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General Psychology - Prof. Wallen: Identifying/Locating Primary Research

Primary Sources

What is a primary source?

 A primary source is a report of  a study or experiment by the people who set up and conducted the research or the experiment--academics, clinicians or other researchers.  The authors' professional  backgrounds or affiliations must be included with the article. 

Research Methods in Psychology

I. Descriptive Methods

A. Naturalistic observation

B. Individual case study

C. Surveys/ questionnaires/ interviews

D. Correlational studies (studying relationships; i.e. is x a predictor of y? -- Does not prove causation.)

II. Experimental Methods - "Scientific". Original Research. Determines cause and effect relationships


Adapted from: Professor Walsh. "Research Methods in Psychology." University of Northern Iowa (class handout). University of Northern Iowa. Web. Retreived 11 February 2013.


Glossary of Terms

Find Primary Research in Journals

PsychArticles - From the American Psychological Association, this is--as the site describes itself--"a definitive source of full text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in Psychology." The database covers approximately 80 journals.   Click here for a tutorial.

Other Library Databases - such as those listed on the Library Home page--Databases page under education, criminal justice, or any topic which might include psychological aspects of your topic. 
Try adding psychol* or study as additional search terms.
Google Scholar  - Choose articles that have the "View as HTML" link.  These are available for no cost.

What is a Primary Source

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Subject Guide

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Beth Seelick
This research guide was created by Professor Beth Seelick (1955-2019).
"A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops." ― Henry B. Adams

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