Different types of psychology for your research paper

The field of psychology covers a vast area of specialized study. Psychology journals and articles discuss different types of psychology, such as infant development and perinatal psychology or media psychology.

The many types of psychology. (Credit: all-about-psychology.com)

The many types of psychology. (Credit: all-about-psychology.com)

You can also discuss the exciting work of a forensic psychologist. Here are some good research paper topics on other types of psychology.

Infant psychology

One interesting field of psychology that would make a good term paper is perinatal clinical psychology. This type of psychology covers care during the prenatal and perinatal periods, the way the brains of infants develop from stimuli, emotional attachment, emotional investment of parents in their children, quality of nurturing and caregiving in the early weeks and months and risks for childhood development. Research has shown that during pregnancy, the mother and child exchange biochemical material that contributes to psychological communication through sensory exchanges. After birth, the baby’s first year is the most important for successful emotional development.

Childhood psychology researchers Loredana Cena and Antonio Imbasciati have written about this issue in “Perinatal Clinical Psychology: Parent-Child Interaction in Primary Care,” published in Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, December 2010. They explained, “In the first year of life, the child begins to internalize the context of relationships and this experience is transformed into a cognitive schema, which is called the ‘Internal Working Model.’ This refers to the internal representations of the child’s self, related to his parents.… Internal representations are also based on the quality of the interactions between the child and his parents.”

Media psychology

Another fascinating research paper topic, especially in this fast-paced, social media soaked world, is to discuss the new developments of media psychology, which covers the way people respond to, interact with and interpret media and the use of new technology. Media psychology combines the study of human behavior, cognition and emotions, along with media technology, content development and perceptions and response to new technology. The study of media psychology is necessary, say researchers, because technology permeates everything we do in life from school, work, leisure and communication. The field of media psychology is exciting because it changes as often as a new app or social media site is launched to the masses.

Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., Director of the Media Psychology Research Center (MPRC) and instructor of media psychology and social media at University of California-Los Angeles Extension, explained the scope of media psychology in “What Is Media Psychology?” posted on the MPRC website. Members of the field:

  • Help people adjust to technological progress’s increasingly rapid pace
  • Hold journalists accountable to professional standards by reading research reports
  • “Remind everyone that the experience of media technologies varies by person, culture, context, and what you are trying to achieve.”

Forensic psychology

With the popularly of crime and detective TV shows, all forms of forensics have become interesting subjects. Forensic psychology is used to prevent crime, discover criminals and punish wrongdoers. Forensic psychologists need to be knowledgeable in a variety of fields including clinical psychology, counseling, mental illness, causes of delinquency, law and the legal system and adequate correctional methods.

For a practical, recent example, the murders of prostitutes in Suffolk, England in 2006 was the work of a serial killer. Many experts were brought in on the case to try to paint a psychological picture of the perpetrator. Forensic psychologist Keith Ashcroft believed the killer was toying with the police and had a grudge against the police force. Criminologist Joseph Diaz thought the killer was a virgin and had a dominant mother. Glenn Wilson at the Institute of Psychiatry in London cautioned in “Forensic psychologists tackle UK serial killer,” written December 13, 2006, in Daily News, posted on New Scientist: “A psychological profile amounts to nothing more than a statistical probability and if police believe it is 100% accurate they run a very real risk of ignoring other evidence.”

For more information, check out Questia’s library on Other Types of Psychology.

What other different types of psychology would make good research paper topics?

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