1. Motives for Sibling Communication Across the Lifespan
  2. Brainstorming in the Academic Search Complete database
  3. Brainstorming in the PsycINFO database
  4. Take Two! Combine any 2 terms from the list below and find the full text of a scholarly research article in PsycINFO:

“choice overload”
creativity donations
“social skills”
“college students”



Searching PsycINFO by subject will produce more relevant results. Below are some suggested subject headings. Choose one appropriate to your field of study. You may also want to combine this subject with a keyword for a topic you are interested in.

  • Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Elementary Schools
  • Criminal Justice
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Legal Processes
  • Physical Activity
  • Exercise
  • Health Behavior
  • Nutrition
  • International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Literature

Note: Kinesiology is not a subject term in this database. Either use “kinesiology” as a keyword, or use one of the suggested subjects above.

Suggested search options in PsycINFO:

Limit to:  Peer reviewed
Date range:  After this date
Document type:  Journal article
Methodology:  Empirical study, Longitudinal Study, Qualitative Study, Quantitative Study


Penn State subject librarians have set up Research Guides to help students navigate the library resources in particular subject areas. You will find over 50 guides for the Social Sciences.


Article Summary and Analysis
You’ll find helpful information in the Articles section of my START in the library page. If you aren’t familiar with the structure of a research article, read through the information found on The Research Conversation page and the web page “Types of Research and Scholarly Articles.”

Keep in mind the following criteria for this assignment:

  1. The article must be from a scholarly research journal, not a professional or trade publication.
  2. The article must be a research article, not a literature review. Even though every research article includes a review of the literature, there are some articles that appear in scholarly journals that do not report on the author’s own research, but rather review and summarize the research of others.
  3. The article must have been published within the past 5 years (2008 or later).

Need ideas?

Profile of a Professional in Your Field
Check the Occupational Outlook Handbook for current employment information in social science fields. Enter your field in the Search Handbook box on the right.

You’ll find a lot of helpful links on the following sites:

Final Research Paper Overview
If you are using the topic from your “Article Summary and Analysis” assignment, you will want to follow up on suggested keywords and subjects from that article to search PsycINFO and other relevant databases. You will also find additional sources in the Reference list of your article; however, keep in mind that those sources will not be the most current research on your topic.

If you are not using your original article for this assignment, you may want to review the Need Ideas section above.

Citations serve a dual purpose; in addition to giving credit to the author(s) of the sources you use in your papers, properly formatted citations also allow your reader to find the sources you used. Please use the APA 6th Edition Quick Reference (July 2009) for information and examples of APA style. The APA Publication Manual is available in our library if you need additional examples.

If you know the name of the database you want to search, use the Databases by Title (A-Z) list.

Below are some recommended databases:

You may need to click the Get it! button to find the full text.
Remember to also check the appropriate Research Guide for your topic for database recommendations.

Links for in-class practice:

  1. Judgment and Decision Making in Adolescence
  2. Review article: “Choice and the Relative Pleasure of Consequences
  3. Use a DOI to find a research article: “Consumers Stop Buying as Number of Options Increase
  4. Trade publication: “The Tyranny of Choice
  5. Use the widget below to search for the journal title and then find the meta-analytic review article (a study researching other studies). Begin with:  “Too Many Choices? New Study Says More is Usually Better”

If you want are looking for a particular journal, search below to determine the availability: