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Psychology Research Guide

A guide for conducting research in the field of psychology

Starting out: search terms

Below are examples of how you can combine search terms and narrow your query. Your search terms can be broad to gain an overview of a topic or narrow for more specific results.  A broad term would be mood disorder, which would return a large number of hits for disorders that fall under this general umbrella.  A more narrow term would be bipolar disorder, which is a specific mood disorder. Such terms can be used on their own or combined with others to discover topics that may interest you. For example, use two phrases in an advanced search to narrow your results: mood disorder AND cognitive behavioral therapy will provide a list of articles discussing the various issues surrounding the treatment of mood disorders using cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you find far too many search results even after combining search terms, try altering and/or adding some terms. In the example above, I found over 74,187 results- but when I changed my search and added a third phrase (mood disorder AND cognitive behavioral therapy AND recovery), I narrowed my results to 20,458.

Picking a Topic

Guide to Sources

IS THIS THE RIGHT SOURCE? TYPES OF SOURCES AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOUR RESEARCH  PRIMARY SOURCES These are original materials that have not been interpreted  or analyzed.  They can be used as evidence in your research. Primary Source
Examples: Newspaper, Photographs, Data, Journal articles , Letters or diaries, Speeches , Novels or poems and more! SECONDARY SOURCES These sources are not first hand accounts , but rather analysis or discussion of events after they have happened or after a primary source was created. Secondary Sources can provide further evidence and support your argument. Secondary Source
Examples: Encyclopedias, Histories, Literary Criticism, Review Articles, Literature Review, Research Paper, and more! TERTIARY SOURCES These are collections of primary and secondary sources and do not have critical analysis or interpretation. Tertiary sources help you locate other sources and information. Tertiary Source Examples:
Bibliographies, Directories, Indexes, Manuals, Finding Aids, And More! NEED MORE HELP? ASK A LIBRARIAN! Visit the Research Help Desk Mon.-Thurs. (10-7pm), Fri. (10-1pm), Sun. (1-5pm)
Try the 24/7 online chat if you need help after hours.

 

Journals in Your Subject

If you aren't sure about what you would like to research or where you should be looking for research that is relevant to your field, browsing journals is a great way to start narrowing down what you are interested in and finding valuable research. Below is a list of selected journals that we have at HSU.  Part of developing and expanding your knowledge about your field is reading the scholarly literature. Try finding a few journals that are relevant to your interests and read them to keep up with new scholarship! You can search for a specific journal title using the Journal Finder here. Enter the journal name and select the "Contains" radio button. 


American Psychologist

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology​

Developmental Psychology

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Journal of Counseling Psychology

Journal of Rural Mental Health

School Psychology Quarterly