall at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, the APA began with 31 charter members. Currently, there are over 60,000 APA members and 56 divisions with which these members and other interested psychologists can affiliate. The diversity of the APA divisions clearly reflects the changing face of contemporary psychology as well as represents wide subjects of psychological research. They include General Psychology (Division 1), the Study of Social Issues (Division 9), Clinical Psychology (Division 12), Pharmacology and Substance Abuse (Division 28), Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (Division 33), Media Psychology (Division 46), International Psychology (Division 52), and Trauma Psychology (Division 56). Clearly, psychology research topics in the 21st century continue to be diverse and evolving.

We believe that our choice of traditional and cutting-edge research paper topics reflects contemporary psychology’s diverse nature. For example, the “traditional”  research paper topics include the following:

  • Neurotransmission
  • Traditional Neuroscience Research Methods
  • Vision
  • Perception
  • Recent Trends in Classical Conditioning

The cutting-edge research paper topics include the following:

  • Conducting Research on the History of Psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Imaging Techniques for the Localization of Brain Function
  • Stimulus Equivalence
  • Memory and Eyewitness Testimony
  • Positive Psychology
  • Human Performance in Extreme Environments
  • Community Psychology

Browse examples of psychology research papers to find sample research paper on all topics in the list above. Whether the research paper deals with a traditional topic or a cutting-edge topic, you will find that it presents the materials in a decidedly contemporary manner. We hope that students will enjoy reading the research papers on different topics in psychology as much as we have enjoyed collecting them for you.