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Psychology: Literature Reviews

Research resources on psychology, including databases, handbooks, and guides to literature reviews, measures and research methods.

Journals Publishing Literature Reviews

While many scholarly journals may publish literature reviews, some psychology journals are exclusively or mainly devoted to publishing review articles. When researching a topic, a relevant literature review is an excellent entry point for understanding concepts and the current state of research.

Writing a Literature Review

Literature reviews analyze and evaluate previously published material on a topic. When they appear in journals, they are referred to as review articles. A systematic review is a kind of review that uses strict methods for identifying and synthesizing previous studies.

The literature review process

The literature review process. From Diana Ridley, The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (2008), p. 81

For more information about writing a literature review as a senior thesis, see the Bates Psychology Department's Senior Thesis Proposal Guidelines page. Other resources include:

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1997). Writing narrative literature reviews (PDF). Review of General Psychology, 1, 311–320.

Bem, D. J. (1995). Writing a review article for Psychological Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 118(2), 172. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.118.2.172

University of Washington Psychology Writing Center. Writing a Psychology Literature Review (PDF).

Finding Literature Reviews in PsycINFO

PsycINFO is the premier research tool in psychology. One of its handiest features searching for articles by research methodology, including literature review. From the Advanced Search page, scroll down to the Methodology box in the lower right, and select Literature Review and Systematic Review. Then search the keywords related to your topic.

Methodology in Advanced search in PsycINFO