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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

PSYC 201: Research Methods and Data Analysis FALL 2020

Fall 2020

Class Assignment


Before doing anything else, spend two minutes setting up an ILLiad account. ILLiad enables you to order articles that Lehigh does not have electronically. Even if you find you don’t need it for this assignment, you might need it for other assignments or classes. Go here. Click on ILLiad. Fill out required one-time registration information. Wait until you are sure you need an article before using ILLiad.

For the exercise that follows, choose a psychology topic that interests you. Some iplaces to check if you need ideas:

  • If you want, find a topic that relates to your future career goals. See the Occupational Outlook Handbook page of this library guide to see information about various careers. 
  • Or, look at the background information resources page of this guide. For example, see  Current Directions in Psychological Science
  • Look around in PsycINFO for a topic (See the articles page of this guide for the link.)
  • Use the  advanced Google search interface to find a topic.


Make sure you understand the difference between a popular article and a scholarly article. Read the page of this guide about this topic.


Go to the background information page of this guide.

Find an encyclopedia article.

Find an ebook. First, listen to the tutorial about how to locate ebooks.

Find a website about your topic and ask whether it is reliable. See the box about this...


Limit to publication type academic journal articles.

Use the search techniques you learned about to “bootstrap” to more articles about the topic.:

  • Logical operators (AND, OR). Example: cognitive and psychology
  • Phrase searching (use quotation marks to search for a phrase. Example: “cognitive psychology”, as above
  • Truncation. Example: psychol*

Using these techniques, find an article that you like. Then find a journal article published later in time that cites it. Maybe that “citing” articles will be better than the first one you found!

Find a review article using PsycINFO. Copy and past the citation detail and abstract.

Use other filters, Population Group, Age Groups, empirical studies, or some of the other options under Methodology, and try using them to narrow your search. Name one filter you used to do this.

Read the abstracts of some articles you find that interest you.

Is there terminology that you find puzzling in the journal articles you find? If so, go to the background information tab of library guide. Name a background information source that help you for this.

See if you can find a set of three articles that explore a very focused topic, Can you find papers that involve arguments and counterarguments  between proponents of different approaches who are in a scholarly debate? 

What are three subject headers that you could search on, to focus the searching further or get new ideas for what to search? (No need at this point to search on them. Watch for a video tutorial if you want to use them later in the course.)