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61 intriguing psychology research topics to explore

Last updated

11 January 2024


Claire Bonneau

Psychology is an incredibly diverse, critical, and ever-changing area of study in the medical and health industries. Because of this, it’s a common area of study for students and healthcare professionals.

With this article as your guide, kickstart a unique and impactful psychology research project. 

We’re walking you through picking the perfect topic for your upcoming paper or study. Keep reading for plenty of example topics to pique your interest and curiosity.

How to choose a psychology research topic

Exploring a psychology-based topic for your research project? You need to pick a specific area of interest to collect compelling data. 

Use these tips to help you narrow down which psychology topics to research:

Focus on a particular area of psychology

The most effective psychological research focuses on a smaller, niche concept or disorder within the scope of a study. 

Psychology is a broad and fascinating area of science, including everything from diagnosed mental health disorders to sports performance mindset assessments. 

This gives you plenty of different avenues to explore. Having a hard time choosing? Check out our list of 61 ideas further down in this article to get started.

Read the latest clinical studies

Once you’ve picked a more niche topic to explore, you need to do your due diligence and explore other research projects on the same topic. 

This practice will help you learn more about your chosen topic, ask more specific questions, and avoid covering existing projects. 

For the best results, we recommend creating a research folder of associated published papers to reference throughout your project. This makes it much easier to cite direct references and find inspiration down the line.

Find a topic you enjoy and ask questions

Once you’ve spent time researching and collecting references for your study, you finally get to explore. 

Whether this research project is for work, school, or just for fun, having a passion for your research will make the project much more enjoyable. (Trust us, there will be times when that is the only thing that keeps you going.) 

Now you’ve decided on the topic, ask more nuanced questions you might want to explore. 

If you can, pick the direction that interests you the most to make the research process much more enjoyable.

61 psychology topics to research in 2024

Need some extra help starting your psychology research project on the right foot? Explore our list of 61 cutting-edge, in-demand psychology research topics to use as a starting point for your research journey.

Psychology research topics for university students

As a university student, it can be hard to pick a research topic that fits the scope of your classes and is still compelling and unique. 

Here are a few exciting topics we recommend exploring for your next assigned research project:

Mental health in post-secondary students

Seeking post-secondary education is a stressful and overwhelming experience for most students, making this topic a great choice to explore for your in-class research paper. 

Examples of post-secondary mental health research topics include:

  • Student mental health status during exam season

  • Mental health disorder prevalence based on study major

  • The impact of chronic school stress on overall quality of life

The impacts of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can occur at all ages, starting as early as elementary school and carrying through into professional workplaces. 

Examples of cyberbullying-based research topics you can study include:

  • The impact of cyberbullying on self-esteem

  • Common reasons people engage in cyberbullying 

  • Cyberbullying themes and commonly used terms

  • Cyberbullying habits in children vs. adults

  • The long-term effects of cyberbullying

Clinical psychology research topics

If you’re looking to take a more clinical approach to your next project, here are a few topics that involve direct patient assessment for you to consider:

Chronic pain and mental health

Living with chronic pain dramatically impacts every aspect of a person’s life, including their mental and emotional health. 

Here are a few examples of in-demand pain-related psychology research topics:

  • The connection between diabetic neuropathy and depression

  • Neurological pain and its connection to mental health disorders

  • Efficacy of meditation and mindfulness for pain management

The long-term effects of insomnia

Insomnia is where you have difficulty falling or staying asleep. It’s a common health concern that impacts millions of people worldwide. 

This is an excellent topic because insomnia can have a variety of causes, offering many research possibilities. 

Here are a few compelling psychology research topics about insomnia you could investigate:

  • The prevalence of insomnia based on age, gender, and ethnicity

  • Insomnia and its impact on workplace productivity

  • The connection between insomnia and mental health disorders

  • Efficacy and use of melatonin supplements for insomnia

  • The risks and benefits of prescription insomnia medications

  • Lifestyle options for managing insomnia symptoms

The efficacy of mental health treatment options

Management and treatment of mental health conditions is an ever-changing area of study. If you can witness or participate in mental health therapies, this can make a great research project. 

Examples of mental health treatment-related psychology research topics include:

  • The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for patients with severe anxiety

  • The benefits and drawbacks of group vs. individual therapy sessions

  • Music therapy for mental health disorders

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients with depression 

Controversial psychology research paper topics

If you are looking to explore a more cutting-edge or modern psychology topic, you can delve into a variety of controversial and topical options:

The impact of social media and digital platforms

Ever since access to internet forums and video games became more commonplace, there’s been growing concern about the impact these digital platforms have on mental health. 

