Behavioral Science Research Paper Topics

Law enforcement is one possible area of study.
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Students of behavioral science study the common -- and not so common -- ways in which humans behave. This topic has many applications in industries ranging from advertising to law enforcement. If seeking a topic upon which to compose a behavioral science research paper, consider the many industries to which the science can be applied as well as what segments of this complex study interest you the most.

1 Behavioral Science in Law Enforcement

Understanding how humans are likely to behave can be useful to those in law enforcement. Individuals in this industry use behavioral science for everything from establishing motive to criminal profiling. In your research paper, explore the specific uses of this subject in law enforcement, gathering information on how police officers and others in the industry are trained in the field as well as what careers specialized in behavioral science could find within law enforcement.

2 Advertising and Consumer Buying Behavior

Because advertisers want to influence human behavior, they often use knowledge of behavioral science when creating advertising campaigns. Gather information on ways in which buying behaviors can be influenced by effective advertising. Also, relate common advertising principles to principles of behavioral science, explaining how each practice is effective in accomplishing the desired task.

3 Behavior Modification in Children

Behavioral science doesn't only deal with the behaviors of adults, but also with the ways in which children act. Research the ways in which parents and other caregivers can modify children's behaviors, encouraging positive behaviors and extinguishing negative ones. In one section of your paper, discuss how behaviors of children differ from those of adults as well as how behavior modification would be different if the individual was trying to modify adult, not child, behavior.

4 Science Behind Cult Behavior

To many, cult behavior seems almost incomprehensible; however, there are many behavioral science-related reasons why someone may be prone to falling into a cult. Explore the studies that have been performed regarding cults, as well as why clannish behavior may prove popular. Relate cult behavior to the need for belonging, explaining how a cult could provide this place to fit in for an individual who felt that he did not have other forms of acceptance. In addition, discuss what factors may make someone more prone to falling into a cult than others.

5 Rewards and Punishments

Research the concept of rewards and punishments for your paper. Gather information on how punishment if an effective action deterrent and rewards are effective in promoting behavior. Include information on planned punishments, like workplace sanctions, as well as naturally occurring punishments, like gaining weight as the result of lack of exercise. Describe how humans feel when administered a reward or punishment to show how both could effectively influence human behavior.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.