In PSY 2020, you are required to find and analyze peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Some of your articles need to be empirical research studies, i.e., they need to follow a specific methodology and answer specific research questions.
Some helpful videos:
Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.
How do you know if a study is empirical? Read the subheadings within the article, book, or report and look for a description of the research "methodology." Ask yourself: Could I recreate this study and test these results?
Key characteristics to look for:
Another hint: some scholarly journals use a specific layout, called the "IMRaD" format, to communicate empirical research findings. Such articles typically have 4 components:
You should also see an Abstract, or short summary, and a References section with all of the works cited in the article.
Why are keywords important?
By this point in your college career, you have had a chance to search library databases. You understand that you need keywords (not sentences) when you search a database. However, using psychology related keywords might be new territory.
Natural Language vs. Database Language
Natural language refers to the common way that we speak in everyday life. Database language refers to how a database classifies a concept and is usually very technical and academic in nature. Though most databases are great at matching natural language entered with database terminology, it’s important for you to begin recognizing specialized terminology. Some examples include:
|Natural Language||Database Language|
|Opiod Addication||Opiod Use Disorder|
|Social WIthdrawal||Social Anhedonia|
|ADHD||Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity|
|Gender Identity||Gender Dysphoria|
Where to Find Synonyms
Synonyms and related terms for the word children:
Synonyms and related terms for anger management might include:
intermittent explosive disorder
mismanagement of anger
SAGE Research Methods is a how-to database. It is not where you go to find articles, instead, it's where you can find resources to help you become a better researcher.
SAGE Research Methods has relevant information about using SPSS, conducting interviews, best practices for creating survey questions, and tons of case studies that you could model your own work on.
When using citations generated by the databases or a citation generating software always double check that the citation is accurate.
Find data in library databases and freely available resources across disciplines, time periods, and geographies. This guide also provides strategies for searching for data beyond the linked resources.