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Library Guides

Researching Schools of Thought

This research guide is intended for PSY7110, PSY7113 and PSY7115

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 See our full library research tutorial on iGuide for tips on:

  • Time management tools for research
  • Searching for information on a topic
  • Searching for discipline-specific research articles

Introduction to the Assignment

This assignment tells you to start by Using the Timeline of Significant Individuals and Events in the History of Psychology (inside the cover of your text). The timeline should mention specific movements or schools of thought (e.g. behaviorism).


Pick one of those movements or schools, as well as the name or some keywords of your specialization (e.g. educational psychology or just education). Those will be your keywords for your search. If you are in the general psychology program, you may want to pick a psychology specialization you are interested in so that you can conduct a more focused search (e.g. counseling).


Please note the library does not have the textbook for your course; the example below is not based on your textbook, so you’ll have to modify it to meet your actual needs. Because there are many theories and specializations, you'll probably need to do a few different searches.

Example Searches

1. Go to the Library Homepage.

2. Click the Databases tab.

3. Click Databases A-Z for a list of all available databases.

Databases A-Z link.

4. Select a subject from the All Subjects drop-down menu for a list of recommended databases for that subject.

The following Psychology databases are recommended for this assignment:

  • PsycINFO
  • Proquest Psychology Psychology Journals

5. Click the database name to enter the database.

6. Use keywords to search. For the example topic listed above, the following search terms are suggested:

  • behaviorism (or the name of another school of thought you choose from the timeline)
  • education* OR school (or name of another school of thought you choose from the timeline)
  • educational psychology
  • counseling OR therapy


Examples of keyword combination strategies:

   Example 1:

   1st Search Box: behaviorism (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

   2nd Search Box: counseling OR therapy (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

   Sample search in EBSCO

   Example 2:

   1st Search Box: behavorism (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

   2nd Search Box: educational psychology (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

    Sample search in EBSCO

   Example 3:

   1st Search Box: behaviorism (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

   2nd Search Box: education* OR school (change Select a Field to AB Abstract)

   Sample search in EBSCO

  • Or allows you to combine related terms pertaining to the same concept. It broadens your search by including, but not limiting to, additional terms.
  • Asterisk allows you to truncate a word to its root which will search for the root work with any ending, e.g. stereotyp*, stereotypes, stereotyping.

 *Remember to check the Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Journals checkbox when using PsycINFO and Proquest Psychology Journals!


Article Titles vs. Abstract: Article titles do not fully articulate what an article is about. Be sure to read the complete Abstract to better evaluate is an article fits your research topic. Abstracts summarize article content with more detals. In most databases you can click on the article title to view an abstract.

Revising your search: You may need to revise your search several times until you find relevant articles on your topic (try to narrow to fewer than 200 results). For more help revising your search, try our Forming a Search Strategy guide (found on the Guides and Tutorials page on the Library Web site).


7. Click on the Full Text, PDF Full Text, or Linked Full Text links to get the full text of the article. The Capella Library databases include full text of some articles and abstracts of others. If you do not have access to the full text of the article you can: