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Research Questions and Ideas in Psychology


This is a list that combines some carefully selected topics that represent virtually all areas of psychology.

Research: Topic Selection; Rubric:   Mr. Haberman - AP Psychology   (Revised 2/14)

Research variables in psychology
1. Addictions:  which substance(s) most addicting?  Which easiest/hardest to treat?
2.  Role of the environment in the development of personality.


3. What do modern psychologists feel are the major weaknesses of Freud's psychoanalytic theories.
4. Addiction: influences of genetics vs. peers/environment
5. Anxiety:  Causes, Symptoms and Therapy


6. Attachment Theory:  relationship to parenting style & psychological health as an adult
7. Research the literature on the psychological and physical benefits of laughter.
8. The effects of the circadian rhythms on human beings.
9. The effects of cognitive dissonance on behavior/values
10. The Nightly Dream Cycle and Sleep Deprivation:  impact on mental health
11. The Validity of Psychological Tests:  how established?  Which tests more valid?  Less valid?
12. Collectivist vs. Individualistic Cultures:  impact on positive self-esteem/sense of self.
13. Interpersonal Attraction:  causes, gender differences; is there an "ideal"?
14. Gender differences and the Brain - separating actual differences from stereotypes
15. Endorphins and Happiness:  production, role, implications for mental health
16. Learned Optimism/helplessness:  how each come about; implications for mental health
17. Genius: Criteria, Characteristics and Types.
18. The Internet:  positive/negative effects on our psychological health
19. How has Abraham Maslow's concept of self-actualization affected Psychology?
20. Trace the Development of Humanism from 1950 till now. Review of the Literature
21. Childhood Trauma:  impact on personality/role in personality disorders.
22. Race and Intelligence: The Scientific View
23. Possible Causes of Childhood Autism
24. How is Intelligence Measured?  Reasons for controversy/debate
25. The Dual Roles of Genetics and Environment on Intelligence
26. Inherited Behavior - The Latest Research
27.Compare and Contrast the Learning Theories of B. F. Skinner and Jean Piaget
28. Alzheimer's Disease:  causes, treatment & role lifestyle plays
29. Contact sports & degenerative brain disease
30. Workplace stress:  environmental factors?  Role of culture, of job type?
31. Rational Emotive Theory:  development & modern uses
32. Aging:  changes to brain; implications, opportunities & challenges
33. Theories of Forgetting - explanation & implications for better memory
34. Does money buy happiness?  Psychological health & socioeconomic status
35. Theories of Intelligence (Spearman vs. Gardner):  implications for schools
36. The Theory of Persuasion - why works/doesn't work (psychology behind it)
37. Bullying:  causes, who gets bullied; what can parents/teachers do to stop it?
38. The Effects of Over Crowding on Human Beings
39. Subliminal Messages and How They can be Used to Influence Thought and Behavior
40. Current Experiments in Thought Control
41. The Psychological Effects of Torture
42. The Psychological Effects of War
43. How are Children Affected by War.
44. The Theory of Memory Storage in the Human Brain:  is there a physical basis?  What happens to it?
45. How to Motivate Children to Achieve
46. The Function of Play in psychological health/well-being
47. Reality Therapy:  origins, modern uses
48. The Psychological Benefits of Pets & Pet Therapy
49. Psychological Problems of Paraplegics
50. The Emotional Effects of Solitary Confinement
51. Behavior Patterns of Hyperactive Children - biological vs. environmental roots
52. The Stages of Grief According to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross:  implications for coping with loss
53. Attractiveness & bias:  are the attractive treated differently? (convictions, hiring, perceptions)
54. Habits: How are they Formed and How They Can Be Changed?
55. The Effects of Color on Mental States
56. The Idiot Savant:  origins; contrast with normal intellectual functioning
57. The Theory of Boredom:  mental/emotional determinants
58. Managing Interpersonal Conflict:  psychology of mediation
59. Divorce:  causes, psychological impact
60. Shyness in Adults:  causes, consequences
61. The Principles of Primal Therapy:  origins, modern uses
62. How Children Develop Gender Identification
63. Typical Mother-Daughter Conflicts in Modern America:  causes, solutions
64. The Psychological Aspects of Obesity
65. The Psychological Profile of a Terrorist
66. The Clinical Uses of Hypnosis - risks vs. benefits
67. Significant Findings From Recent Research on Identical Twins
68. The Psychological Profile of a Mercenary Soldier
69. Abusers:  A Profile - early psychological history of a future abuser
70. Eating Disorders:  why are they so resistant to treatment?  Role of gender?  Brain changes?
71. Hate Crimes:  impact on vicims & on communities
72. Brain Damage and Behavior
73. Dreams & dream interpretation:  why they occur?  are interpretations valid?
74. The Limits of Artificial Intelligence
75. Compare and Contrast the Training, Scope, and Functions of Psychiatrists and Psychologists.
76. The Rorschach Test:  How is it Administered and Evaluated?
77. The Psychological Problems of the Homeless.
78.  How does social anxiety disorder effect the routine life of a person?
79.  Cyber bullying:  psychological impact and recommended responses
80.  ADHD:  Latest research and recommended treatment
81.  The link between exercise and emotional health
82.  Anger management:  what makes psychological treatment effective?
83.  Psychology of Flow:  implications for workplace satisfaction
84.  Psychological characteristics of long-lasting marriages
85.  Creativity and Intelligence:  what makes kids creative, and is it measured by intelligence tests?
86.  US Cultural and Marketing Trends:  do they threaten children's physical and mental health?
87.  Violence in the Media:  psychological effects on children
88.  Tools of Sports Psychologists:  how they can also promote mental health in the workplace
89.  Birth Order:  does it effect personality?  First-born vs. middle child vs. youngest?
90.   Psychological profile of the serial killer:  what do they have in common - neurologically?  Personalities?  Family history?
91.   Depersonalization/derealization Disorder:  causes, symptoms and treatment.
92.  Antisocial Personality Disorder:  influences of nature vs. nurture; prominence in the criminal justice system
93.  Brand New Mental Disorders:  describing the disorders first appearing in the DSM 5 - implications for psychology?
94.  Brain Mapping:  dispelling myths & updating accuracy based on the newest maps.  What really happens where? 
95.  Psychology Behind Attraction:  how marketing professionals influence consumer choices

In addition, about 100 other research topics and ideas have been selected with regard to their domain in psychology.

