PSYCH 30160: Experimental Psychology II: Research Methods

Use Descriptors

Once you've used the thesaurus to locate appropriate terminology, narrow your results by searching for Subject headings, instead of "All fields" searching

descriptors

An "All fields" search for the term "behavior modification" will result in a list of more than 25,000 peer reviewed articles, whereas a "Subject heading" search for "behavior modification" will narrow your results to less than 10,000 peer reviewed articles.


LIMIT BY LANGUAGE, POPULATION, or AGE

PsycINFO makes it easy to limit by language, the age of the population being studied, the type of subject being studied (animal/human) and other categories.  Scroll toward the bottom of the advanced search screen to see these options:

limiters

 


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

 

Combine all of the techniques described on this page and you will be able to construct very precise searches that should give you relevant results. 

For example, an "All fields" search for depression and behavior modification results in a list of nearly 5,000 peer reviewed articles.

Using the thesaurus to find subject headings, you can do another search for Major Depression (Subject heading) and Behavior Modification (Subject heading), and include a limit to English language articles, our results are less than 40 peer reviewed articles. A much easier list to scan!

PsycINFO - advanced searching

PsycINFO is the premier database for doing research in the field of Psychology. It allows users to search through thousands of psychology journals going back as far as the early 1800's. 


USE BOOLEAN OPERATORS

Connecting words with Boolean operator "OR" will broaden your search, connecting words with the "AND" will narrow your search. 


USE THE THESAURUS TO FIND DESCRIPTORS

In PsycINFO "Descriptors" are very specific terminologies that are used to describe different concepts in the field of psychology.  The descriptor used for the concept of therapy in PsycINFO is "treatment."

To find Descriptors, go to the Thesaurus located on the right side of the PsycINFO search screen:

thesaurus

And type in a term:

thesaurus search

The Thesaurus will show you the appropriate descriptors, and also direct you to narrower/broader/and related terms.  For example, clicking on the term "Treatment" in the thesaurus will show you a list of the different types of therapies:

thesaurus

 

Last Update: February 20, 2013 16:38