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Research Methodologies

Getting Started

Occasionally, you may be asked to collect original data and analyze it for a class project. As you develop a research question and select a methodology, ask yourself:

  • What are the assignment criteria? 
  • What data do I need to answer my research question? Are quantitative or qualitative methods better suited to gathering data to answer the research question?
  • Are my collection methods ethical? (See information about UVU's Institutional Review Board below.)

If you're not sure where to start, the following books from the Fulton Library's collection can help you select a methodology and begin work on your research project.

Additional resources can be found on our guides for research methods courses:

Institutional Review Board

For information on getting a research study with human subjects formally approved by the university, see the website for UVU's Institutional Review Board. IRB approval often isn't required for class research assignments, but their website may be helpful depending on the parameters of your project or if you decide to fully implement your project.

Psychological Tests & Measures

Psychological tests (also known as measures, instruments, or scales) are standardized measures of a particular psychological variable such as personality or emotional functioning. Behavioral science research often involves using psychological tests, whether to simply learn about the test or to use in your own research study.

  • Many tests are commercially published and subject to copyright and licensing restrictions—these typically require paying a fee to use and are not available through the Fulton Library. Publishers may require proof that users have the professional credentials to administer the test. If you find a commercially published test you want to use, look for an FAQ page to see if a version is available to student researchers for free or at a reduced cost, or try contacting the publisher to ask.
  • In addition to commercial tests, there are countless unpublished tests that researchers design for particular studies in psychology, education, and other fields. These tests may be freely available online or in scholarly articles.

Many psychological tests—both unpublished and commercially published—are described in scholarly articles, including how they were developed and validated, and how they can be used in the field. If an article refers to a specific psychological test that you'd like to view or use in your research, try these strategies for finding it:

  • Check the appendixes at the end of the article to see if the author(s) included the full instrument or a note about where it can be found or purchased. Portions of the test may also be included in the main text of the article or in tables or figures.
  • Search for the name of the test on Google as a quick way to see if it's available through a commercial publisher or freely available on a website.
  • Email the article's lead author, to ask questions about their test or ask if they have a version they're willing to share with student researchers. Author contact information is typically included on the first page of scholarly articles. If it's an older article, the contact information may be out of date—try searching for the author on Google, to see where they're currently working and look for a current email.

Databases for Tests & Measures

Use these databases to find articles that reference specific psychological tests and measures. You can either use a search term to look for tests on a topic (for example, search for "metacognition") or you can search for the name of a test you already know about (for example, search for "Metacognition Assessment Scale").

Please be aware, articles found in these databases frequently do not include full tests—once you find information on a test you'd like to see, use the tips above to see if you can locate the full test. Also these databases often do not include the full text of articles. In these cases, you will need to use citation details to locate articles in another database like OneSearch. Contact your librarian if you need any help using these databases.

Library Help

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