Psychology Research Question Extended Essay Criteria

Top 30 IB Extended Essay Topics Related To Psychology

It is a tough one to write IB extended essay topic on psychology as you have to work hard on many new things and styles. It is generally needed for the IB diploma exams which allow students to do research on their choice of psychology topic.

Top 30 IB extended essay topics of psychology:

  1. What do you think is the most common reason for eating disorder or apathy towards food in teenage children?
  2. What are the main reasons for depression? Write an essay about it.
  3. What are your thoughts about borderline personality disorder and how can it be treated?
  4. Schizophrenia is quiet a disease to be nurtured about. How do you explain it?
  5. Antisocial personality disorder arises within a youth at attender age, how to succumb over it?
  6. What are your thoughts about seasonal affective disorder?
  7. Dreams are the most talked about substance in the world. What are your views about it?
  8. False memories are quite haunting to many and this can lead to tough problems. How to treat it?
  9. Attention seeking disorder should be treated well from a tender gae with lot of care. What are your views about it?
  10. Bullying is quiet an issue in high school. How to fight against it?
  11. What are your thoughts about language acquisition?
  12. What is the effect of mass media and its violence on the children?
  13. What are the effects of violent video games on children?
  14. Gender roles or gender biasness has always been the problem of our humanity. How to get read of it?
  15. Child abuse and child work are the rising problems in the world. How to change it?
  16. What are your thoughts about prenatal development and how to handle it?
  17. Parenting style reflects a lot on the behaviour of the children. What are your thoughts about it?
  18. Aging is one of the most accepted truths of humanity. How do you define this phenomenon psychologically?
  19. The divorce between parents leads to a lot of effect on the mind of the children. How should it be stopped?
  20. What are your thoughts about the growing addiction of children towards video games?
  21. Personal perception is the one main thing that everyone should have. Explain.
  22. Attitude changes a person’s perception- Explain.
  23. Social cognition should be practiced and mastered- explain in details.
  24. What are your thoughts about the psychological concept of love?
  25. Witchcraft and Satanism are truth- do you agree?
  26. A person should work more in their nonverbal communication- Explain why?
  27. Effects of religion biasness on the world.
  28. Leadership is a quality- Define this statement?
  29. What is the difference between love and infatuation?
  30. How to practice yoga and how does it affect our body?

Writing an EE is an academic exercise where students get the chance to show that they can be “a researcher”. Of course, it is expected that they will write at a level which is appropriate for their level of education. The purpose of the EE is to demonstrate that they can come up with a focused research question, investigate it using appropriate resources and then present the results of the investigation in the proper format. They should also be able to construct an argument based on psychological knowledge, including psychological theories, empirical studies, psychological terminology and key concepts.

Students will probably start by having an interest in some area but it is not possible to formulate a research question without having carried out some research. It is important to read what psychologists have written on the topic. Only then will they have some idea of what the focus should be. It is very important for supervisors to understand that it is not the supervisor's responsibility to find the research. Students should be able to show research to their supervisors prior to getting their research question approved.

The thesis statement

The research that they find helps them to gradually formulate a research question. After the initial research, they will also have an idea of what could be the thesis statement - that is, the position they are going to make in relation to the research question. The thesis statement should be a direct answer in response to the research question. It is a good idea to combine research question and thesis statement because they must construct the argument based on the thesis statement. If they find that their research doesn't support their thesis statement, then they may change this as they become more informed about the topic.

Examples of thesis statements

Research question: Does prejudice have evolutionary roots?

Thesis: Evolutionary psychologists argue that prejudice is a hard-wired survival mechanism that has been advantageous to the human species.

Research question: Is Prozac effective in the treatment of depression?

Thesis: Prozac is effective in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in certain clients - but is not overall effective in the treatment of the disorder.

Research question: To what extent can ‘optimism’ influence one's physical health?

Thesis: Optimism has a limited influence on one's physical health.

Sample research questions

The research question must be clear and focused so that the reader knows exactly what is being investigated. It must be present in the introduction of the EE. Students are supposed to justify the choice of RQ with reference to real problems and former research done in the area. The following list is a set of good EE questions that are well defined.


  • To what extent is child testimony reliable in court?
  • Does long-term computer use have an effect on memory?
  • Is computer use in the classroom actually enhancing learning?


  • To what extent does genetics play a role in OCD?
  • To what extent is the theory of biological preparedness of phobias supported?
  • Is anorexia a cultural phenomenon?


  • To what extent do attachment patterns in early childhood determine later interpersonal relationships?
  • To what extent are gender differences biologically based?


  • To what extent does psychological stress affect one's ability to cope with a chronic illness?
  • Are government-imposed bans on trans-fats a feasible strategy for reducing obesity?
  • Is mindfulness an effective means of coping with stress?

Human Relationships

  • Can prejudice be reduced?
  • Is homosexuality a learned behaviour?
  • To what extent does communication play a role in a successful marriage?

Sport - although sports psychology is no longer part of the curriculum, it is totally acceptable as a topic.

  • To what extent is the theory of self-efficacy useful for explaining behaviour in competitive sport?
  • Is mental imagery an effective strategy for improving performance in football?
  • To what extent do coaches play a role in team cohesion?
  • Is it possible to increase one's level of "grit"?

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