Choosing a topic
When choosing a topic for your research paper, think about the following:
- Unless your instructor assigns a topic, try to select a topic that interests you.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad, or too narrow. You will find too much information when searching for a broad topic; and not enough information when searching for a narrow topic.
- If you already have a general topic, try searching the library's catalog or the library's databases for ideas on how to narrow that topic down.
- Visit the library's Reference Desk and request to view the following book: 10,000 ideas for term papers, projects, reports and speeches: Intriguing, original research topics for every student's need.
- For current events and issues in the news, try searching the library's database: CQ Researcher.
- For debatable or controversial issues, ask one of the librarians about the Opposing Viewpoints Series, the Taking Sides Series, Issues in Focus Series and/or the Current Controversies Series.
- Visit the Social Issues Research Guide. There you will find a list of current social issues to choose from.
Books will provide an excellent starting point for your research in the field of Psychology. Reference books often give you background information and a general overview on your topic so that you can proceed with greater understanding to a more detailed treatment of your subject in other books and periodicals. Reference books may include specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, atlases and/or statistical reports. The librarian at the Reference Desk can help in locating an appropriate source. Listed below are the titles and call numbers of some of the Psychology books in the library's reference collection. The reference collection is located on the main level of the library. Books with a location of Reference cannot be checked out of the library. The Circulating Collection is on the second floor of the library. Books with a location of Circulating may be checked out.
To search the Catalog for a book, click on it's callnumber below.
|Biographical Dictionary of Psychology. Routledge||Reference||BF109.A1 B56 1997|
|Great Psychologists and their Times. American Psychological Asso...||Reference||BF109.A1 S56 2002|
|Women in Psychology : a Bio-Bibliographic sourcebook||Reference||BF109.A1W65|
|A Dictionary of Psychology. Oxford University Press||Reference||BF31.C65 2006|
|APA Dictionary of Psychology||Circulating||BF31.A65 2007|
|Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary||Reference||RC437.H5 2004|
|Dictionary of Cognitive Science. Psychology Press||Reference||BF311.V56713 2004|
|Psychoanalytic Terms & Concepts. American Psychoanalytic Associa...||Reference||RC501.4 P79 1990|
|Aggression and Conflict: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO||Reference||HM136 .L46|
|Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Blackwell||Reference||HM251 .B476|
|Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology||Reference||BF31.E52 2010|
|Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Elsevier. 3 vols||Reference||BF636.E52 2004|
|Encyclopedia of Human Emotions. 2 vols. Macmillan||Reference||BF531 .E55 1999|
|Encyclopedia of Mental Health. Facts on File||Reference||RC437.K34 2008|
|Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology||Reference||GN502.E63 2006|
|Encyclopedia of School Psychology||Reference||LB1027.55.E523 2005|
|Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming. MacMillan||Reference||BF1078 .E63 1993|
|Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. Garland||Reference||HQ9 .H846 1994|
|The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Sc...||Reference||BF31.E52 2004|
|The encyclopedia of Obesity and Eating Disorders. Facts on File||Reference||RC552.E18 C37 2000|
|The encyclopedia of Phobias, Fears, and Anxieties. Facts of File||Reference||RC535.D63 2000|
|The Encyclopedia of Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders....||Reference||RC514 .N63 2000|
|The Encyclopedia of Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Facts of File||Reference||RC547.Y34 2001|
|Child Maltreatment: Photographic Reference, 2nd ed. 2 vols. GW M...||Reference||RA1122.5 .C49 1998|
|Cross-cultural Psychology: research and applications. Cambridge||Reference||GN502 .C76 1992|
|Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders : DSM-IV-T...||Reference||RC455.2.C4 D536 2000|
|Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV, 4...||Reference||RC455.2 .C4 D54 1994|
|Human Growth and Development. Cambridge||Reference||QP84 .C26 1998|
