| Research Ideas
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 society?
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 questions.
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 persuasive?
2. What should a company include in the company profile to attract more job applicants?
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 satisfaction?