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PSY 3402: Experimental and Research Methods - McKelvain: 4: Join the Conversation

Specifically for Dr. McKelvain's PSY 3402 classes.

Find more articles

Step 4: Join the Conversation - and find more articles!

First, look through the reference list for the articles or edited volume chapters cited in the Big Picture reading you've done.  You can find these articles by copying and pasting the entire title into the search bar on the main library webpage like this:

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Next, you'll need to find more articles using PsycINFO.  To do this, you'll need to combine your search terms (main ideas, variables & constants) in ways that the database will understand.  Example on the lower right.  You can...

  • Put Boolean operators between your search terms (see box below left to decide which to use)
  • Use the other search tools (see the box below that to see how to use them)
  • Or...use the video below the example to learn to use the database to do the work for you!  Go to PsycINFO to try it out!*

*Remember you may not find articles that take all your main ideas, or variables and constants, into account...that's OK.  Mix and match your terms in smaller groups to find articles that are related to your topic.  See the "One Perfect Source?" video bottom right for details.

Combine Keywords

Research Databases do not work like Google!

You can't just type in your question. can combine keywords into a "question" that the database will understand.  Using AND, OR, NOT between search terms will make your search waaaaay more precise. See lower left for some fun Venn Diagrams...

  • AND between two keywords will bring back less results    - only those that have both keywords.
  • OR between two keywords will bring back more results   - all those articles that have either keywords.
  • NOT between two keywords will bring back less results    - only those articles with the first keyword, but not the second keyword.

Search Tools


  • Use quotation marks to search for phrases - "endangered birds" will bring back results that have that phrase.
  • Use an asterisk to get all words with a single root within results - type creat* and results will include create, creating, creators, creation, creatures, etc.
  • Combine keywords using AND, OR, and NOT rather than typing in your whole question.  (Look left for more info.)

Boolean Operators in Action: AND

Boolean Operators in Action: OR

Boolean Operators in Action: NOT

Examples: Searching PsycINFO


Not enough results?  Remove one of your terms/major ideas.  Or add more terms for a single major idea with OR between them.

Searching PsycINFO Effectively

Thanks to the University of East Angola for this great video!

One Perfect Source?