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PY 304 - Cognitive Psychology


What follows is a guide to locating research material pertaining to the cognitive sciences via the Geisel Library's collections and services. It will point you to some useful reference books and library databases. It will remind you of the search tips you picked up during your EN 103 and 104 classes by providing helpful examples. You will be introduced to special tools that will make the process of searching and locating relevant materials much easier.

For further assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk in person or pose your question online.


Reference Books

Reference books will help you to get research topic ideas as well as to help you find background information. Some of the major psychology reference books will carry helpful chapters pertaining to the area of cognition. Many will also point you to additional sources for more detailed scholarly information. If a source found this way is of interest, determine its 'whereabouts' by using the Journal Finder tool available on the library's home page.

The library also has a growing collection of E-Reference resources and several links pertaining to the cognitive sciences are listed below. For assistance in locating specific entries within these e-reference books, please consult with a librarian.

  • Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology
    Ref BF311 .B535 1990
  • Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development
    (see chapters on 'Cognitive development')
  • Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Growth and Development
    Ref QP84 .C26 1998 (includes a chapter on "Behavioural and cognitive development")
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR
    Ref RC455.2.C4 D536 2000 (cognitive disorders are of course included)
  • Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
    (see entries: 'Cognitive and Cultural Styles', 'Cognitive Behavior Modification', 'Cognitive Development and School Readiness' & 'Cognitive View of Learning')
  • Encyclopedia of Human Development
    (see lengthy entry on 'Cognitive development')
  • Encyclopedia of Psychological Assessment
    Ref BF39 .E497 2003 (includes chapters on 'Cognitive assessment')
  • Encyclopedia of Psychology
    Ref BF31 .E52 2000 (this 8-volume set is most helpful for background information and topic selection)
  • Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
    (see entries for 'Cognitive Consistency', 'Cognitive Dissonance Theory', 'Interpersonal Cognition', 'Metacognition', 'Moral Cognition', 'Social Cognition', 'Social Cognitive Neuroscience' & a few others)
  • Handbook of Aging and Cognition
    Ref BF724.85 .C64H36 1992
  • Handbook of Child Psychology
    Ref BF721 .H242 2006 (see vol. 2: "Cognition, perception, and language")
  • Handbook of Learning Disabilities
    Ref LC4704 .H364 2003 (several chapters discuss cognitive aspects of learning disabilities)
  • Handbook of Research Methods in Experimental Psychology
    Ref BF76.5 .H35 2003 (includes a chapter on 'Research methods in cognition')
  • Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology
    Ref BF181 .H336 2002 (see vol. 2: "Memory and cognitive processes")

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Find Books

Use the Library Catalog when searching for specific books and book chapters pertaining to your research. Most works on cognition are classified within the BF range of call numbers and are located on the main level of the Geisel Library (as well as in the Reference Collection as noted above). However you will discover that some books are classified within the LC call number ranges (learning aspects), while others might classified within other ranges such as RC (neurological aspects).

Subject Headings are standardized terms assigned to books by librarians, usually from the Library of Congress. Subject searching is a powerful way of grouping books with similar subjects. Here are some helpful Subject Headings for research in cognitive psychology. For more help, please speak to a librarian or consult the Full Subject Heading List, located at the Reference Desk.

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Differentiation (Cognition)
  • Emotion and cognition
  • Perception

Subject searches such as the ones above will retrieve these-and many more-book titles:

  • How the Mind Works
    QP360.5 .P56 1997
  • Development of Psychopathology : Nature and Nurture
    RC454 .P393 2002
  • Feelings: The Perception of Self
    BF531 .L29 2007
  • Hot Thought : Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition
    BF311 .T416 2006
  • Human : The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique
    QP360.5 .G39 2008
  • Young Minds in Social Worlds: Experience, Meaning, and Memory
    BF721 .N42 2007


If you are unable to locate enough materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search the collections of libraries worldwide using WorldCat. This enables you to identify relevant books owned by other colleges and have them delivered to Geisel Library for your use, via our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. If you find a relevant book, click on the title and look for the Request ILL link. Once you submit a request, the book is typically delivered to Geisel Library within 5–8 days.


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Find Journal Articles

Major Databases

The following indexes and databases will provide access to scholarly readings in psychology.

