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Library research resources for English Comp. Intro to Psychology, and Intro to Sociology

About This LibGuide

Star iconIn this LibGuide, I've used the general topic, psychology, to demonstrate how and where to search for articles and other information in Western Library's databases. You can use the exact same logic to research any topic. Simply substitute search terms related to the topic you are researching. Research gets easier and faster the more you do it, but don't hesitate to click our Live Chat widget, our After-Hours Chatbot, or click the "Email Me" link beneath my avatar if you get stuck in the databases. I'm always happy to answer questions and provide help finding the articles you need. 

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Searching for Psychology Resources

Psychology Search Terms  

Basic search -  type in the name of the psychological condition you plan to research:

  • schizophrenia 
  • bipolar disorder
  • anxiety
  • addiction
  • personality disorder

Search Strategies

Clarify a specific conditions by adding words:

Some words, like "depression" can refer to a person's mental health or to the Great Depression, the economic period of the 1930s, so clarify your search by adding the term "mental health."

  • depression and mental health

Add words to clarify the specific type of condition you are looking for

  • social anxiety
  • panic and anxiety disorder
  • seasonal depression

Try to search for terms in initials / or spelling out the words:

  • PTSD
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • OCD
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

Try searching both terms that mean the same thing:

  • self-injury
  • self-harm

Try a combination of terms:

  • depression and anxiety
  • narcissistic personality disorder
  • borderline personality disorder

Combine multiple search terms in a single search string is a type of advanced search that saves time

For example, instead of doing two searches, one for "narcissistic personality disorder" and a second one for "borderline personality disorder" you can find information for both by setting up this advanced search string:

  • (narcissistic OR borderline) personality disorder

In this search string you are telling the database to bring back articles about either narcissistic OR borderline personality disorders. As you skim the results you can compare them to see similarities or differences and make a decision about which to pursue further or it you would like to research both.

Short Video: Using Western Library's Databases

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