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PSYC 2260

Information resources for students enrolled in:

PSYC 2260: Social Psychology

This page was developed for students in Dr. Jesse Mason, Jr.'s section of PSYC 2260, to assist you in finding resources for class assignments and research projects.

Instructor: Jesse Mason, Jr.

Table of Contents:

Where do I look to find journal articles in the field of psychology?

MCTC subscribes to several large databases that cover many academic disciplines, psychology among them. Since MCTC does not (yet) subscribe to any journal databases focusing only on Psychology, these are your best starting points. For all of these databases, from off-campus, you will need to log in with the barcode on the back of your student ID, and enter your last name as the password.

With coverage spanning virtually every area of academic study, this database provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals.

Video tutorials:
Subject Term Searching

Keyword Searching

To use this database:

When the search screen is available, click in the search box, and type in one or two words related to your topic, for example: social influence.

Now look down the page under the “Limit your results:” heading, and click the Full Text box and the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box, then click the Update button. This will cause only results with the full text of the article available in the database and those identified as being from a peer-reviewed journal to be included on your list. Note that you should still check to see if your article "seems" to be scholarly, as databases make mistakes at times!

Look through the results list for an article that best matches your topic. To see a short description (an abstract), roll your mouse over the yellow page icon next to the title.

For the complete article, click on the PDF Full Text link.

Includes over 4,200 indexed titles, over 2,500 of which are full-text and many are peer-reviewed, - in all disciplines including social sciences, humanities, education, science and technology.

To use this database:

When the search screen is available, click in the search box, and type in one or two words related to your topic. For example: altruism.

You will get a large number of results, over 1,400 from academic journals in this example.

You can click a box to limit to 'full text' and/or 'peer-reviewed' articles. The list will refresh each time you click, and will give you fewer results.

A custom selection of more than 300 full-text journals for educators, the collection includes the following areas: arts and humanities; child and adolescent psychology and development; drug and alcohol abuse; health/nutrition/fitness; learning disabilities; literature; school law; science and technology; social sciences; and sports/athletic training.

Other databases with some psychology and psychology-related journal articles

The following databases have more of an emphasis on the health sciences, but do contain psychology journals, and articles on psychological aspects of the health sciences.

Science Direct College Edition provides abstracts (many with full text) of journal articles in the Health and Life Sciences. Please note that the green icon next to the journal title or issue number indicates that articles in the issue are available in full-text online.

A full-text database of periodicals, peer-reviewed journals, academic and professional publications, magazines, consumer newsletters and newspapers, research reports, and association newsletters focused on complementary, alternative and integrated approaches to health care and wellness.

Searching Tutorial

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How do I know if I have a scholarly or peer-reviewed article?

This YouTube video will help you evaluate your magazine and journal sources. "Identify what sources are good to use for your papers. Learn the difference between scholarly, academic, professional, popular, and substantive news publications and the benefits and uses for each. To effectively research for college-level papers, students must learn how to evaluate articles in journals and magazines.

"In this video, an art history professor at Otis College of Art and Design discusses some of the criteria useful in determining whether the information found is scholarly, popular, or professional. The same evaluation criteria may be applied to information found on websites and in books." [Publisher information]

This INFS 1000 handout shows comparisons of the different types of periodicals in a grid format.

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How do I find books? (...and are they all in the library?)

The MCTC library catalog has information on all books (and other materials) that are located in the library. The MCTC library also pays for access to ebooks, such as online encyclopedias in the Gale Virtual Reference Library database. The online encyclopedias in this collection will show up in the results list of a library catalog search; or you can restrict your search to the Gale Virtual Library collection (see the following sections.)

Use the online catalog to search for books (and other resources such as DVDs, videos, & CDs). The catalog includes items physically located in the MCTC library, as well as online resources such as ebooks.

To use the catalog: When the search screen appears, begin in the Search for: box. For example, if you are trying to find an encyclopedia of psychology, first type in the word encyclopedia (or use the truncated form, ency?, to match all words beginning with ency, such as encyclopedia and encyclopedias). This ensures that you will have encyclopedias in your result list.

Now you will need to add at least one word to your search. The word(s) you add will depend on your topic. Try to think of the overall area of study that your topic falls under. In this example, you would add a space and the word psychology to the search box.

Look at your result list. Each line is a separate encyclopedia in the MCTC library, that covers some aspect of psychology. Click on the title to see the details about your encyclopedia. The Location: field will tell you where to find the encyclopedia on the shelves. The word REFERENCE means that the book is found on the 1st floor and must be used in the library. Books in the general collection are shelved on the 2nd floor and can be checked out.

If the location field says E-BOOK, click on the electronic link in the record to view the ebook. From on campus, you will be able to access the book immediately.