|Mental Disorders of the New Millennium. 3 vols. Praeger||Reference||RC454 .M462 2006|
|The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychiatry, 3rd. ed||Reference||RC454 .A419 1999|
|Child Psychology : A Handbook of Contemporary Issues||Reference||BF721.C5155 2006|
|Comparative Psychology: A Handbook. Garland||Reference||BF671 .C615 1998|
|Handbook of Emotions, 2nd. ed. Guilford Press||Reference||BF561 .H35 2000|
|Handbook of Forensic Psychology : Resource for Mental Health and...||Reference||RA1148 .H362 2004|
|Handbook of International Psychology||Reference||BF121.H2115 2004|
|Handbook of Multicultural Counseling. Sage||Reference||BF637 .C6 H3174|
|Handbook of Personality Disorders :Theory, Research, and Treatme...||Reference||RC554 .H36 2001|
|Handbook of Psychology (Forensic Psychology) v.11. John Wiley &...||Reference||BF121.H1955 2003|
|Handbook of Social and Clinical Psychology: The Health Perspecti...||Reference||RC467 .H29 1990|
|Handbook of Stress, Coping, and Health. Sage||Reference||QP82.2 .S8 .H357 2000|
|Oxford companion to emotion and the affective sciences||Reference||BF531.O94 2009|
|Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles. Guilford||Reference||HM251 .S6743|
|The Handbook of Social Psychology. 2 vols||Reference||HM1011.H37 2010|
|The Psychology of Sexual Victimization: A Handbook Greenwood||Reference||HV6556 .P78 1999|
The library catalog is used to locate books both at RVCC, as well as from other libraries in the Somerset County Library System. Books will provide in-depth information not found in reference sources.
- Start with a Keyword search. Once you find one or two books about your topic, check the book's record to see what Subjects are being used. Once you find the appropriate Subject Heading, repeat your search using those headings. Generally, the results from a Subject search will always be more accurate than the results from a Keyword search.
- If you know the title of the book you are looking for, do a Title search.
- If you are looking for a book with a specific author, do an Author search (last name first).
Suggested Subject Headings for Psychology:
Click a subject heading below to use it as the search term for a Subject Search in the catalog.
- Adolescent psychology
- Behaviorism (Psychology)
- Child psychology
- Clinical psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Environmental psychology
- Forensic psychology
- Human behavior
- Mental health
- Psychology -- Methodology.
- Psychology, applied
- Psychology, comparative
- Psychology, experimental
- Psychology, industrial
- Psychology, Military
- Psychology, Pathological
Consult with the reference librarian to find the term best suited to your needs.
Browse the Collection:
Most of the books can be found in the following areas:
- BF -- Psychology
- HM1001-1281 -- Social psychology
- HQ19-30.7 -- Sexual behavior and attitudes. Sexuality
- LB1050.9-1091 -- Educational psychology
- RC435 - 571 -- Psychiatry
All of the library's circulating books are located on the upper level of the library.
For additional library catalogs, including libraries in Hunterdon and Middlesex counties, consult the Additional Library Catalogs page. If you find a book in one of these catalogs that the library does not own, request the book using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
Research Databases - Finding Articles
The Evelyn S. Field Library has access to thousands of periodicals. (Periodicals can be magazines, scholarly journals, or newspapers.) Some periodicals are in the library's print (or hard copy) collection. However, the majority of periodicals are available in the Research Databases. These databases provide access to articles. This information is generally more current than material found in books.
Search for periodical articles on Psychology using the databases listed below. They can be accessed from the Library Database Page. (If you are using these databases from an off-campus location, you will be asked to identify yourself by logging in with your Username and Password. This is the same login you use on campus. The Research Databases are available only to registered RVCC students.)
- Credo Reference
A full-text online reference service that includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, quotations, and many other sources of factual information. Use Credo to get background information on a research topic or become familiar with a new subject. Subjects covered include art, business, food and beverage, geography, history, language, law, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, social sciences, and technology.
