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Mat-Su College: Psychology

A guide for MSC psychology courses.

How do I get to PsycNET?

PsycNET is a comprehensive database of psychology articles. It is a great resource for psychology papers.

How do I use PsycNET?

Enter your search terms on in the first search box and click "Search":

PsycNET advanced search interface, with "christmas music" entered in search line and arrow pointing at "Search" button

If you have many search results, you can use the limit options on the left side of the screen to filter articles by population type, study method, age of subjects studied, publication date, and more:

Screenshot of "Filter Results" limits in PsycNET

If you find an article you want, you can either click its title for more details, or click the "Check Library for Full Text" button to try and get the full text of the article:

PsycNET search results page with arrow to "Check library for full text"

If "Check Library Holdings" does not lead to the full text of the article, use Interlibrary Loan to obtain a copy.

Using PsycNET to find a topic for your paper

In the tab "Scholarly psychology articles," you can learn about using the PsycNET database to find articles.

In addition to searching for articles by typing in words, you can browse a comprehensive, A-Z list of psychology topics. This list is called the "APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms." Access it by...

  1. Clicking here to enter PsycNET
  2. Clicking "APA Thesaurus" in PsycNET

Screenshot of PsycNET interface, with "APA Thesaurus" link highlighted

In the "APA thesaurus" you'll find a list of psychology terms. As you move around this list, you'll notice that each term has a plus icon next to it. Click this plus icon in order to see more details about that topic, including concepts that are more specific (narrower terms), more general (broader terms), or similar (related terms):

Screenshot of PsycNET interface

If you find a topic that sounds interesting, click the checkbox next to its name, then the "Add to Search" button. This will enter that term into the search bar, so that you can quickly search for it:

Screenshot of PsycNET with a thesaurus term's checkbox ticked, and the "Add to Search" button indicated by an arrow

Having clicked "Add to Search," your search term is put onto the search box line and you can press enter or click the "Search" button to begin:

Screenshot of PsycNET interface showing search box populated with search term