This is an interactive tutorial with directions on this side and a live website on the other side.
Use the arrows below to navigate through the tutorial.
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PsycINFO is a robust database that contains full-text articles as well as citations and abstracts to articles in journals, dissertations, and book chapters in all areas of psychology.
You are now in PsycINFO.
For this first activity, you will research the question:
How effective is meditation as a tool to manage work stress?
How many results did you get?
Take a few minutes to skim your results.
Locate the article "Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: A randomized controlled trial"
Use the magnifying glass to read the abstract.
Ask yourself: Does this article seem related to the question on the impact of meditation on work stress?
Let's try a different type of search that will get you more relevant results.
PsycINFO tags every record with a term from the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®.
Click Thesaurus at the top of the screen
For this activity you will have a new research question:
Which types of drugs are effective in treating teenagers with clinical depression?
The thesaurus does not include the term "depression." What two terms does the thesaurus use for "depression"?
The scope and history notes along with narrower and related terms are very helpful in helping you decide whether or not to use a particular term.
Is this the correct term for articles on clinical depression?
Once we have the correct term, there are many ways we can use it.
First, make sure that you can see the entire page including the columns for Explode and Major Concept.
By checking Explode, you include more terms in your search.
By checking Major Concept, you locate records where the term is a major point of the paper.
One more step!
Look at your main search box. Which additional terms were automatically added to it?
Next, let's find a good term to use for the other part of our research question, drugs.
There are many different category of drugs listed. We don't want to include them all.
Listed are all the names of different drugs used to treat depression.
Do not click Major Concept
Take a look at the search you built. We added loads of terms.
Skim your results. To get more information on them, hover on the magnifying glass
That brought us back over 10,000 results. Too many results, and too many irrelevant results!
Let's narrow these down some.
Remember we are looking for research articles about teenagers, so let's focus on that.
Another way to get more precise results is to use the limiters in the Refine Results menu on the left.
Refine for the following:
That brings us back around 400 results, but let's keep refining them.
PsycINFO allows you to search for articles by the methodology used in the research study including different types of Empirical Research
Now take a look at your results.
These articles are more narrowed to our research question and only include empirical studies.
There are a number of helpful tools you can use including emailing the record, printing, and saving it.
This tool gives you the citation for different citation style formats such as APA.
Another great tool is the Cited References link, located on the left-side menu.
PsycINFO lists all of the sources this article cited and if available, a link to the record.
For this activity you will have a new question:
Which tests are used to screen for Attention Deficit Disorder?
Don't click search yet!
Records in PsycINFO receive a classification code, which is used to categorize it according to the primary subject matter.
Let's see which tests are used.
What is the name of the first test used or discussed in this study?
Displayed are all the tests that include this name
The Records Count Column indicates how many records in the database include this test.
When tests have similar names they are often alternate spellings of the same test.
Displayed are all the articles that discuss this test.
PsycINFO can also help you find articles that include sample test items or entire tests. These are reported in the record as "Appended"
Don't click Search yet!
Note that the test Semistructured Individual Interview is marked as [Appended].
What is the first item on this sample test?
Note: When tests are marked as appended, they may contain sample items in the text of the paper or as an appendix.
You have completed this introductory tutorial to PsycINFO.
Feel free to explore PsycINFO and learn more about how it can help you in your research.
To leave us feedback on this tutorial, go on to the next page.