9.25 Semester Research Project Ideas

Due before class on Tuesday, Sept. 29

Selecting Your Research Topic, Research Question and Type of Research Methods Design

Your first goal is to select a research topic that interests you that will help you learn and apply research methods. We encourage you to have an interest in the topic since you will be doing  a bit of reading and writing on your topic during this course. Take some time to consider a topic carefully. You must then conceive of research question(s) that you would be interested in studying. To help you get started, consider your interests (e.g., sports, consumer behavior, driving, relationships, etc.). You might choose a question related to your interests by asking yourself:

  • “Who am I as a [your discipline] researcher and what kinds of questions do I want to answer?”
  • “What do I want to describe in the world?”
  • “What would I like to learn about that [area, phenomenon]?”

From the broad, general purpose statement, you narrow the focus to specific questions to be answered. Use ‘what’ ’how’ or ‘do’ questions. (‘Why’ suggests cause and effect, -> quantitative).

Expect research questions to evolve and change during your work.

Question should be SPECIFIC, a few examples help illustrate this:

  1. How can City Tech redesign the plaza in front of Tillary Street to create a vibrant public space where students and community members gather and interact with each other?
  2. What are effective techniques in lighting that can be used to generate an emotional response?
  3. What structures should be implemented in a nursing home to improve their well-being?
  4. How can nurses teach parents to develop greater attachment with their children?
  5. What motivates young adolescents into vaping?
  6. Do men and women tend to describe themselves differently on Tinder?
  7. What are elements in a game design that help promote social connection?
  8. How should NYC revise its waste and management plan to reduce littering in the borough?
  9. Does virtual reality elicit the same physiological response as in the real world?
  10. What colors do make people hungry? aroused?

17 thoughts on “9.25 Semester Research Project Ideas

  1. Aissatou Barry

    1. What are some elements that are causing minorities to stop their education at high school?
    2. What are some causes that makes society so quick to label sterotypes on a person and how can we fix it?
    3. What elements causes women not to be fields that majority are men? How can we change that?
    4. what elements in our society causes gender inequality? Does this play a role in the individual we grow up into?

  2. Wayne Ferguson

    Why is the Divorce rate so high in America?
    What are some of the causes for divorce in our society?
    What are some of the influences that shape our thinking about marriage?
    Is there a “right” or “wrong” age to get married in America? Please explain your answer.

  3. Azarias

    how does genes affect the way we see color?
    will there be a time where humans will not require to see in color?
    How does seeing in color have an advantage to our society? what are the limits of the human eye ?

  4. Shin

    Human make better choices than computer?

    What affects most in making choice? (personal experience? thoughts? Book? others’ advise?..etc)

    What better choice means?

    If you made a wrong choice, and you were sent back to the time before you made the choice, and now you can choose another option. It would be a better choice than the other option you chose before this choice?

  5. Natalya

    As I work in the restaurant industry, my research will be on restaurant environment.
    -Which factors influence customer’s behavior at the restaurant.
    1. Does the design, temperature, sound influence customer at the restaurant. If yes, how.
    2. Is there any social influence on the consumer’s behavior at the restaurant.
    3. How do restaurant trends influence customer’s choices.

  6. LindsayS

    1.What causes students to be more engaged in school life when they live in dorms, as apposed to commuting everyday?

    2. What ways can colleges get their commuting students more engaged in school life?

    1. Sean MacDonald Post author

      These are some interesting questions to start with. In the first, think about how dorm life – its attributes – some of its characteristics – that may encourage students to become more engaged in school life? What other kinkds of support might exist at such schools to encourage student involvement?

    1. Sean MacDonald Post author

      Great: Think about some ways in which paper will need to change to survive in the digital world? Are there ‘niche’ areas or disciplines in which paper has a stronger chance to endure in some form?

  7. Paul Nembhard

    1. Do peoples personality change when the camera is on them?
    2. Is there even an Illuminati?
    3. Why is it easier for attractive people to become more successful?
    4. Is there real evidence of God?

    1. Sean MacDonald Post author

      Great questions – and several possible topics here. Think about framing questions in terms of “how” or “what.” for ex: In what ways do some people’s personalities change when they are on camera? ALso how might you measure this? “What characteristics of attractive people may make it easier for them to become more successful”? And think about what some of those characteristics might be.

  8. Chris Alvarado

    Why do some people need a “title” in order to enjoy being involved with someone?
    Why is it that people won’t help others as if it was second nature? why is it difficult for people to support one another ?
    How does the people you know allow you to have an advantage getting a career?
    Whats the suggestion for students to do after they graduate?

  9. Ricardo

    1) What kind of structure or style would attract guest to a certain hotel ?

    2) How can a hotel motivate guest to come back more often ?

    3) What kind of area should a hotel be located ?


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