I Need an Idea for an Experiment for My AP Psychology Class

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In AP psychology classes, students work to acquire a basic understanding of the factors that influence human behavior. They also are required to perform experiments that delve into the complexities of the human psyche. The experiments you will want to conduct for a class of this type will be more complex than the simple experiments performed in standard science classes, but experimentation is still the best way to build understanding within a scientific field. If you are seeking a topic for an experiment, consider some easy-to-implement projects that will yield useful information.

1 Child Behavior Training

Many prominent psychologists have focused their studies on human behavior, seeking to discover what makes humans act the way they do. Take your turn at studying behavior by exploring methods that parents use to influence the way their children act. Select some parents and their children to use as subjects for your experiment. Start by interviewing the parents and asking them what types of behavior control methods they use. Then, observe each set of children and parents for a day or so, watching these methods in action and studying their effectiveness.

2 Teen Fad Development

Take a walk into the world of teen behavior by conducting a survey that relates to teen fads. Prepare a survey that asks teens to list current fads, explain why they like (or dislike) each fad, and tell how they were introduced to each one. Analyze the results to derive a greater understanding of how teen fads are perpetuated. For example, if numerous teens list a specific fad, look at where each teen learned about the fad, and see if you can find a common path or common reason for fad perpetuation.

3 Crowd Response

Take center stage in an experiment that studies the ways crowds respond to unexpected stimuli. Select a busy place, such as the food court at the mall, for the location of your experiment. Pick several things that you could do there that would be different from the norm, yet not so different that you will risk getting into trouble. For example, you could stand in the center of the busy food court for an extended period of time, staring off into space. Perform each of your selected actions, and observe people's reactions. After your experiment, hypothesize why each reaction occurred in the manner it did.

4 Memory Tools

Test memory tools to see which methods prove to be the most useful for students and others who need to remember important information. Choose several memory tools, and gather a group of willing volunteers to try them out. Give each volunteer the same piece piece of literature to read. Divide your volunteers into groups, and ask each group to use a different memory tool to cement the information they have read into their minds. Quiz all participants to see which memory tool appears to work best.

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, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.