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Psychology: more on PsycINFO

https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/psychology

Why use PsycINFO?

PsycINFO, from the American Psychological Association, has many powerful features and searches almost 4 million records. It covers all areas of psychology and the behavioral sciences, and includes many interdisciplinary areas as well. Among the other reasons to search PsycINFO:

  • authoritative coverage (curated and indexed by the professional APA indexers)
  • up-to-date (updated weekly)
  • comprehensive (articles, books, dissertations)
  • detailed indexing (search by language, population, methodology, author affiliation and more)
    • including controlled indexing terms

Thesaurus

Use the thesaurus to find subject terms to narrow or broaden your search. The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms contains controlled vocabulary and provides a way of structuring the subject matter in a way that is consistent. By standardizing the words or phrases used to represent concepts, you don't need to try and figure out all the ways different authors could refer to the same concept. Each record contains controlled vocabulary terms from the thesaurus.

Search Tips

  • Exact phrase search: use quotation marks (" "): "trauma exposure"
  • Truncation: * replaces any number of characters and finds all versions of word roots: therap* (retrieves therapy, therapies, therapist, etc.)
  • Wildcard: ? replaces one character: femini?ation (retrieves records containg feminization or feminisation)
  • Broaden a search with OR: teenager OR adolescent (finds records containing either teenager OR adolesent)
  • Narrow a search with AND: boys AND anorexia (finds records containing both of these words)
    • AND is implied in most search unless you use quotation marks: boys AND anorexia is the same as boys anorexia
    • entering search terms in different search boxes in Advanced Search defaults to AND

How and why to use the thesaurus (video)

 

Searchable fields

Take advantage of limits and filters in PsycINFO to limit your search results. Among the limits and filters available are:

  • Language
  • Age group (Childhood, School Age, Aged, etc.)
  • Population (Female, Male, Animal, etc.)
  • Methodology
    • Brain Imaging
    • Empirical Study
    • Longitudinal Study
    • Meta Analysis
    • Qualitative Study
    • Quantitative Study
    • Twin Study
    • etc.