12 Intriguing Topics in Psychology Worth Exploring

12 Intriguing Topics in Psychology Worth Exploring

12 Intriguing Topics in Psychology Worth Exploring banner

Psychology, or the scientific study of the human mind, is an interesting field in itself. However, within the overarching field, there are so many subtopics that you can explore to gain an even deeper understanding of how the brain works.

Looking to expand your knowledge of psychology or perhaps discover a new interest within the field? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting psychology tips and topics of recent years.

Top Topics in Psychology to Explore

From topics in behavioral therapy and mental health and just about everything in between, here’s our handpicked list of the most interesting psychology topics to discover today.

1. The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health

It’s no secret that people are spending more time on social media than ever before — but what exactly is all that time on social media doing to our mental health? There’s some interesting research being done on this exact topic as we speak, especially as it relates to potential links between social media use and anxiety in which passive use of social media was shown to be associated with increased anxiety, while active use did not increase anxiety.

2. The Psychology of Personality: Traits and Theories

In recent years, there has also been some interesting research done on the topic of personality theory. Specifically, there are believed to be five different personality theories that range from humanistic to trait perspective, each defining how different areas of our personalities are influenced by different factors.

3. Cognitive Development in Children: Key Stages and Influences

Another potential topic to explore if you’re looking to broaden your understanding of psychology is cognitive development in children and how it occurs. Piaget’s theory breaks down cognitive development into four key stages of a child’s life. That said, there are other theories which propose 5 or 7 different stages of cognitive development. It’s important to recognize that cognitive development is an ongoing research topic that continues to explore what these different stages entail and the key influencing factors in a child’s cognitive development.

4. Understanding the Psychological Effects of Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a very real problem across the population, but it has only been relatively recently that the psychological effects of these disorders have been studied in-depth. Today, we have a better understanding than ever of how stress and anxiety can affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life, ranging from their sense of well-being to their mood and even their physical health.

5. The Role of Psychology in Enhancing Learning and Education

Another good psychology research topic that you may especially want to explore if you’re interested in education is that of the role of psychology in improving the learning experience. This includes the application of certain psychological principles and strategies to promote greater student engagement and healthier learning environments for all.

6. Exploring the Mind-Body Connection: Psychosomatic Medicine

Have you heard of psychosomatic medicine? If not, then that’s probably because it has not been as widely accepted until recent years. Specifically, psychosomatic medicine refers to the study of connections between mental and physical illnesses or conditions. With a better understanding of how the mind and body are connected, it may be possible to provide better treatment to those suffering from mental and physical illnesses.

7. The Influence of Culture on Perception and Behavior

The field of psychology has also begun to see more of a focus on the study of culture and its influence on overall perception and human behavior. More than ever, we’re beginning to see that cultural differences can have a major impact on the way people come to accept certain belief systems and even styles of communication. All of this can ultimately affect everyday behaviors and actions.

8. Forensic Psychology: The Mind of a Criminal

Another interesting topic in psychology (whether it be for a research paper or just for your own curiosity) is that of forensic psychology, or the study of psychology as it applies to the law. Many cases of forensic psychology apply specifically to criminal law, where professionals aim to gain a better understanding of the motives and reasoning behind why a criminal carries out a specific act.

9. Sports Psychology: Improving Performance Through Mental Training

If sports and athletics are of interest to you, there’s another area of psychology where the study of the human mind and athletic performance intersect. This subset of the field is known as sports psychology, and it is primarily concerned with how performance can be improved through specialized mental training. More than ever, athletes are turning to sports psychology as a means of optimizing their performance while maintaining their physical and mental well-being as much as possible.

10. The Science of Happiness: Positive Psychology and Well-Being

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), positive psychology can be defined as “the scientific study of a healthy and flourishing life.” Today, more people are focused on leading healthier and happier lives, so it makes sense that this science of happiness has seen a resurgence in interest and popularity. This can be an interesting topic worth exploring if you are intrigued by the idea of extending health and happiness using positive psychology methods and strategies.

11. Abnormal Psychology: Understanding Mental Disorders

Mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are also seeing a renewed focus across the psychology community. This is especially true as diagnoses of these disorders continue to increase across the United States and mental health professionals aim to provide the highest standard of treatment to patients.

12. The Psychology of Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Treatment

Another sobering area of psychology seeing a greater focus is that of the psychology behind drug and alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, with addiction becoming an increasingly common problem among the American population, there is even more of a need to better understand the potential causes of addiction and the most effective treatment options available. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been studied specifically as a potential psychological treatment for addiction in recent years, and the results have been promising. With more research and testing, it may be possible to use CBT in conjunction with other methods to treat and manage addiction of all kinds more effectively.

How to Learn More About Psychology Topics of Interest

If you’re uncovered a topic here that truly interests you and that you wish to explore more, the good news is that continuous learning opportunities are always available. The key is to be prepared to commit to lifelong learning to stay up-to-date on all the latest news and research that occurs in the always-changing psychology field.

Not sure where to begin? There are plenty of ways to go about delving deeper into the psychology topics that interest you most.

Read Books and Articles by Experts in the Field

New publications are always coming out as psychology research is completed, so keep an eye out for new books and articles from trusted experts within the field. A great source of scholarly articles is a formal publication, such as the Journal of Applied Psychology and Frontiers in Psychology.

Attend Lectures, Workshops, or Conferences

Another great way to stay on top of the latest psychology news and insights is to attend lectures, workshops, conferences, and other special events as they occur. These events provide an excellent opportunity for you to attend special demonstrations, discussions, and lectures first-hand while networking with others in the field. Workshops and conferences may take place in-person or even online, so virtual attendance is always an option if you’re unable to travel.

Join Online Discussion Groups or Forums

Speaking of virtual connections, don’t overlook the potential power of discussion groups, forums, and other online avenues of discussion. These serve as great places for people in the psychology field to share ideas, engage in meaningful discussion, and gain valuable new insights without having to leave their homes. These forums can be frequented by people from all over the world, making it easier than ever to disseminate ideas across borders.

Engage in Hands-On Activities or Experiments

Finally, consider getting involved with hands-on activities, experiments, or other studies that may be offered in your immediate area. It is not uncommon for colleges and universities to ask for volunteers to participate in psychology-related studies. Additionally, in some cases, you might even be compensated for your time. Either way, you’ll be doing your part to contribute to important research in the field.

Pursue Your Interest in Psychology at JWU

Whether you’re just beginning to consider a career in psychology or are looking to advance your education with a master’s degree, Johnson & Wales University has programs to help you pursue your professional goals. This includes our Bachelor of Science in Psychology program as well as our Master of Science in Organizational Psychology degree program.

For your convenience, both programs are offered online to work around your schedule with tailored learning experiences to suit your interests. For more information about completing your degree online, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].

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