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PSYC 450/550 - Personality Theory

Course Research Guide

Access Library Resources Online

Trying to access library resources online? Follow the instructions on the Online Access to Library Resources page to access library databases, articles, and ebooks, both on-campus and off-campus.

Search PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES for peer-reviewed journal articles

Use the Search FAQs below to help you find relevant articles in this PsycINFO & PsycARTICLES search box.

Search PsycINFO & PsycARTICLES

Search FAQs

1. How do I search for articles that discuss my theoretical concepts?

  • Each book and article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make each book or article searchable by the database
  • You want your search words to match those tags 
  • Words like impact, interactions, influence, benefits, effects, or causes are not used as tags
  • Do individual searches for each of your concepts, i.e. neuroticism
  • You can also combine your theoretical concepts into one search for articles that discuss the interaction between your concepts
    • Example: you want to see how neuroticism and introversion interact with and influence each other. 
    • Search: neuroticism AND introversion
      • AND searches for sources tagged with both neuroticism and introversion

2, How do I search for articles that discuss my concepts from the perspective of specific personality theories?

  • Combine your psychological concept with a specific theoretical concept of the personality theory
  • Examples: 
    • Search: attachment AND "deficiency needs" (Maslow)
      • "deficiency needs" searches for deficiency needs as a phrase, not separate words
    • Search: depression AND denial (Psychoanalysis)

3. I have too many irrelevant search hits. How do I focus them to my assignment requirements?

  • Use the Refine Results sidebar to the right of your search hits to focus them to sources more relevant to your assignment needs
  • You can focus your search hits to:
    • peer-reviewed or scholarly articles
    • source type, such as journal articles, books, newspapers, or magazines
    • publication date, so you get the most recent research 
  • Example: for your lab report, you are supposed to use research-based journal articles with up to date research
    • Under Refine Results:
      • check the box beside Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Journals 
      • move the Publication Date scroll bar over to 2006 to present
      • check the boxes beside Journals and Academic Journals under Source Types to find research-based articles

4. How do I focus the search hits to a more specific research area that interests me?

Under the Refine Results sidebar:

  • Click on Subject: Major Heading or Subject to see a shortlist of specific subjects or research areas studied
  • Click on Show More at the bottom of the shortlist list to open the full list of subjects or research areas studied
  • Check the boxes beside the subjects or research areas to which you want to focus your search hits


5. How do I identify articles that cite an article I've chosen?

Web of Science: use the Web of Science database to identify articles that cite your article:

  • Enter your article title and select Title from the dropdown menu by the search box
  • Look for Times Cited: # to the right of your search hits - click on the number to get a list of articles that have cited your article 
  • Click on Full Text from Publisher to read the article

6. I can't find anything on my research question. What do I do?

  • The search words you're using to describe your topic may not match the tags that PsycINFO or PsycARTICLES has assigned to books and articles on your research question
    • Use the PsycINFO Thesaurus to identify the words that PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES use to describe your disorders or topics
  • There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet.
    • Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together
  • If you've found one article that's relevant for your topic, look through the sources in its References list to see if any of them are also relevant to your research
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