Finding a psychology research article

Penn State subject librarians have set up Research Guides to help students navigate the library resources in particular subject areas. There are a number of research guides in the psychology field,  but you may find it easiest to start with the Psychology (General) guide.

Keep in mind, no matter what research article you choose, it will be challenging to read. You may not understand all of it, but you will begin to see a similar structure to each article you look at.

If you need topic ideas, check the Science Daily website (click on “Psychology” under the “Mind and Brain” drop-down menu), take a look at the PSYblog:Understand Your Mind, or look through articles in a psychology journal (see strategies below) to see what topics researchers are writing about.

PSYblog has an article How The Mind Really Works: 10 Counterintuitive Psychology Studies which can lead you to some really interesting psychology studies.

Keep in mind: The articles you find on these sites are not RESEARCH articles. However, they can provide ideas for topics you can use to search the PsycINFO database and may also provide journal names and authors’ names which can be added to your search.


Try the PsycINFO database and search for your term, limiting your results following my example below. In this example, I am searching for a research article about creativity in adolescence.

  • Search for your term (or “phrase”) as a keyword:
  •  You will obtain better results if you limit your Search options to Peer-reviewed Journal articles (as shown in the image below). If you are limited to a particular time period, you can also limit your search to a specific date range. Since you are looking for a research article, it may help to select several appropriate  methodologies. I also selected a particular age group.

  • Some results will be available full text in the PsycINFO database:





  • You may have to use the GET IT! link to find the full text for some articles:


Get it dream recall

You will need to Click on “Article” from the GET IT! screen to access the full text.