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Psychology Research Guide: Research Help

An online research guide for students, faculty, and staff in the Psychology Department.


Find books, articles, DVDs, CDs, and more:   

Recommended Databases

Psychology Journals

Use the Journals tab on the library's homepage to search for a specific journal title or browse journals by subject.

  • American Journal of Community Psychology
  • American Journal of Psychology
  • American Psychologist
  • Annual Review of Clinical Psychology
  • Annual Review of Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Culture & Psychology
  • Current Psychology
  • Journal of Comparative Psychology
  • Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychological Bulletin
  • Psychological Review
  • Psychology & Health
  • Psychology of Women Quarterly
  • Theory and Psychology
  • Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Search Google Scholar

Developing a Research Question

1. Select a topic that genuinely interests you. Look at course readings, class notes, Google, Wikipedia, CQ Researcher or Credo Reference for initial ideas.

2. Consider the scope of your topic.
If it is too narrow, you might have trouble finding enough information.
If it too broad, you can be overwhelmed with information.

3. Turn your focused topic into a research question. It should be a question that will have a concrete, specific and measurable answer that has not already been definitively answered (you want to contribute something new to the discussion!).

Questions to guide the development of your research question:

  • Is it focused enough to be covered in my paper or project?
  • Is there enough literature available on this topic?
  • What is the question that my research is answering?
  • Am I genuinely interested in this topic?
  • Is my topic going to be new and interesting to my audience?


Brainstorming keywords for your topic will help you refine your topic, find the most information about your topic and save you time by helping you search databases in a more efficient and systematic way.

(Why? Different authors will refer to the same concept in different ways. Having a comprehensive list of keywords to search will help you find more information about your topic in an efficient and systematic way!)

1. Pick out the main ideas in your research question. For example, the main ideas in this research question are in bold: “How does legalization of marijuana affect mental health rates in the United States?”

2. Take each of your main ideas and brainstorm as many synonyms, related words, acronyms, initialisms, and spelling variants as you can. For example, for "United States":

  • United States of America
  • America
  • USA
  • U.S.A.
  • U.S.

3. Do this for each of your main ideas. Searching all the variants you can come up with will give you a broader selection of relevant information. It might help to make a chart to keep track of which combinations you have searched for.

Research Workshops

Mansfield Library Workshop Schedule

Our workshops cover topics such as literature reviews, research skills, technology, citation management, and much more! 

Psychological Tests

Psychological tests are also called mental measurements, psychological instruments, psychometric tests, questionnaires, inventories, and rating scales. They can be written, visual or verbal and measure a psychological variable (personality, intelligence, etc.) There are many commercially published tests that need to be purchased and tests that are designed by researchers for specific studies.

Most clinical tests are commercially published and have restricted access, available to registered psychologists and others in health and counseling fields - full access is often unavailable to students. Our resources provide descriptive and evaluative information about the tests themselves.

APA Guide to Citing Psychological Tests

Ask Us! We're Here to Help

Visit the Information Center for research assistance from 9am-6pm Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm Friday and 1pm-5pm on Sunday. Staff are also available during library hours to assist with your check out, interlibrary loan, or tech support needs. View the Mansfield Library hours.

  Chat with a librarian by using the Chat box in the lower right corner of the screen.

 Call us at (406) 243-6866 or (800) 240-4939

  Ask a Librarian. Messages will be responded to within 24-48 hours.

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  Request a research consultation with a librarian individually or as a small group.