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How Do I Go into Psychology Research?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

If you want to get into psychology research, then you should receive a degree in psychology from a college or university. This can begin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, often with a minor in a separate area that you find interesting. Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you should continue toward a master’s degree and a doctorate to prepare yourself for professional research work. If you are interested in being part of a research group, on the other hand, then you can typically get into psychology research by volunteering to be a research participant.

Psychology research typically refers to work done to establish new ideas within the field of psychology and to test those ideas through research. If you want to perform this type of research, then you should begin by finding a college or university that offers a bachelor’s degree in psychology and pursuing that degree. While you do not typically choose an area of focus within psychology while working on a bachelor’s degree, you should still consider the field in which you eventually want to work for your minor focus. If you want to get into psychology research on human and computer interaction, for example, then you might earn a minor in computer science.

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Woman posing

Once you have a bachelor’s degree, then you should look for a school to attend to work on a master’s degree or doctorate while gaining educational experience in psychology research. A master’s degree may be sufficient to perform some types of research, though you should definitely consider pursuing a doctorate. A doctorate of philosophy (PhD) is ideal for performing research, though you may be able to get into psychology research with a doctorate of psychology (Psy.D). As you are pursuing this degree, you should look for opportunities to work with professors and other graduate students to conduct research or work as a research assistant to an established researcher.

While these methods can prepare you for conducting psychology research, you can become a research subject much more easily. If you are interested in being a subject, then you should consider the qualifications of various studies. Research studies are often segregated based on certain traits, such as gender, nationality, background, and your history of psychological issues or drug use. You can look at different studies and types of psychology research being performed and apply for one that you are qualified to be a part of with your particular background.

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