Some starting points
This page is mainly for prospective Honours/Masters in psychology research students. It suggests some possible project areas, but be open-ended and bring your own ideas.
In the early stages, it's important to brainstorm ideas without getting overly critical - one idea can lead to another. Before the first class, brainstorm possible topic areas and refine to 2 to 4 possible topic areas. These ideas might be based on your own curiosities, but hopefully also on some previously conducted studies, and take some account of potential supervisors' areas of expertise and interest.
Then try to frame up your brainstormed ideas as possible research questions. Doing this will push your thinking to the next level about how the idea might (or might not) work as a thesis topic.
Doing this will make for a healthy starting discussing with a supervisor in Week 1.
Along the way, get your head around the nature of a 4th year psychology research thesis project - there are some notes here:
Some possible topic ideas
Here are some potential areas/ideas for projects, but you are also strongly encouraged to bring up your own ideas for discussion:
- Motivation and emotion
- Effects of mood on decision making and behaviour
- Cognitions (e.g., associative and dissociative) whilst exercising
- Any other aspects of motivation and emotion - this link goes to a 3rd year psychology unit which I teach.
- Environmental psychology
- Mood effects of green exercise
- Mood effects of exposure to natural vs. artificial imagery and sound
- Psychological effects of indoor natural stimuli e.g., indoor plants
- Any other aspect of environmental psychology
- Positive psychology
- Coping, coping effectiveness, stress, and psychological resilience
- Development of psychological strengths (e.g., resilience, mental toughness, self-compassion)
- Grit and psychological capital
- Resilient psychological responses to failure/threat
- Psychological benefits of aversive psychological states (e.g., feeling sad/failing)
- Social media
- Motivations for different types of technology use (e.g,. live streaming, self-tracking)
- Effects of social media engagement (e.g,. social media image effects on body image)
- Outdoor education and adventure therapy
- Effects of experiential, challenge-based interventions on personal growth
- Educational psychology
- Anything related to the psychology of learning (e.g., motivations to cheat)
- I try to work in with students' needs/style - e.g., some students like to meet more often, others less so, some students prefer to do more work face to face, others more virtually
- I try to find a balance between providing sufficient support/scaffolding and allowing students independence, freedom, and personal responsibility.
- I am reasonably open about the exact topic - however, if it aligns with previous work I've been involved with, then I can provide more expert support.
- I have other work responsibilities, and so do you, but if we work together, a great experience and outcome is possible!
- Best days for supervision for me are usually Tues, Wed, and Fri - we will try to set up some regular times.
Example past theses
- James Neill research supervision (wilderdom)