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Research conducted within RCAP encompasses a number of areas within applied psychology.

Clinical, counselling and coaching psychology

We have developed a particularly strong profile in the field of coaching psychology, both for our teaching and research. Areas of expertise include:


  1. Aetiology, assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety and personality disorders
  2. Cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy and family therapy
  3. Applications of peer-coaching
  4. Coaching for healthy eating
  5. Attachment style
  6. Appraisal and coping processes in predicting relapse in depression
  7. Drug and alcohol counselling
  8. Social phobia in adolescents
  9. Financial phobia
  10. Post-traumatic stress
  11. Cognitive psychology and cognitive neuropsychology

  12. Numerical cognition
  13. Instructional design
  14. Social influences on language processing, organisation of language within brain structure
  15. Problem solving and thinking
  16. Emotion word processing
  17. The effectiveness of cognitively designed web interfaces
  18. Psychosis and visual hallucinations in both clinical and general populations
  19. Sleep disturbances and their role in Psychosis.
  20. Developmental psychology

  21. Outcomes and identity issues and constructions of resilience in looked after children
  22. Teenage parenthood and concepts of fathering
  23. The acquisition and development of literacy, language and cognitive skills in typical and atypical child populations
  24. Eye movement behaviour during reading, children's reading
  25. Cognitive correlates of audio-visual speech perception
  26. Long-term outcome of adoption reunions
  27. Reading, reading comprehension development and dyslexia in deaf children
  28. The effectiveness of computer-assisted reading interventions
  29. Socio-cultural context, parenting style and educational achievement
  30. The development of eating behaviour across infancy and childhood
  31. Obesity, fussy eating and feeding problems in children
  32. Parenting and parent-child interaction
  33. Child temperament.
  34. Forensic and criminal psychology

  35. Research interests within this field include: The predictors of offender behaviour and rehabilitation
  36. Offender profiling
  37. Eyewitness identification
  38. Links between schizo-type disorders and reasoning about crime and criminal behaviour
  39. Missing persons
  40. Cyber-harassment
  41. The developmental and behavioural characteristics of violent offenders and sex offenders
  42. Emotional intelligence as a predictor of re-offending risk in criminal populations
  43. Psychopathy
  44. Rape myth acceptance
  45. Gender identity and aggression
  46. Health psychology

  47. Research interests within this field include the following:
  48. Health service research focussing on access to healthcare
  49. Adaption and self-management in chronic illness
  50. Telehealth and telecare
  51. Doctor-patient interaction
  52. Obesity and related eating disorders
  53. Positive psychological interventions
  54. Disease prevention and strategies for health behaviour change
  55. Health promotion
  56. Psycho-oncology, including quality of life in cancer treatment
  57. Rehabilitation of stroke patients
  58. Identity, social influence and health behaviours
  59. Group-based coping strategies in vulnerable populations
  60. Occupational health psychology

  61. Members of the department have conducted several high profile research projects and systematic reviews on behalf of national bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive and the Universities and Colleges Union.  Research interests within this field include the following:
  62. Work-related wellbeing and work-life balance in police, teachers and academic employees and other occupational groups
  63. Commitment and wellbeing in caring professionals
  64. The role played by emotional intelligence in the performance and wellbeing of health and social care professionals
  65. Resilience, wellbeing and retention in social workers and nurses
  66. Wellbeing in military spouses
  67. Workplace trauma and its management
  68. Alcohol and drug misuse in organisations
  69. Attachment style and health outcomes in health and social care employees
  70. The nature and impact of crying at work
  71. Returning to work during cancer treatment
  72. The crossover of work-related stressors and strains between cohabiting couples
  73. Work demands, work-life balance and health behaviours
  74. Psychosocial predictors of sick building syndrome within the workplace
  75. Menopause at work
  76. Stress and coping in expeditions
  77. Social relationships, culture and communication

  78. Research interests within this field include the following:
  79. Attachment, psychopathology and personal relationships
  80. Mobile phone behaviours, harassment and cyber-stalking
  81. Attitude formation on social networking sites and their importance in employability
  82. Friendship and enemyship across cultural settings
  83. Psychosocial predictors of marital satisfaction
  84. Lay explanations of aggression and violence
  85. Construction of personal and cultural identity Cross-cultural aspects of social support, values & self-esteem
  86. Teaching and learning

  87. Study time
  88. Research interests within this field include the following:
  89. Memory and learning
  90. Concept mapping and personal development
  91. The development of student researchers
  92. The employability of psychology graduates and the transition to employment
  93. Transitions to higher education and university life
  94. Personal Development Planning, realistic learning and learner development in higher education
  95. Enhancing commitment, support, resilience and employability in health and social care students
112. Utilising peer coaching interventions to enhance wellbeing in students
 See also 100+ Research Variables that Work






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