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

History of Psychology Research Paper Topics

Mental Health Research Paper Topics

Psychology Research and Analytic Techniques Research Paper Topics

Neuroscience Research Paper Topics

Sensory Processes and Perception Research Paper Topics

Evolution and Behavior Research Paper Topics

Basic Learning Processes Research Paper Topics

Individual Differences and Personality Research Paper Topics

Cognitive Psychology Research Paper Topics

Developmental Psychology Research Paper Topics

Social Psychology Research Paper Topics

Health, Stress, and Coping Research Paper Topics

Clinical Psychology Research Paper Topics

Applied Psychology Research Paper Topics

Human Diversity Research Paper Topics

Assessment and Psychotherapy Research Paper Topics

Psychology Research Paper 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.


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