Psychology Research Guide

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Journal articles

Psychology Databases

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly

Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.

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Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1887 to current All
Biological Abstracts

A complete collection of bibliographic references covering life science and biomedical research literature published from more than 4,000 journals internationally.

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PubMed @ CSUSM

The premier database of world biomedical literature on clinical medicine and preclinical research. Medline provides a more user-friendly interface, but less updated content.

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Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

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Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Social Services Abstracts

Abstracts of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.

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Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)

Provides abstracts of articles from about 2,000 journals (published worldwide), coverage of recent books, book review citations and dissertation listings.

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CINAHL Plus with Full Text

Provides abstracts for articles from 1,700 journals in the fields of nursing and allied health.

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Sociological Abstracts

Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.

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Research Topics: 

Literature reviews

Literature reviews

Why Do We Write Literature Reviews?

Academic communities refer to what has been written on a topic as the literature on the topic. A literature review is a comprehensive evaluation of the important research that has been done on your topic.

Scholars write literature reviews because it gives them and other scholars the big picture of what is known about a particular topic. This helps scholars figure outwhat further research needs to be done. Are there holes are in the existing research? Are there new related topics that can be explored based upon what we already know from the existing research?

A literature review is NOT just a summary. Even though summarizing the existing research is an important part of a literature review, even more important is yourdiscussion and analysis of the existing research findings.

In order for your literature review to be useful to other researchers, you must:

  • organize the information
  • connect the information to the hypothesis or research question you are developing
  • compare and contrast the existing research findings
  • identify controversies that appear in the literature
  • identify themes that appear in the literature

Check out these sites for more help understanding literature reviews:

Research Tips for Literature Reviews

Here are a few pointers:

  • Always look at the list of references at the end of an article. It tells you what other research on the same topic the author consulted in order to write his/her article. You can find those same articlesand use them in your literature review!
  • If you find an article that is great for your topic, look for it in Google Scholar. Click on the Cited by ##link to see what research has been conductedsince the original article that cites that article. This will lead you to more recent research that is likely to be relevant to your topic.
  • See if other literature reviews have been done on your topic! They will likely have long lists of references at the end that contain many articles relevant to your topic. (Hint: To find literature reviews, add "literature review" to your keyword search.)

Finding Literature Reviews

As you work on your literature review, you may want to look at other literature reviews for ideas on how to organize yours, or to see if they have found any interesting research that you might like to include in your review.

To search within PsycINFO for literature reviews, go toAdvanced Search, find the Methodology menu, and select LITERATURE REVIEW.



Tests and Measures

Tests and Measures in Psychology

Guide to Tests & Measures

This guide provides basic information on finding tests and measures for use in psychology, human development, kinesiology and nursing research.

Test collections and reviews

Start here
Many students find what they are looking for in the books listed below. The items listed below are collections of measures and include information on scoring, validity, reliability, etc.

Measures for clinical practice : a sourcebook 
BF 176 C66 2007 (available at Check Out Desk)
View Volume 1 Table of Contents
View Volume 2 Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • Useful in clinical psychology with tests for children through adults
  • Specifically useful for marriage and family assessments.
  • Contains reviews of test and example tests.

Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes 
BF 698.4 .M38 1990 (available at Check Out Desk) 
View Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • Provides a wide range of scales and measures used in the social sciences.
  • Focuses on attitude and personality scales for use in research and lab settings.
  • Includes the tests.

Rating scales in mental health
RC 473 .P78 S245 2003 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Provides a wide range of scales and measures.

Measuring violence-related attitudes, behaviors, and influences among youths
A compendium of assessment tools

HE20.7952: V81/2005 US Gov Docs 
View Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • A wide ranging collection that has measures far beyond violence-related topics.

Measures included

  The measurement of attitudes toward people with disabilities : methods, psychometrics, and scales
  HV1553 .A62 1988 Reference

Taking the measure of work: A guide to validated scales for organizational research and diagnosis 
HM786 .F54 2002 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Contains a wide variety of tests, despite the title.
  • Includes the tests.
  • Reviews reliability and validity.

Handbook of sexuality-related measures 
HQ60 .H36 1998 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • A systematic review of sexuality-related measures.
  • Organized by topic and includes description, scoring, reliability, and validity.
  • Includes the tests.

Handbook of family measurement techniques 
HQ728 .H267 2001 Reference
Volume 1 Table of Contents
Volume 2 Table of Contents
Volume 3 Table of Contents

  • While this source has many measures that may be of use, it can be confusing to navigate the this 3 volume set. Please contact Yvonne Meulemans if you need help.
  • Includes measures as well as detailed abstracts about the measures.

