Research written on keyboard key

What Research Psychologists Do

Research psychologists use scientific methods to examine questions and test hypotheses with the aim of understanding human thought and behavior. This research can focus on phenomena and processes at various levels, including: physiology, brain activity, and genetics; individual perception, cognition, and behavior; interpersonal relationships and social interactions; and broader cultural, economic, political, and societal factors.

Many research psychologists investigate aspects of typical functioning, including how we sense and perceive the world around us, how we make decisions, and how we develop over the lifespan. Other research psychologists focus specifically on processes that contribute to thinking and behavior in the context of clinical disorders.

Research psychologists share the findings of their investigations in a variety of outlets, including publishing in peer-reviewed journals, presenting at conferences, and giving talks in academic settings. In addition to conducting studies and experiments, research psychologists may also have roles as educators, practitioners, and consultants.


APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.