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Psychological Sciences: Lit Review

Psychological Sciences resource guide

Types of Information Sources

Review Articles

A literature review is a critical summary of what the scientific literature says about a topic. The authors are reviewing research articles or studies that have been conducted on the topic. This is a great place to start your research, but note that you may not find a literature review on every topic.

Empirical Articles

An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation. The authors of the article conducted the research themselves. The articles usually contain the following elements:

Abstract – summary of the article
Methods – sometimes called “methodology,” this describes the author’s research methods and tools (experiment, surveys, data sources, etc)
Results – also called “findings,” this is the section of the article in which raw data are presented
Discussion – sometimes called “analysis,” this is the section in which the author analyzes the data
Conclusion – the author’s conclusion based on the analysis
References – list of references to works cited in the article

Search Tips for PsycInfo

How has the Internet fueled shopping addiction?

Major Concepts shopping Internet addiction




social media


emotional states


In PsycInfo, limit your search by Methodology to search for review or empirical articles.

Use the Thesaurus to search for the preferred terminology of the database. Sometimes your keywords won't match.



Introduction to searching PsycInfo

Limiting a search to empirical or review articles

Finding full text in PsycInfo