Measurement of attitudes toward people with disabilities: methods, psychometrics and scales
HV1553 .A62 1988  Reference
View Table of Contents 
scroll to Part 3 for list of measures included

Measures of political attitudes
JA74.5 .M43 1999 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Comprehensive collection of political attitude measures.
  • Includes measures of: liberalism and conservatism, economic values, racial attitudes, trust in government, and other related concepts.

Handbook of tests and measurements in education and the social sciences
LB3051 .L4543 2000 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Provides a variety of measures that could be used in an educational setting. (e.g. Self-efficacy in teachers, Teacher burnout.)
  • Includes a very informative first chapter on data analysis.

Borg's perceived exertion and pain scales
QP321 .B69 2998 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Includes actual scales and instructions for use.

Measuring health
RA 408.5 .M38 2006 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • Provides measures on disability, psychological well-being, quality of life, and other aspects of health.
  • Includes validity, reliability and scoring parameters.

Handbook of psychiatric measures
RC 473 .P78 A46 2000 Reference
View Table of Contents

  • A collection of measures for the clinical setting.
  • Includes the tests and reviews.
  • Accompanying CD-ROM includes over 100 actual measures.

Handbook of measurements for marriage and family therapy
RC488.5 .F73 1987 Reference

Assessing children's well-being : a handbook of measures
RJ50 .A835 2004 5th Floor Stacks 
View Table of Contents

  • 20 measures of children's health, perceptions of health, and related issues.
  • Includes validity, reliability and scoring parameters.

Measurement of nursing outcomes
RT85.5 .M434 2001 Reference
Volume 1 Table of Contents 
Volume 2 Table of Contents 
Volume 3 Table of Contents

Handbook of community-based and home health nursing practice : tools for assessment, intervention, and education 
RT98 .S782 2000  5th Floor Stacks
View Table of Contents

Assessing alcohol problems : a guide for clinicians and researchers
HE 20.8308/2:4/2003  US Gov Docs
View list of 53 instruments

Multi-dimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research

  • A collection of measures of religiosity and related areas.
  • Includes the tests, reviews, validity and reliability information.

Pereira, MA. FitzerGerald SF, Gregg EW, et. al. (1997). A collection of Physical Activity Questionnaires for health-related research. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29 (6 Supplement), S1-S205.
Journal’s call number: RC1200 .M44 

  • A collection of questionnaires to measure physical activity.

Lists, descriptions, and references to measures

Mental Measurements Yearbook aka Buros mental measurements yearbook
Z5814.P8 B932 Reference and 5th Floor Stacks

  • The comprehensive source for test reviews.
  • Organized alphabetically by measure title.
  • Indexes measures by title, title acronym, subject, and authors.

Tests in Print 
Z5814.E9 T47 Reference

  • Describes what the test is useful for
  • Provides information on how to acquire the test
  • Indexes test by titles, subject, author, acronyms

Tests: a comprehensive reference for assessments in psychology, education, and business 
BF176 .T43 Reference

  • For use by experimental and clinical psychologists, business administration, and educational professionals.
  • Indexed by test title, author, publisher, as well as by tests for the hearing impaired.
  • Great book for general review of psychology, education, business.

Test Critiques
BF176 .T418 Reference

  • Indexed by author, publisher, subject.
  • Had reliability and validity information, and a critique of the test.
  • Does not include the test.

Handbook of multicultural assessment 
BF176 .H36 2001 Reference

  • Useful when studying cultural differences or cultural biases.
  • Categorized by type of assessment test (i.e. personality, cognitive abilities).
  • Includes a review of the test with samples questions, but not the actual test.

Directory of unpublished experimental mental measures 
BF431 .G625 Reference

  • Focuses on unpublished, non-copyrighted tests.
  • Lists tests in behavior, creativity, perception, achievement, aptitude, communication, development, interest, and motivation.
  • Tests not included.

Gender roles: a handbook for tests and measures
HM253 .B43 Reference

  • A comprehensive listing of sex/gender role measures.
  • Includes complete list of references that have used measure.
  • A similar publication is Handbook of sexuality-related measures. (see above) 

Directory of psychological tests in the sport and exercise sciences
GV706.4 .D57 2002 Reference

  • Chapters organized by general areas of study.
  • Includes reliability and validity information.
  • Indexing by subject and author.

The Survey Kit 
HN29 .S724 2003 v.1-10

  • Enables reader to prepare and conduct surveys in addition to evaluating survey results.
  • Useful to those who must create a survey not already in use.
  • No sample tests included.

Assessment of family violence : a handbook for researchers and practitioners 
HV6626 .F45 2003 4th Floor Stacks

  • Provides in-depth information on a variety of measures of partner violence.
  • Provides primary reference for each measure.
  • Organized by measure name with good subject index. 

