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PSY100Y5 Introductory Psychology: Experiment Design

A short guide for helping with lab design and for locating empirical studies modeling experiments on human memory and recall.

Find Experiments in PsycINFO

If you have been told to find empirical articles to model your experiments on, your best starting point is the PsycINFO database. PsycINFO has a tool for letting you find psychology experiments: this is the Methodology selection tool.

Let's open the PsycINFO database by clicking on this link: PsycINFO Psychology Database
You will see this:

psycINFO search screen

Scroll down the Search Options to find the Methodology selection box:

psycINFO methodology

Click beside Empirical Study. You may also find the Experimental Replication useful. 

To make the search even more specific, scroll down to the Population limit box and select Human. If you, wish, scroll up a little to select the Age Group you are studying (Adulthood: 18 yrs & older). You can also select the English language.

Now it is time to put in your search terms.

The terms Recall and Memory will get you thousands of articles. Try to limit your search by specifying what kind of memory or recall you are studying:

  • "working memory"
  • "long term memory"
  • "free recall"
  • "cued recall"
  • "false recall"

There are also many other useful focusing terms, depending on what you are studying:

  • "auditory distraction"
  • retrieval
  • encoding
  • forgetting

You can also limit your search meaningfully by selecting the appropriate kind of recall process or memory process from the Thesaurus.

It's easy and makes for a better search!

Select the Thesaurus link from the top of your search page:

Search for Memory or Recall in the Thesaurus:

And look through the list of terms. Click on the yellow "sticikes" to the right of terms to learn more about what the terms mean. When ready, select the term you wish to search for by clicking the box to the left of the term and click on Add To Search at the bottom of the Thesaurus page:

 Using the Thesaurus can make your search more specific and exhaustive.