A reliable and comprehensive archive of important scholarly journal literature. JSTOR is important if you are doing a research project that needs older information in the arts and sciences. Due to its very nature as a retrospective journal archive, JSTOR does not contain current journal articles. The JSTOR database is unique because the complete back files of core scholarly journals have been digitized, starting with the very first issues, many of which date from the 1800's. Over 4 million pages are available.
PsycARTICLES is a definitive source of searchable full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. The database contains more than 40,000 articles from 55 journals - published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and from allied organizations.
Our current subscription includes the "Social & Behavioral Sciences" and the "Health & Life Sciences." Be sure to select "group-wide login.
SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 397 "core" coverage journals dating back to 1908, and 150 "priority" coverage journals. This database also includes full text for more than 720 books and monographs, and full text for 6,743 conference papers.
- Wiley Library Online
This database brings together a collection of journals from Wiley InterScience. Disciplines covered include the physical sciences, education, technology, social sciences and psychology, mathematics and statistics.
After finding an article on your research topic, the database will either provide a citation and summary of the article, or it will provide the full-text (the complete article). If you are only given a citation and summary of the article, you can check the Periodical Locator to determine if the periodical you are looking for is available in another database. (The Periodical Locator is an alphabetical list of all the journals the library has access to. Feel free to talk with a librarian for assistance.) If the article is not available in any of the library's research databases, request the article using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
If, for your assignment, you are required to have sources from scholarly journals, use the Identifying Scholarly Articles guide to help you determine if your source is a magazine article or a scholarly article.
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Psychoanalytic Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
- New Jersey Psychological Association
- Classics in the History of Psychology
Source: York University, Toronto, Canada -- links to articles by pioneers in psychology. Documents sorted by topic and author.
- Cognitive Development and Intelligence
Source: Adam Winsler, PhD., George Mason University -- contains articles and related links to information and research on the following topics: Piaget, Vygotsky, intelligence and information processing.
- Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders
Source: Advameg, Inc., (also listed on Rutgers University Psychology Subject Directory) -- searchable encyclopedia of psychological disorders.
- Encyclopedia of Psychology
Source: Jacksonville State University, Dept. of Psychology -- a subject directory in psychology related topics.
- Healthy Minds. Health Lives.
Source: American Psychiatric Association -- includes a comprehensive list of resources and fact sheets on mental health topics.
- Human Intelligence
Source: Indiana University, Dr. Jonathan Plucker -- includes biographical profiles of people who have influenced the development of intelligence theory and testing, in-depth articles exploring current controversies related to human intelligence, and resources for teachers. Recognized by Psychology Today magazine.
- Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Source: Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Inc. -- links to academic articles in the field of experimental behavioral analysis. Free access to articles through PubMed Central six months after journal publication.
- National Institute of Mental Health
Source: US Government, National Institutes of Health -- the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.
- Psych Central
Source: John M. Grohol, Psy.D -- independent mental health social network created and run by mental health professionals. One of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Best Websites of 2008.
- Psychology Today
Source: Psychology Today Magazine -- Online component of popular magazine.
- Science Odyssey, People and Discoveries: Human Behavior
Source: PBS -- biographies of pioneers in the field of behavioral science and descriptions of treatments and therapies.
- Social Psychology Network
Source: Scott Pious, PhD. -- Social Psychology Network is an educational website with links to additional sources, open access journals, news articles and more. Dr. Scott Pious who holds a PhD. in psychology from Stanford University founded the site. It is supported by more than 1,500 members including the National Science Foundation, McGraw Hill and the America Psychological Association.
- Call or visit the Reference Desk to speak to one of the librarians. The Reference Desk is located on the main floor of the library. The phone number is 908-526-1200 x8350.
- Email your question to one of the librarians using the Ask-A-Librarian Service.
- For further information about this guide, please contact Robert Egan
Last Updated - 08 February 2011