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PSYC 302 In-Class Exercise: Home

Step 1: Your Research Topic

Select from one of the two topics listed or create your own research topic--it can be a fairly broad topic of choice. 

1. Research the effects of advertising on children's food choices

2. Research the effects of yoga on mood

3. [Choose your own adventure!] 

Step 2: Searching

List some keywords that relate to your topic that you'll search in the database. 
Using the search terms you’ve identified, find an empirical study related to this topic. Write down the author and title, and explain why it's relevant to your research topic (beyond it merely having your keywords in its abstract!). If you feel your article does not address your research topic, explain why.
Return to your search results, and find an article that allows you to look at who has cited their research (this feature was highlighted in class)--write down and reflect on why "forward searching" or "citation tracking" may be beneficial to your own research.

Step 3: Revise & Reflect

Brainstorm some other keywords that you could use to research on this topic. For example, think of new phrases or synonyms for your search above.


Old search: “Video games AND violence”

New search: ("Video Games" OR "Computer Games") AND Aggression” 

Once you've found some new sources that are of relevance to your topic and of interest to you, reflect on these new results you've found. 

Consider these couple of questions and respond:

  • How did this new search impact your results? Did you get more, less?
  • With that in mind, was one set of results more relevant to your research than the other--why do you think that is?

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