TOPSS Competition for High School Psychology Students
Although psychology has historical roots in the discipline of philosophy, a contemporary definition of psychology states it is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. APA recognizes psychology as a diverse scientific discipline with nearly boundless applications in everyday life.
In this competition students will design an original visual poster on the theme "Psychology is a Science" and submit a written explanation of the poster and theme.
The winning posters may be made available through the APA website for teachers and students to download and print. Students are requested to authorize reprint permission when they submit their project online.
Submit a PDF of your poster and a separate written component at the database below.
Part I: Poster
Select one or more theme(s) or topic(s) within psychology that demonstrate(s) that psychology is a science. Students should design a poster that includes the phrase "Psychology is a Science." The poster should illustrate at least one psychological concept, theory, or research discovery, or an application of psychology in the community. The poster can have text, photographs, graphics, and/or any other medium. Please see Rules below for size and formatting limits. Original or credited artwork must be used.
The poster should be based upon psychological research, and should visually demonstrate the contemporary definition of psychology as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
The poster can address topics in basic and/or applied research. In basic research, psychologists explore fundamental questions about human and nonhuman animal behavior, whereas in applied research they study how these principles can be put into practice to improve our quality of life.
For ideas, please visit one of the following APA websites:
List of 54 APA Divisions
List of topics related to psychology
A web-based compendium of psychological research that demonstrates the application and value of psychological science in our everyday lives
For example, a student might design a poster around one of the following themes: behavioral psychology, health psychology, sports psychology, anti-bullying, or forensic psychology. These are merely examples and are not meant to be inclusive.
Part II: Written Component
The written component must explain the concepts presented in the poster and state how the poster illustrates that psychology is a science. Students should also explain how they developed the idea for their posters, and discuss how the poster topic or theme was researched, citing the sources used (e.g., journal articles, textbooks, academic websites, and/or books) to develop their poster. At least one citation is required. All resources should be cited in APA Style. A reference list is required.
The written component must not be longer than 500 words, double-spaced, and should also include a cover page and reference(s). The cover page and reference(s) do not count toward the word limit.