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Stony Brook University

Psychological Tests & Instruments

Provides explanations, search tips, and other advice for locating and using psychological and educational instruments.

Finding Journal Articles that include instruments

Several social science databases enable users to search for articles or dissertations that include instruments. Here are some tips for specific databases:
 

To find articles that include instruments:

  • Use PsycINFO's "Advanced Search"
  • Type in your topic
  • In another search box (beneath your topic keywords), type the word "appended" (without the quotation marks). To the right of it, change the "Select a Field(optional)" drop-down box to "TM Tests & and Measures"
  • Click on the "Search" button
  • After obtaining full text of an article, scroll through the article to find test questions. Typically, they will appear in the "Methods" section, or in an "Appendix" at the end of the article

To find articles that include instruments:

  • Use ERIC's "Advanced Search"
  • Type in your topic
  • Scroll down the page. Under "Publication Type," choose "Tests/Questionnaires"
  • Choose other limiters as needed
  • Click on the "Search" button
  • After obtaining full text of an article, scroll through the article to find test questions. Typically, they will appear in the "Methods" section, or in an "Appendix" at the end of the article

To find articles that include instruments:

  • Use CINAHL's "Advanced Search"
  • Type in your topic
  • Scroll down the page. Under "Publication Type," choose "Questionnaire/Scale"
  • Choose other limiters as needed
  • Click on the "Search" button
  • After obtaining full text of an article, scroll through the article to find test questions. Typically, they will appear in the "Methods" section, or in an "Appendix" at the end of the article
  • Search by keywords. Enter the instrument name or acronym in the search box and add keywords such as "validity" or "reliability". Use quotes to specify a phrase. Example: "Beck depression inventory" AND (validity OR reliability)
  • Combine your variable search results with Medical Subject headings (MeSH or MH) to identify articles that may discuss or evaluate instruments. Sample MeSH terms include: Questionnaires[MH]; Reproducibility of Results[MH]; Validation Studies as a Topic[MH]; Health Survey[MH]; Interviews[MH]; Nutrition Surveys[MH]; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales[MH]; Psychometrics[MH]; etc. Example: burnout AND questionnaires[Mesh] 
  • Limit search results by using the Publication Type (PT) field. Example: "Validation Study" [Publication Type] AND "beck depression inventory"
  • Instruments are often used and usually appear in an appendix.
  • Search by instrument name or by variable being measured. Example: (Hopelessness AND older adults) select Abstract using drop down.
  • Read the abstract or table of contents to identify the tool used, scan the methodology section.