Finding Literature on Your Theory

For this assignment, you will also have to find research that supports or criticizes your theory. You can find these scholarly sources through our library databases. Below is a list of databases that the library subscribes to that has psychology resources in them.

Searching tips:

  • Use the most important words when you do a search, otherwise known as keywords. For you, you would use your theory name.
  • Let's say you are doing your paper on attachment theory. If you typed in attachment theory into a database, it would find any article that has attachment somewhere in it and theory. If you want to search it as a phrase, so only articles that have attachment theory together, put quotations around it before you search "attachment theory"
  • Think about if there is another way scholars refer to your theory. Is there another name that is used? Make sure you search for both of them to find all of the articles possible.
  • While you do have to find out if there is any criticism of your paper, it usually isn't help to use criticism or detractor in your search. Even if an article criticizes a theory, they usually won't use criticism as a key subject in their paper.
    • Some tips to find criticism:
      • Read the literature review in the essays you find, sometimes they will refer to work that criticizes the theory. If they do, you can read the article through one of our databases, or if we don't have it, get it through Interlibrary Loan.
      • Read article abstracts. You should be able to tell whether the author is critiquing or supporting the theory just by reading the abstract.

Finding Scholarly Articles

The easiest way to find scholarly articles on most topics is to search in OneSearch. OneSearch searches nearly half of our databases at one time. You can also search in specific databases. OneSearch is effective for preliminary searches, but is limited when looking for specified research. The databases found below can be used to search more specifically within the field of psychology.