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Psychology Science Fair Projects for High School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

High school students can learn about psychology through independent research for science fair projects. This lesson offers ideas for high school psychology science fair projects with options for quantitative and qualitative research.

Exploring Psychology through Research

Why do people do the things they do? How do they develop and learn? How are they influenced by others? The field of psychology offers many interesting topics that can be explored through introductory level research. From abnormal psychology to social psychology and everything in between, these topics will appeal to high school students looking for ideas for research.

As a teacher, you can support your students' research by discussing project ideas with them, encouraging sound, ethical application of the scientific method, suggesting resources, and providing formative project reviews.

Abnormal Psychology Project Ideas

Abnormal psychology focuses on mental illness. These project ideas allow students to begin an exploration of this fascinating realm.

Depression

Rates of depression continue to climb and our methods for treating it vary widely. Students might want to collect data on incidence, symptoms, and treatments options. Alternatively, polling those who suffer from depression may provide more heartfelt data.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood of the mental illnesses. Studying the behaviors and challenges of life with schizophrenia may prove interesting to students. Another option would be to create case studies for documented cases of schizophrenia.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are among the most common mental illnesses. Students may want to investigate the different types of personality disorders. Alternatively, an exploration of the link between personality disorders and criminal behavior may prove fruitful for budding researchers.

Spectrum Disorders

Spectrum disorders including Autism and Asperger's are on the forefront of the field of psychology. Investigating rising rates of diagnosis or options for treatment will introduce a fascinating line of study for students. A profile of symptoms or a look into the various manifestations of the disorders could also prove interesting.

Human Development Project Ideas

The way we grow and change as we age is remarkable. Developmental psychologists focus on social, emotional, and cognitive changes. These topics are rich with opportunities for research.

Social Development

Human beings are social creatures. These practices change dramatically throughout the lifespan. Students might research play, friendships, intimate relationships, or familial relationships. A cross-cultural comparison of social practices would also be a challenging, but profound research endeavor.

Emotional Development

Babies cry a lot, but for largely different reasons than adults. High school researchers may be interested in exploring changes in emotional expression throughout life or differences in emotional expression between genders.

Cognitive Development

As we grow and mature, our capability for intellectual functioning increases dramatically. What accounts for these changes? This is a question that would likely be of great interest to high school researchers.

Memory and Learning Project Ideas

Some people remember everything while others struggle to remember what they had for lunch. Either way, psychologists spend a great deal of time focusing on memory and learning.

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