To show students how research ideas are generated, expose them to models. For example, bring in a speaker to talk about her research. (For increasing the students' belief that they can do research and interest in doing research, the best speaker is often an undergraduate researcher. If you are not blessed with an undergraduate who is active in research, a colleague will suffice).
If live models are unavailable, read or hand-out brief descriptions of how different psychologists got interested in an area of research. Excellent sources of these descriptions can be found in the obituaries of the American Psychologist, in issues of the American Psychologist that describe APA Distinguished Scientist Awards (usually June or July issues), as well as in texts such as:
Sternberg, R. J. (1999). Psychology. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace.
Myers, D. G. (1999). Social Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
For more recent leads to research of interest, you could go to the "APS Members In the News..." section of the APS Observer. Each month, that section cites about 50 research-related news stories. Each citation lists the psychologist's name and affiliation, the name of the publication/broadcast and a brief description of the topic.
If you just want students to get a general sense of the research interests of a variety of professional researchers, have them try this link.
If you want them to see some student research , have them try this link .
If you want to sway some of the humanistically inclined students toward research, you might refer to Marty Seligman's work.
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