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Experimental Psychology: Finding Tests and Measures

Finding the full text of tests, instruments, and measures can be very tricky because most well-known tests are only available commercially (i.e.must be purchased). Commercially available tests are often referred to as "published" tests.

The APA has a guide for Finding Information About Psychological Tests that provides an extensive overview of this topic.

Databases for Psychology

Search Strategies for Tests and Measures

Strategy 1: Directly typing the name of the test or measure.

1) If you know the name of the measure you want, type the name of the measure in PsycINFO using the default search. This default search had 105 results.

2) You can also select the search field "TM Tests & Measures." By selecting this field you can see that we increased our results to 635. 

3) Use the left hand menu to refine and limit your search results to a manageable number that you will have time to look over. I always suggest 20 - 40 results. 

 

 

The second, and easier way is to use the Test and Measures Menu in PsycINFO. This menu works well if you don't know the name of a particular measure or are looking for measures in a specific domain like anxiety, attitudes, PTSD etc...

And then use the Tests & Measures sort.


The databases that have a Tests & Measures search are PsychInfo, Psychtest, and HAPI. Remember not all tests and measures are free.

Strategy 2: Browsing Tests and Measures

If you're not sure what you're looking for, you will want to use the "TM Tests & Measures" menu to browse the variety of tests and measures that are useful for your research. 

1) Using PsycInfo, select "TM Tests & Measures" by clicking on the "select a field" box and type in the word or concept for which you want to find a measure: anxiety, workplace, acculturation, PTSD, intelligence, etc... In this example below, we have 536 results from our intital search. We need to refine it because we don't have time to read 536 results.

2) To refine and narrow your search you will want to use the left hand menu. You can see that there are many categories you can expand, depending on your research interests. By typing in one or two search terms, and then using the database's vocabulary to help your refine the searches, you will save a lot of time.

 

So now you have a few articles, with some citations to measures or tests that you want to use in your own research. Remember we started with 536 results and now you have read 5 articles about different measures and tests. How do you know that these tests and measures that you have retrieved are good ones? The easy answer is to make an appointment with your professor and ask him or her. You can also use a database called Scopus to see how often people are citing a particular measure or test. Citation count is a good indicator that a particular measure or test has moved out of academic obscurity. You can also do a citation search on Google Scholar, but it's not as easy to manipulate since you cannot sort your search results using "Cited by."

 

Review articles are good places to find authoritative summaries of topics in psychology. Articles in the Annual Review of Psychology are written by experts who attempt to do a comprehensive literature review, identifying themes in a particular topic, subdicipline, or theory. Even if an article is old, it useful to look at the bibliography to see what journals and monographs are mentioned.  

Citation management software is a tool that helps people keep track of their research, citations, and articles. People who write a lot of research papers need a citation management tool. The kind of citation management tool that you use varies by discipline and university. There are programs like RefWorks and Endnote that you can pay for. CUNY has purchased a system-wide license to RefWorks. We do not have access to Endnote at Brooklyn College. 

RefWorks is great if you need your citations to be accessible online. For example if you work on your paper on your desktop, then at the library computer lab, then RefWorks will always have your citations accessible from any computer or laptop with Internet access. 

Zotero is a free service, which is recommended it if you have a laptop and you work exclusively on one or two machines and don't need remote access to your citations. Mendelay, another free tool, is great for its sharing and group features. So if you're working collaboratively Mendelay is for you. Each image is linked to the training videos; just click on the image to find out more!