Advice on a psychology dissertation topic?

Answers:0   |   LastUpdateAt:2012-11-05 06:06:02  

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I , soon, the need to decide on a reasonable thesis topic ( for a doctorate in psychology ) . It can be qualitative or quantitative . I 've narrowed it down to three areas . I would like to study something about women in the military and how they have experienced PTSD / sexual harassment , body modifications and body dysmorphic disorder and lately something related to music . I was thinking of something like the mood effects like music , but I have no idea how to study it. Any suggestions / tips / advice from the three areas I would like to study . Please serious answers only - not drag ! Some fellow students or psychologists who have gone through this process would be helpful.
Answer1ninzyyAnswered at 2012-11-05 06:05:50
It is important to begin this process with an exhaustive literature review. The idea of a dissertation is to provide a unique contribution to the existing literature base. To accomplish this, of course, you need to know what has already been done. A bonus to this process is that you an often use this lit review as the basis for one or more papers in your doctoral coursework.

When you are wading through the literature, focus heavily on the "future directions" type paragraphs in the discussion section of the articles. This will help you narrow down some do-able research questions on the topic you choose.

Although qualitative dissertations are certainly interesting, they're rarely publishable. In addition, they can become far, far more complex and time consuming than they're worth. Quantitative is the way to go. Find a statistician to serve on your committee as early as possible. Statisticians will be invaluable to you as you mete our your research design, choose your instruments/tests, and analyze your results.

When constructing the rest of your committee, take into account any pre-existing personality conflicts that could arise among and between members. Don't allow yourself to get into the middle of some ongoing faculty dispute. It's not worth it. Choose people who KNOW your topic and people who get along with one another. You don't want your dissertation defense to turn into an academic world war with yourself and your research as the victim.

Best of luck,
~Dr. B.~
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