Browsing the reference collection to find articles in reference books

Another way to locate encyclopedias is to browse the appropriate shelves on the 1st floor of the library. Most multivolume encyclopedias will have a table of contents in the front section of the 1st volume, and an index in the last section of the last volume.

For example, For the topic of psychology, go to the library reference collection and locate the BF section (Psychology), for information on family relationships, go to the HQ section (Social Groups), and for medical topics, go to R section (Medicine).

Selected Books in the MCTC Reference Section:
The psychology of resolving global conflicts : from war to peace

Editors M Fitzduff and CE Stout;
Location: 1st Floor -- U22.3 .P79 2006, 3 vols.

Handbook of social psychology

Editors DT Gilbert, ST Fiske, G Lindzey;
Location: 1st Floor -- HM251 .H224 1998, 2 vols.

Handbook of antisocial behavior

Editors DM Stoff, J Breiling, and JM Maser;
Location: 1st Floor -- RC555 .H35 1997

International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences

Editors NJ Smelser, P Baltes;
Location: 1st Floor -- H41 .I58 2001, 26 vols.

An electronic reference book collection of subject encyclopedias, handbooks and guides, covering many subject disciplines. The full text (including graphics) of each encyclopedia article is available online.

Video tutorials:
Basic Searching

Advanced Searching

Using GVRL Citation Tools

Using Gale Virtual Reference Library

When the basic search screen is available, click in the Find: box, and type in one or two words related to your topic. [For example: type stages and development, and click the Search button.] Look through your result list for relevant articles. Look at both the article title and the name of the encyclopedia.

If you get too many results, try narrowing your search by going back to Find: and changing your search from Keyword to Document Title. (These choices are listed below the Find: box.)

Remember, from off-campus, you will need to log in with the barcode on the back of your student ID, and enter your last name as the password.

To search in some of the specific reference works, use the links below.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed. (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

This 9-volume 2nd edition "covers scholarship and fields that have emerged and matured since the publication of the original international edition. Highlights the expanding influence of economics in social science research and features new articles and biographies contributed by scholars from around the world on a wide array of global topics in the social sciences." [Publisher information]

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

"Adopts an international, cross-cultural approach to such diverse topics as adolescent parenthood, family planning, cohabitation, widowhood, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, codependency, and commuter marriages. Includes articles specific to countries and religious traditions, examining the history of family life within these cultures and discussing how families have been affected by political and social change." [Publisher information]

Encyclopedia of Leadership (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

"This encyclopedia explores leadership theories and leadership practice through articles, biographical essays, and case studies focused on leaders (and their followers). Articles and sidebars show leadership in action in corporations and state houses, schools, churches, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations." [Publisher information]

Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

"Industrial and organizational psychologists help develop strategies that optimize human potential and build better organizations by focusing on behavior within the specific environmental, technological, and social environment of the workplace. From the development of individual employees to factors of overall organizational structure, the use of psychology and the analysis of human behavior play significant roles in the contemporary workplace, a workplace increasingly impacted by government influences, growing consumer awareness, skill shortages, and the changing nature of the workforce. Bottom line, I/O psychologists contribute to an organization's success by resolving its human problems and improving the performance and well-being of its people." [Publisher information]

Additional Information for Finding What You Need

If you are having trouble finding good resources for your search topic, please see the librarian at the Reference Desk in the MCTC Library.

NOTE: If you want to use any of our subscription databases from off-campus (such as Gale Virtual Reference Library) you will need a username and password. Your username is the barcode on the BACK of your student ID (beginning with 20204000…) and your password is your last name (up to 20 letters.)

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Where can I find quality Internet resources?

The official website for the APA. Note the special page for students,

Social Psychology Network (SPN) is "one of the largest Internet sites devoted to psychological research and teaching. In these pages, you'll find more than 15,000 links related to psychology." [Website information] It is maintained and directed by Scott Plous, a professor of psychology at Wesleyan University.

Resources include psychology headlines from around the world, social psychology topics, and more.

"The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves."

"The Department of Health and Human Services includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities. Some highlights include:

* Health and social science research
* Preventing child abuse and domestic violence
* Substance abuse treatment and prevention." [Website, "About HHS" description]

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How do I cite my resources?

This guide will help you to correctly cite your sources using the APA citation format. Prepared by MCTC librarians, it covers most of the common types of electronic and print resources. New! Updated to reflect changes in the 6th ed. of the APA Publication Manual, 2010.

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Additional Subject Resource Pages

You can also try looking at some of the subject pages in Research QuickStart for other ideas on where to find information.

Page Coordinator: Kathleen Daniels