The PsycINFO database contains more than 1.5 million references to psychological literature, spanning 1887 to the present day. It includes citations to journal articles, dissertations, reports, English-language book chapters and books, and other scholarly documents relevant to psychology and the psychological aspects of such disciplines as education, business, medicine, nursing, law, and social work. See also PsycARTICLES, a full-text subset of the PsycINFO database.

Medline and PubMed
Both Medline and PubMed draw from the same National Library of Medicine database and include coverage for over 4,000 international journals in all languages from 1966 to the present. However, they offer slightly different search functionality. Use Medline for 1) EBSCO's easy to use search interface; 2) to pinpoint titles owned by Saint Anselm College or available in full-text in other EBSCO databases. Otherwise, use PubMed as noted below. Click here for a PubMed Tutorial. Click here for more about the difference between MedLine and PubMed.

Related Databases

Academic Search Premier
Multidisciplinary and a good place to start when choosing your research question.

Biological Sciences
When your research intersects with the discipline of biology or neuroscience...

CINAHL (Nursing)
When your research intersects with the discipline of nursing...

Criminal Justice Abstracts
When your research intersects with the discipline of criminal justice...

ERIC (Education)
When your research intersects with the discipline of education or learning...

Google Scholar
Helpful for locating relevant citations but there is often a cost for the full-text.

ProQuest Psychology Journals
Abstracts & indexing are provided for over 600 journal titles, and many of these also include full-text.

Includes the full-text of articles from 42 psychology journals.

When your research intersects with the discipline of sociology.

Keyword Search Tips

Searching tips for use in the Library Catalog and the journal databases were discussed in greater detail in EN 103 classes. As a refresher:

  • Use the AND operator to combine multiple concepts. For example, cognition AND crime.
  • Use the OR operator to expand your search with synonyms and related terms. For example, crime  OR deviance.
  • Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root; for example, cognit* will return results with either the words "cognition", "cognitions" & "cognitive".
  • Use quotation marks to search for your keywords as an exact phrase. For example, "intelligence testing". If you do not enclose your phrase with quotes, then the database will look for the terms "intelligence" AND "testing" as separate words throughout the entire record.

Cool Tools

The Geisel Library has recently acquired some software tools to help make your searching and locating materials a bit simpler. Two are discussed below.

  • CrossSearch
    To search for journal articles across multiple databases at once, try CrossSearch. For articles with a psychological focus, check the 'Psychology' subject category and perform your search. CrossSearch displays the first 20 results from each database. If an article looks useful, click on the WebBridge icon to see if it is available in full-text or in Geisel Library's periodicals collection on the lower level.

    Caveat:  CrossSearch does not offer the levels of advanced searching provided by individual databases of a specialized nature such as PsycINFO.
  • WebBridge
    When searching the databases and viewing results, you will sometimes see a direct link to the full- text (PDF or HTML) of a journal article. If such a link is not available, then you may click on the WebBridge icon to determine the article's 'whereabouts'. Here you will be directed to a window letting you know whether the journal is available in print format at the Geisel Library or in full-text via another electronic database. If the article is not available, click on the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) link to request a copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your college email inbox within 5-8 days.

    However, please read the WebBridge info carefully. If the book or article is already available at Saint Anselm College, you will not be able to obtain it through Interlibrary Loan.

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Find Websites

There are many more websites on this subject than these three listed below, but for a start and without getting too scientific...

About.Com:  Psychology: Cognitive Psychology
Links to information on intelligence (IQ, EQ, AI), memory, psycholinguistics, and also to programs of study.

Google:  Cognitive Science
Pre-selected web sites by Google.

The Mind Project
From Illinois State University, the Mind Project is a research and curriculum project in the cognitive sciences.

Top 100 Works in Cognitive Science (Millennium Project)
The one hundred most influential works in cognitive science from the 20th century as judged by a faculty panel from the University of Minnesota.


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Citing Sources

APA is the citation style required in this class. The library has both print and electronic versions of APA citation guides; or ask a Librarian for assistance.

Here is a reminder that you can import citations into EndNote from our research databases and then use it to create bibliographies in the style of your choosing. It's a great time-saving tool. To obtain a copy of EndNote on CD (for either PC or Mac), contact the IT Help Desk which is located in Poisson Hall.

For help with getting started, see our User's Guide to EndNote on the library website or contact Librarian Jeffrey Waller.

Please also note that many of the databases offer Citation Maker features, allowing you to save your selected sources to the APA format.


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