Cognitive psychology: Research paper topics and learning styles

Rendering of human brain. (Courtesy of Nicolas Rougier)

Rendering of human brain. (Courtesy of Nicolas Rougier)

Anyone planning a career in education would do well to discover the answer to the question, “What is cognitive psychology?” Assuming that you take on the study, you’ll likely be writing a research paper or two on research paper topics such as learning style and other areas related to cognitive psychology. Let’s look at a few topics and resources to help you with your studies in psychology.

Educational psychology revealed

Cognitive psychology focuses on how learning occurs and how the brain takes in and uses learned knowledge. It recognizes that information is absorbed through the senses and is processed and stored. As a student, you may find the study of particular interest because it concerns enhancing learning capabilities and the functions of the mental process.

Subcategories of cognitive psychology include:

  • learning styles
  • learning theories
  • learning disabilities
  • the mind

In preparing for your research paper assignment, you would do well to visit Questia, the Internet’s largest library of full-text books and articles. You’ll find thousands of sources relating to cognitive psychology. One area in particular concerns how we learn: learning styles and theories such as:

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • peer learning
  • reinforcement
  • mediated learning

You’ll definitely want to check out the works of Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist who has written several books on learning and the mind. On Questia you’ll find his work, The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach.

In his chapter on The “Natural” Learner, Gardner describes the work of such researchers as Charles Darwin and Jean Piaget.

“According to the Piagetian analysis, every child passed through roughly the same stages in the same order, whether he is negotiating the domain of causality or the domain of morality. Moreover, and crucially, each stage involves a fundamental reorganization of knowledge, a reorganization so profound that the child does not even have access to his earlier forms of understanding,” Gardner said.

In addition to the thousands of books and articles on Questia, you can learn how to research and write your paper. Just check out the research tutorials that explain the process step by step.

Get the latest news and opinions

Blogs are a great source of current news and research. Along with the news, you also get the opinions of the writer and comments from readers. What is nice as far as students are concerned is that these blogs tend to be written by professionals.

One blog of note is MindBlog by M. Deric Bownds, Emeritus professor of molecular biology and zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Bownds makes science fun and understandable through his prolific posts concerning current research and trends in biology and other sciences.

In his post of November 1, 2013, titled, “Sleep cleans our brains, renews our synapses, consolidates our memories,” Bownds describes recent research on the effects of sleep on the brain.

“Work of this sort suggests that the 50-70 million Americans who have insufficient sleep or some kind of sleep disorder (like sleep apnea) are carrying around extra garbage in their brains during the day and have brain synaptic connection that haven’t recovered from previous days’ activities, both factors that would seem likely to compromise our mental function,” Bownds exclaimed.

Other blogs worth reading for insights about psychology include:

  • Edublogs
  • Pragmatic Education
  • The Mouse Trap
  • Psychology Today‘s Cognition topics

Other Psychology Resources

Now that you’ve got background and perspective on your subject, let’s look at some other resources that can help you flesh out your research project.

InstructionalDesign.org: an encyclopedia that includes a section on learning theories.

Learning-Theories.com: a site that focuses on the aspects of psychology related to how we learn.

Genes to Cognition (G2C) Online: examines ideas and research allowing you to explore topics interactively on different levels.

Developmental Psychology (DevPsy.org): study research and theory about children’s social and cognitive development with resources that include lesson plans and classroom activities.

What’s your favorite cognitive psychology topic? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Read more about cognitive psychology at Questia, where you’ll find thousands of full-text books and articles along with research tutorials and tools to help you write your research paper.

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