Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

PSY 3402: Experimental and Research Methods - McKelvain: 2: Get the Big Picture

Specifically for Dr. McKelvain's PSY 3402 classes.

Get the Big Picture

Step 2: Get the Big Picture

The big picture a general understanding of your topic.  How do you get this?

  • Read about your topic - using textbooks, general books, information from professional associations, whatever.
  • From your reading, find the main ideas of your topic and terms/keywords scholars use to describe them...you may find them in the text, the citations, or the reference list.

Remember, not all of this reading is scholarly - but it should all have some references or citations to start going deeper.  And you'll use the main ideas in the next steps:

  • Going Deeper: learn what those terms mean to better understand them. (Example: "Retrieval Process" is about memory and learning)
  • Joining the Conversation: you'll use those terms (that you now understand) to search for more articles.

See below right for an example.

Fun Big-Picture Info!

Did you know you can find Big Picture information from lots of places? 

In-depth magazine articles, websites, and podcasts are in everyday language can help you understand complex concepts.  Just check to make sure they mention specific studies or authors or articles that you can look up on your own. 

Take a look at these:

Research is a Process

Get the Big Picture: Example

Using Make it Stick to find important terms for further research.