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Course & Subject Guides

Developmental Psychology - Greensburg Campus

This guide is for undergraduates doing research in the area of psychology, especially those enrolled in Psychology 0310: Developmental Psychology and Psychology 0311: Lifespan Development.

This guide will assist you in completing your assignments for Psychology 0310: Developmental Psychology or 0311: Lifespan Development. It is also a useful general guide for other Psychology classes.

Getting Started With Your Research

  • Develop a topic that asks a question or poses a problem that interests you.
  • Select appropriate search terms for your subject. For example:
    • self esteem
    • child abuse
    • adoption
    • identity (social, racial, etc)
    • media violence
  • Search PsycARTICLES and, if necessary, other subject-oriented databases such as ERIC or Medline.
  • Revise your search terms if needed. Determine how you will find an article for your assignment.
  • Evaluate your resources carefully! Make sure you have chosen a scholarly article.
  • When in doubt, contact your librarian.

Tip: Keep in mind that keywords are tricky, they will evolve and you'll likely come across better ones as you begin searching. The more you search and learn about your topic, the easier it will be to develop keywords.

Watch this video from the University of Houston Libraries to learn more about this process.

What is Scholarly Information?

Cover of Journal of Applied Psychology

  • Written for professors, students or researchers.
  • Have a plain appearance and titles may include words like "Journal," "Transactions," or "Quarterly"
  • Reviewed by a board of experts or "peer reviewed."
  • Follow a standard format: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, possibly footnotes, endnotes and/or bibliography.
  • May include tables, graphs or illustrations to support research.
  • Contain very little advertising.

Cover of Psychology Today

  • May have a bright cover with many glossy pictures.
  • Designed to attract a broad segment of the population.
  • Has no specific format.
  • Contain unsigned articles at times (no listed author).
  • Reviewed by general editors of the magazine.
  • May include tables, graphs or illustrations.
  • Contain lots of advertising.

Cover of New Scientist

  • May have a bright cover.
  • Provide information of use to a particular industry.
  • No specific format.
  • Articles sometimes unsigned.
  • General editors of the magazine review articles.
  • Advertising is used to appeal to those in the field.