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Syracuse University Libraries

Human Development & Family Science

Focusing a Search in Psycinfo

Open the PsycINFO database in another window. The thesaurus will give you authoritative term options from which to further define what you are looking for. This is just another way to search the database. It can give you different results because it tells the database to search for a word that has been chosen by the publisher to encompass all synonyms for that word (authoritative term) and look for it in a specific field, so it's worth trying. In this case the word affairs is paired with two authoritative terms. Choose what you mean: "extramarital intercourse" or "emotional regulation." Follow the directions below to try this for yourself.

In PsycINFO:

  • Choose the link for Thesaurus. 
  • Search for a term in the "Browse for" search box.
  • A list of Descriptors will come up. 
  • Check the box in front of the descriptor you want. 
  • Choose the Add button to add the descriptor to the search box.
  • Repeat the steps above if you want to add more descriptors to your search.
  • PsycINFO will put "or" between your descriptors in the "Searching" box.  Delete "or" and replace it by typing "and" if you want each of your results to have both of your descriptors.
  • Choose the Search button to run the search and get your results.


image of what is described above