This page contains information that may be helpful in
thinking of ideas for conducting scientific studies. It is
important to think of good research ideas and develop
good research questions.
Selecting Good Research Ideas
What is a good research idea? What kind of study would make a real
difference? What findings would really make a lasting contribution to
The above three questions should be addressed before making a decision
to conduct a scientific study. Scientific studies can take a great deal of
effort and time. It is very important that the research is meaningful and
important to society. Below are some guidelines and specific research
1. Think of a possible solution to an important problem. You could
conduct a study comparing the current way things are done in an
organization to a possible improved method, strategy, or technique. For
example, read a fundraising letter and then think of an alternative approach
to persuading potential donors.
2. Read some of the articles on this website. Are there better ways to
address the research questions that would provide more definitive answers?
For the correlational studies, how would you conduct an experiment to
address cause and effect? Are their practical applications of the studies that
have not been addressed? Are there major limitations in the studies that
could be addressed in additional research?
3. Design an experiment that is straightforward and simple, yet may have
clear findings that can be applied to everyday life. Ask yourself whether the
findings would be easy to apply to an important problem, and whether
many people would benefit from the findings.
4. In selecting a research question, ask yourself whether many people who
are not researchers would find the research fascinating, relevant, and
practical. You could use a million people rule. Using a million people rule,
you would select an idea for investigation if it seems that at least a million
people would be interested in the idea.
SPECIFIC RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
Below are some examples of questions that could be
addresed by conducting psychology experiments. There
may be many other good psychology research topics and
good ideas for psychology experiments (e.g., social
psychology experiment ideas).
1. What elements should be included in a fundraising letter to make it
2. What should a company include in the company profile to attract more
3. What things should be included on a resume to make it more persuasive?
4. What can employers do to increase creativity, productivity, and job