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PSYCH 350 - Experimental Methods in Psychology

A guide for students doing research in Psychology


To find articles, use databases:

To get to databases, go to the Libraries’ homepage and click on databases at the bottom of the Search It box. Databases will find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles (and in some cases other materials like book chapters, dissertations, conference presentations, pamphlets, and more).  

Databases link on home page

You can also do a search in the Search It box on the homepage, but it does not cover every database. PsycINFO, for example, is an important database for this class that Search It does not cover.

Search Stragegies

Tips for using databases:

  • Use the thesaurus to find subject headings.

  • One concept per row.

    • For each concept enter synonyms, broader concepts, and narrower concepts in the boxes for that row.

    • Enter multiple terms in one box by typing OR between the terms (e.g., women OR females OR girls OR ladies)

  • Use an asterisk as a wildcard to search for all words starting with the letters before the asterisk: stereotyp* will search for stereotype OR stereotypes OR stereotyping OR stereotypical (and any other word starting with stereotyp)

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase: "family system" "autism spectrum"

  • Examine the results you like and write down useful subject terms you find. Perform a new search using those subject terms.

Finding specific kinds of articles:

  • If you are not finding research articles, try adding the words: “research methods”, data, results, discussion, study (not all of these words will appear in every article, so try using just a few or combining them in different ways.) 

  • Try adding a keyword for a specific type of methodology -- quantitative, qualitative, ethnography, "case study", etc…

  • Use limits to help narrow your search. In addition to limits for peer reviewed and scholarly journals, PsycINFO lets you limit by population, type of study, and more.


Example Search:

PsycINFO search