10 Unique Psychology Dissertation Topics For University Students


If you’re persuing a PhD in Psychology, you will have to do a dissertation. Your dissertation, which will be overseen and evaluated by a thesis committee, requires you to do your own original research, then present your findings and defend your conclusions. It’s the most important step in the PhD process in almost every field, including psychology.

Psychology is a field that integrates aspects of biomedical science with aspects of social science, creating a wide range of potential topics that you can investigate for your psychology dissertation. Some students choose to focus on neuroscience, examining the relation of physiological brain processes to human cognition, learning, emotion, memory, and other functions. Others aim their attention at psychosocial aspects of the human mind, like emotional intelligence, social interaction, motivation, and other topics. Whether you focus on the natural science or social science aspect of psychology can depend on what type of research or clinical practice you plan on doing when you’ve obtained your doctorate. With a PhD in psychology, you have several career options. You could go into clinical practice, helping patients to manage and counteract mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. You could also go into academic research, exploring new frontiers in neuroscience, mental health, and our overall understanding of the workings of the human mind.

There’s a vast range of potential questions that you can research and explore for your PhD dissertation, as long as you are conducting original research. You should choose an area, if possible, that genuinely fascinates you, and to which you can make a real contribution through your work. Here are a ten interesting psychology dissertation topics that you can consider:

  • The effects of emotional intelligence on decision-making
  • The role of the prefrontal cortex in conscious thought, active decision-making, and other aspects of being “human”
  • The relationship of mood disorders to impaired social cognition
  • Prefrontal cortical function in relation to the functions of other brain areas
  • Using fMRI studies to evaluate brain function
  • Evaluating and assessing the claim that each brain hemisphere performs different functions and process information differently, and examining the role of this lateralization in human cognition
  • Progressive integration of information in the brain, from lower sensory regions to higher areas of the brain
  • Investigating the limits of neuroplasticity in human adults
  • Explaining working memory as a function of long-term memory
  • The role of the prefrontal cortex in short term memory functions

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