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HOW TO CHOOSE A RESEARCH TOPIC IN PSYCHOLOGY?

Namitha and Prerna

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A RESEARCH TOPIC IN PSYCHOLOGY?

Psychology is a diverse field of study that provides ample opportunities to conduct both, qualitative and quantitative types of research. Leading any research sounds intriguing, yet students struggle to finalize a topic. To make the process simple, let us share some insights into how one can begin to pick and settle on a research topic.

 

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The process of choosing a topic begins with determining our level of curiosity. A curious mind that is willing to challenge the traditional viewpoints initiates research. One will be consistent with their plan of action if they choose a theme that they are keen on pursuing. Try to ask yourself, 'what interests me?' Answers to this question will help us maintain our focus.

 

Psychology as a subject is broad with various sub-fields. To narrow down the topics, we need to center our curiosity on a specific branch. Once the sub-field that interests us is determined, filtering out topics gets easier. 

 

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Next, we can begin to narrow down our focus on explicit topics. For example, interest in music psychology has inspired me to investigate how a specific music genre facilitates social relatedness in youth. If you are confused about which specific topic to investigate, here are some incredible approaches to assist you:

 
  • Look for topics from the syllabus. The syllabus for a degree course in psychology offers ideas that can expand our understanding of the subject and compel us to read more about it.
  • Read books prescribed by the syllabus. One can even download pdfs on the website PDF Drive.
  • Research is widespread in our field, and the best way to learn more is by keeping ourselves updated with recent findings and developments in the field. Websites such as APA, British Psychological Associations, National Institute of Mental Health are few such reliable websites. 
  • Read research articles to understand the theoretical framework of a topic. One can search for papers on Google scholar, or ResearchGate.
  • Talking to college professors or professionals aid in solving confusions. Attending conferences and seminars are some other ways to enhance one’s connections.  
  • While deciding upon the topic, one must also determine the population they want to study. 

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Choosing a research topic is affected by factors such as our enthusiasm for the topic and our present understanding. As students, attending conferences has broadened our outlook. Some have benefitted from their internships. Esteemed institutes like IITs and DIPR offer research internship projects to young students in their field of choice. Other organizations like Niti Manthan and MHF-India have taken up research projects which are offered to students to explore their interests. Research requires passion, patience, and perseverance, and choosing the right topic will make the process more insightful. 


 

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