Assessment of partner violence : a handbook for researchers and practitioners 
RC560.S44 R38 2004 5th Floor Stacks

  • Provides in-depth information on a variety of measures of partner violence.
  • Provides primary reference for each measure.
  • Organized by measure name with good subject index. 

The ETS Test Collection catalog 
LB3051 .E79 1986- Reference

  • Contains over 18,000 published and unpublished tests.
  • A multiple volume set.
  • Does not contain the actual test.

Searching in PsycINFO

When searching in PsycINFO, if you know of a specific article that uses a particular test or measure, authors are supposed to include the information needed to acquire it. There are some instances when the authors include the test or measure in the article itself.

When you know the measure's name

Browse the index

  • In the database, click on Indexes at the top of the screen.
    Indexes in PsycINFO
  • Use the drop down menu Browse an index, select Tests & Measures, and click on the PsycINFO Browse button button.
  • This creates a list of all tests or measures cited by articles in PsycINFO.
  • Check the box next to the  tests or measures you are interested in, select either AND or OR from the drop down, list, and click on the Add button.
    PsycIFNO Add Tests and Measures
    Note: Selecting "OR" from the drop down list will give you more results, while selecting "AND" will give you less.

When you need a type of measure

Identify different types of measures

  • Follow the steps outlined above to browse through the list of Tests and Measures in PsycINFO.
  • Keep in mind that there are multiple pages in this list, so click on either Previous or Next to see more tests and measures.

Search by combining keywords

  • In Advanced Search, type keywords or thesaurus terms into the first search box.
  • In the search box below, enter "test* or measure* or survey* or inventor*"
  • This will require that your search finds materials that have some mention of a measurement tool.
  • The asterisk will retrieve word variations: test* retrieves the word test as well as the words tests and testing.


Searching the library

Books on psychological testing and measurement often given in-depth information about a type of test or measuring/assessing a particular population. Search the library catalog with some of these formal subject headings. Click on each subject heading to do a search. For some of these subject headings, trying searching in The Circuit if you don't find what you are looking for.

Some subject headings below can be considered insensitive or out-dated. They are NOT determined by the librarian, but are the standard Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Subjects by type of test

Subjects by population measured

**Note: If you search by one of these subjects and get a result like the one pictured below, click on the link for SD Circuit to find books at other libraries in the SD Circuit.
SD Circuit

Searching the web

Web sites with tests and measures that are worth using in your research are rare. The web sites below are the best places to search for tests and measures. Most often, your result list will direct you back to the professional literature or provide test publisher information.

Mental Measurements Yearbook aka Buros Institute of Mental Measurement

  • Not a substitute for the print edition of MMY.
  • An online version of Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook.
  • Provides test reviews and references to tests.

Finding Psychological Tests

  • From the APA web site.
  • Provides basic guidelines to finding tests.


Books at CSUSM (general)

Books will give you background information and an overview on what you are researching. You need this information in order to provide context.

Books at CSU San Marcos

Library Catalog
Search our local collection of 250,000 books (both hard copies and eBooks)

Other Options

CIRCUIT (2-5 day delivery)
Search the collections of other San Diego area libraries and gain access to approximately 3,000,000 titles. Find and request books directly online; pick them up at our Library in 1-3 days.

WorldCat (5-10 day delivery)
Search the collections of libraries world-wide. Find a book in WorldCat and fill out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Pick up materials at our Library.

Psychology Books, eBooks and More (JSO 6/16)

APA Style


Citing sources is expected in scholarly communities and is almost always required in research papers. Scholars cite:

  • to give credit where credit is due;
  • so your reader (professor) can find the source that you mentioned in your assignment;
  • to add credibility to your research - shows you did the work;
  • and to avoid plagiarism!

Not sure where to start? Review this Flow Chart of the citation process before you continue!

APA Style

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the preferred citation style of many of the social and behavioral sciences. Always remember to check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor which citation style they prefer for your work.

Official APA Style Manual Resources


Helpful Online Resources


Also Helpful: Citation Generators

  • Zotero  Zotero is a tool for storing citations and generating bibliographies using data collected from the library catalog or websites such as Amazon or Google. For more information on using Zotero, see our Zotero Guide. Always double check your results with citation generators, they are not always perfect!
  • KnightCite Citation Service   This citation generator formats your citations for you. This can be a convenient tool, especially if you have a lot of sources to cite, but it is NOT 100% accurate. ALWAYS check an additional resource like the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to make sure that the citation is formatted correctly!


Sample Papers in APA format


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