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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Psychology 301 Research Paper

One way to become familiar with classical and contemporary psychological research is by doing some independent reading and writing a paper about it. The purpose of the reading is to acquaint the student with original research as it appears in written form. By completing the paper, you will have the opportunity to learn and write about how psychologists present hypothesis, methods and results.

If you choose this option, you must first select a topic from the area of psychology that you would like to examine. You could select one of the topics that appear below or you could select your own topic. If you select your own topic, you should have your selection approved by your Psychology 301 teaching assistant.

Next, you need to find three to five articles from the psychological journals. An easy way to locate articles is to use PsycINFO, available on the UT library website under “Databases and Indexes to Articles” (  PsycINFO is a searchable database with links to articles and abstracts published in psychology. Many of the journal articles that are listed in PsycINFO can be located online or in the libraries on campus. You should look for journals such as, The Journal of Experimental Psychology, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Child Development, etc.

If you have a question whether a particular journal will be acceptable, please check with the teaching assistant. Articles from Psychology Today, Reader's Digest, and Redbook, etc., are not acceptable. Your references MUST come from psychological journals.

Finally, you must write a paper based on your readings. At a minimum, you should summarize the work you have read. You can present the material as a simple summary, or you could compare or contrast the hypotheses, methodological procedures, statistical procedures, or results. The following rules apply to each paper submitted to satisfy the requirement; however, your professor may have additional requirements:

  1. Typewritten in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one-inch margins, and the body of the paper must be at least 1,700 words/5 pages in length.
  2. You must attach a reference list and include in-text citations to these references.
  3. You must attach a cover sheet with your name, UT EID, unique number, and the semester and year.
  4. It must be your own work! Do not copy articles. Discuss them in your own words.
  5. You may only reference one website in your paper (not including journal articles available online)
  6. It is due by Monday, December 1, 2014 uploaded into SafeAssign on Blackboard.  The "assignment" will be posted after the mid-point in the the semester.  You may submit your paper prior to the due date if you wish.

Possible Topics:

Therapy for Depression, Mid-life Crisis, Achievement Motivation, Creativity, Biochemistry of Schizophrenia, Suicidal Behaviors, Death and Dying, Child Abuse, Effects of Noise on Hearing, Synaptic Transmission, RNA and Memory, Attachment in Infants, Drug Use Motivation, Test Anxiety, Development of Self-esteem, Acquisition of Morality, Types of Personal Space, Music Therapy, Psychological Aspects of Pain, Violence and Aggression, Sex-role typing, Stages of Sleep, Behavior Problems of Children, Biochemistry of Bipolar Disorder, Neurological Effects of Meditation, and Dance Therapy, Any topic discussed in the Psy 301 textbook.

If you have any questions, please contact the Research Coordinator via e-mail at

Downloadable PDF Forms

Parental Permission Form
Research Syllabus (Green Sheet)
Error Correction Form
Experimenter Guidelines/Access Request Form

(Registration must be completed on Sona the online Psychology Experiment and Registration Site. You must have a UT EID to access the site.)

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