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PSY 4590: Psychological Effects of Religious Practice

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Beginning your research
Searching for literature
Develop a list of search terms based on your topic (psychology and religion) through:
-Keyword brainstorming
-Similar phrases to represent topic (i.e. psychological aspects of religion)

Varying aspects of a topic (examples):
  1. Role of religion in psychotherapists' bias?
  2. Occurrence of depression in those that are religious or non-religious?
  3. Social adjustment of children from religiously affiliated homes?
Larger/broader categories into which your topic fits
Reference Resources
Begin your research by consulting a subject encyclopedia. Get a summary of the broad subject area you wish to study and choose additional key terms, concepts, events, important authors, and citations to further information. 

Reference Resources

selected Psychology reference resources
selected Religion reference resources

List of all E-Reference sources 
Note: The Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) and the Sage Knowledge E-reference Collection consist of a tremendous variety of subject specific encyclopedias, and are good places for background information, and to begin searches and gathering resources.

For example, a keyword search in GVRL for "Psychology and Religion" returns 492 hits, including this entry: 

Hood, R. W., Jr. (2012). Psychology and Religion. In V. S. Ramachandran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 201-208). London: Academic Press.
Finding Books
Use the Library Catalog to find Books and other sources
Selected useful subject terms (topics):

Links go to catalog search results
Buddhism, Catholicism, etc.
Buddhism and Psychology

Catholicism and Psychology
Religion and descriptive statistics

Psychology and happiness
Psychology, Religious
Psychology and religion
Psychology and "well being"

Religion and "well being"
Well being


Note: It can be highly effective to combine any two or more of the terms above (or with any other keywords you come up with) in separate subject, topic, or even keyword fields when searching in most databases or the library catalog.
Finding Articles
Article Databases
The Psychology databases page provides links to research resources appropriate for research in psychology. 
The primary research databases in Psychology are:
PsycArticlesfull-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology (a subset of PsychInfo)

PsycInfoCitations and abstracts of peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, and technical rep
orts on all areas of psychology. Some full-text is available.

Search Tips
  1. Refer to the Psychology "Top Picks" and "Subject Specific" database options from the "Research by Subject" tab of the new Booth Library website.
  2. Use your keywords in "All Text" dropdown fields (in most databases) for more results (good for more esoteric or topics with apparently less "out there". Use keywords in the "Title" dropdown for more targeted searches (good for larger topics).
  3. If doing a search using phrases, use quotation marks...i.e. "psychotherapy and religion"
  4. Pay close attention to "subject terms" of database records. These are also known as "Topics" in the library catalog. They are universally defined and applied terms that can be clicked on for very specific results, and can also be searched in the "subject" drop down menu in the catalog or "subject terms" dropdown in databases.
  5. Also pay attention to, and take note of lists of references at the ends of articles. These can be very valuable, especially for research topic searches that produce more limited results
Additional resources
Booth Library has many DVDs and Streaming videos relevant to research in this area. Alexander Street Press provides searchable transcripts with their videos. The example below was returned with a search for "religion and happiness"