Factors To Consider When Selecting A Research Topic In Psychology

By paul on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 in No Comments

Researches in psychology offer you the advantage of studying any topic that provokes your interest. Rather than conforming to a certain outline, the field of psychology provides you with the opportunity to study anything and everything.

Despite having this leverage, most students struggle with finding a topic for their psychological research. The following guide can help you introspect and come up with an idea which not only aligns with your interest but also ignites passion within you.

Select a topic based on personal experience

The things that happen to you can frame the way your research turns out. Choosing a research topic based on personal experience can be enlightening for you. The act of experiencing something may make you biased against it. When you research it, you may find that the things you perceived may not be as they initially deemed to be.

For instance, you may work for an organization which has appointed top management roles to the male gender. While working there, you may find the organization culture to be rigid and stressful. On that basis, you can build your research question, “The correlation between male authority figures and a stressful environment in the workplace.”

Build a topic based on the curiosity invoked through the media platforms

Selecting a topic in this manner can combine the elements of leisure and work. This idea of topic selection suggests that you create or pick a topic which intrigued you while you were reading a newspaper, watching a movie/ TV series or reading a book.

Taking the example of watching RuPaul’s drag race, you may become inspired by the stories shared on the show by the participating drag queens. You might hear about their struggles and wonder if the current state of society is putting the same kind of environment for homosexual individuals. You may also consider the role played by religion in impacting the self-image of these queens. Hence, you may devise a topic on this basis.

This method can allow you to come up with multiple research questions for a basic or applied form of research. Taking the example above, you can create the following topics:

“The low self-esteem of adolescent LGBTQ+ individuals who belong to religious families.”

“How drag can work as an escape from reality for LGBTQ+ individuals.”

“The therapeutic effects of performing in drag.”

Curate a research question on facts of your field

Another way to come up with a research question is to study the work that has already been carried out in your field. This method may take up a lot of your time; you can hire a cheap essay writing service to make time to conduct a thorough analysis.

In order to use this approach for creating a research question, you are required to educate yourself in the literature of your area of interest. Based on this, you can find the researches in which you may disagree with the results, or in which you may believe that the results have become outdated.

For instance, if you are going through the studies present in the journal of educational psychology, you may find several investigations linking low academic performance with the students studying in a non-segregated schooling system. If you disagree with these results or believe that these findings are no longer applicable to the current age, you can create your research and furthermore, introduce new variables to test your hypothesis.

An example research question for this can be:

“The role of non-segregated schooling systems in the creation of confident individuals.”

“Academic performance of individuals belonging to co-education and segregated system of education.”

Pick a topic which solves a problem

Various applied researches have been carried out to provide solutions in a myriad of situations. For your undergraduate or graduate research, you can select a topic or a problem which you are curious to find a solution for. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone.

For example, if you work as a part-time student, you would lack time to accomplish all of your tasks properly. This problem would also interfere with your ability to stay on schedule for all the future projects. Hence, you can come up with a topic for applied research to find ways to manage time effectively while simultaneously pursuing higher education. Your research question can be:

“Effective methods to help students working part-time manage their time.”

Use social premiums for topic selection

In psychology, Singleton et.el coined the term, “social premiums” for topics that are popular and offer individuals the opportunity to make money. Basically, social premiums are a subject matter which requires thorough investigation.

These topics are provided by organizations or companies which require a large amount of data analysis to make future decisions. In exchange for this data, the companies reward the researchers with monetary compensations.

Thus, if you are short on cash, you can select your research topic using this approach. An example topic for this can be:

“Psychological techniques to boost sales.”

Select a topic based on your values

Topic selection based on personal values can ignite a passion for a project. When you study something that you truly believe in, you are more likely to pursue it with full enthusiasm. These topics can be formed using religious values, social beliefs, political perspectives and moral point of views. Building research around these topics can push you to put in an additional effort. For instance, if you are enraged by the patriarchy and its contribution to the rape culture, you can create the following research question:

“The role of patriarchy in increasing the accounts of rape.”

Get inspired from everyday life!

The field of psychology allows you to be inspired by anything you encounter. You can come up with research topics from your day to day encounters. For instance, if you see someone perform a random act of kindness, you can build your contrasting research on hedonism and altruistic abilities in human beings.

The field of psychology encourages you to explore and share your findings with the world. You can use the techniques above to create a research question for intriguing research!

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