Examples of social media and video game-related psychology research topics include:

  • The effect of edited images on self-confidence

  • How social media platforms impact social behavior

  • Video games and their impact on teenage anger and violence

  • Digital communication and the rapid spread of misinformation

  • The development of digital friendships

Psychotropic medications for mental health

In recent years, the interest in using psychoactive medications to treat and manage health conditions has increased despite their inherently controversial nature. 

Examples of psychotropic medication-related research topics include:

  • The risks and benefits of using psilocybin mushrooms for managing anxiety

  • The impact of marijuana on early-onset psychosis

  • Childhood marijuana use and related prevalence of mental health conditions

  • Ketamine and its use for complex PTSD (C-PTSD) symptom management

  • The effect of long-term psychedelic use and mental health conditions

Mental health disorder research topics

As one of the most popular subsections of psychology, studying mental health disorders and how they impact quality of life is an essential and impactful area of research. 

While studies in these areas are common, there’s always room for additional exploration, including the following hot-button topics:

Anxiety and depression disorders

Anxiety and depression are well-known and heavily researched mental health disorders. 

Despite this, we still don’t know many things about these conditions, making them great candidates for psychology research projects:

  • Social anxiety and its connection to chronic loneliness

  • C-PTSD symptoms and causes

  • The development of phobias

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behaviors and symptoms

  • Depression triggers and causes

  • Self-care tools and resources for depression

  • The prevalence of anxiety and depression in particular age groups or geographic areas

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex and multi-faceted area of psychology research. 

Use your research skills to learn more about this condition and its impact by choosing any of the following topics:

  • Early signs of bipolar disorder

  • The incidence of bipolar disorder in young adults

  • The efficacy of existing bipolar treatment options

  • Bipolar medication side effects

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for people with bipolar 

Schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is often stigmatized, and less common mental health disorders are a hotbed for new and exciting research. 

Here are a few examples of interesting research topics related to this mental health disorder:

  • The prevalence of schizoaffective disorder by certain age groups or geographic locations

  • Risk factors for developing schizoaffective disorder

  • The prevalence and content of auditory and visual hallucinations

  • Alternative therapies for schizoaffective disorder

Societal and systematic psychology research topics

Modern society’s impact is deeply enmeshed in our mental and emotional health on a personal and community level. 

Here are a few examples of societal and systemic psychology research topics to explore in more detail:

Access to mental health services

While mental health awareness has risen over the past few decades, access to quality mental health treatment and resources is still not equitable. 

This can significantly impact the severity of a person’s mental health symptoms, which can result in worse health outcomes if left untreated. 

Explore this crucial issue and provide information about the need for improved mental health resource access by studying any of the following topics:

  • Rural vs. urban access to mental health resources

  • Access to crisis lines by location

  • Wait times for emergency mental health services

  • Inequities in mental health access based on income and location

  • Insurance coverage for mental health services

Systemic racism and mental health

Societal systems and the prevalence of systemic racism heavily impact every aspect of a person’s overall health.

Researching these topics draws attention to existing problems and contributes valuable insights into ways to improve access to care moving forward.

Examples of systemic racism-related psychology research topics include: 

  • Access to mental health resources based on race

  • The prevalence of BIPOC mental health therapists in a chosen area

  • The impact of systemic racism on mental health and self-worth

  • Racism training for mental health workers

  • The prevalence of mental health disorders in discriminated groups

LGBTQIA+ mental health concerns

Research about LGBTQIA+ people and their mental health needs is a unique area of study to explore for your next research project. It’s a commonly overlooked and underserved community.

Examples of LGBTQIA+ psychology research topics to consider include:

  • Mental health supports for queer teens and children

  • The impact of queer safe spaces on mental health

  • The prevalence of mental health disorders in the LGBTQIA+ community

  • The benefits of queer mentorship and found family

  • Substance misuse in LQBTQIA+ youth and adults

Psychology research is an exciting and competitive study area, making it the perfect choice for projects or papers.

Once you uncover the psychology research topic that tickles your fancy, it’s time to collect the needed data and look for trends and insights. That’s where user-friendly research software like Dovetail comes in.

Take the headache out of analyzing your data and instantly access the insights you need to complete your next psychology research project by teaming up with Dovetail today.

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