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Writing 101 (Van Bebber): Search Strategies

4) Methodology Limit

For this class, you will be primarily interested in empirical studies (original research).  Use the Methodology limiter in PsycInfo to narrow to these types of studies.

psycinfo_methodology_limit

APA describes the methodology field values found in the PsycInfo and PsycArticles databases.

  • In addition to the Empirical Study limiter, there are also limiters for Clinical Case Study and Treatment Outcome/Clinical Trial.

A Methodology limiter (as the names suggests), limits or narrows the results.

  • "birth order" AND personality (without a methodology limiter = 1173 results)
  • "birth order" AND personality (with a methodology limiter of Empirical Study = 557 results)

5) AND/OR (Boolean Logic)

Use AND / OR to join search terminology.

  • OR - joins similar terms / terms that get at the same issue BROADENS
  • AND - joins dissimilar terms NARROWS

Examples: Using OR

  1. autism OR "autistic spectrum disorder"
  2. positive psychotherapy OR PPT
  3. teens OR adolescents OR "young adults"
  4. "academic performance" OR "academic success" OR "academic achievement"
  5. "social skills" OR "social competence"

Examples: Using AND

  1. leaders AND "social skills"
  2. perception AND competition AND performance

Examples using AND & OR

Sample Search A

treatment OR therapy

   AND

ADHD OR "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder"

Question: What strategy might we take if Sample A returns too many results?  How could we modify this search?

Sample Search B

deceive OR deception OR lie

   AND

detect*

   AND

"body language"

   AND

"law enforcement" OR police

Question: What strategy might we take if Sample B does not return many results?  How could we modify this search?