I’m very interested in environmental issues and would love to focus on something in that area. One area in particular I’m interested in is the human connection to nature (I am attempting to study Eco-Therapy and Conservation psychology) and how the reconnection of people to the environment is the first crucial step in getting people involved in environmentalism. The way I could incorporate this into a research paper is looking at the different ways people go about reconnecting people to nature and how effective these are in getting people involved in the advocacy of environmentalism. For example, I recently went on an alternative spring break that did service in the Smoky Mountains Tennessee, which resulted in many of my co-participants having a new appreciation for the environment and they are now changing their lifestyles to get more involved with it. I could use these personal experiences as testimony, as well as other sources looking at the disconnection and reconnection of people to nature.
Another possible topic related to environmentalism I could look into is making the concept of global warming more “real” to people and showing them the effects of their actions on a local level as a way to get more people involved. Many times, people don’t get involved in environmentalism advocacy simply because they feel so disconnected from the effects of global warming and other issues. Writing about how environmental clubs/advocates can show the more small scale impacts people can make could effective on getting more people involved in the issue.
Finally, being a psychology major I am very interested in mental health and the stigmas attached to it. For the paper, I could possibly look at why these stigmas exist in the first place and how they affect people, and then look at how college campuses are attempting to stop these stigmas and what methods are actually effective in doing so. I hope to find specifically how mental illness stigmas can affect college campuses, as so many college age students are susceptible to these illnesses.