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Psychology: Tests & Measures in Databases

Finding Psychological Tests & Measures in Databases

Searching in Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print

This is likely the database you will use most frequently when searching for information about psychological tests. This resource covers a range of types of tests, from psychological to educational to vocational, and provides publication information, scoring information, reliability and validity, an overview of the test, and more. 

Mental Measurements Yearbook has many useful search features, including fields for Test Name (TI),Acronym (AC)Purpose (PU)Population (PO), and Test Category (SU). Try the searches below to see how these different fields work:

  • SU "Intelligence and General Aptitude" 
  • PO "Ages 16 and over." 
  • TI "Burns Brief Inventory of Communication and Cognition"
  • SU "Reading" AND PO "Grades K-6"
  • PU "Literacy" AND SU "Achievement"
  • "brain injury" AND SU "Neuropsychological"

Searching in PsycINFO

PsycINFO has thousands of articles on the use of psychological tests and measures in specific situations or with certain groups. Fortunately, finding these articles is incredibly easy!

Begin by going to PsycINFO. Next to the search box at the top of the screen, you'll see a drop-down menu with the words "Select a Field." Click the menu and scroll until you see "TM Tests & Measures." Select this and type the name of the test in the search box before hitting the "Search" button. 


If you're looking for the tests themselves, sometimes they will be included in the appendices of articles. Add append* in the second row to find these items. 

You can also combine the tests with other search fields, such as keyword searching. Try out a few of the searches below and see what you can find!

  • TM Stanford Binet AND (preschool OR kindergarten)
  • language acquisition AND TM MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories
  • TM Benton Facial Recognition Test AND Alzheimer's
  • TM anxiety AND append*

Searching in CINAHL

CINAHL with Full Text is a great resource to find test reviews (more information about those can be found under the "Finding Tests" tab in the Books and e-Books page of this guide) and research in which the tests have been used. It's also one of the easiest databases to search. 

Finding Test Reviews

On the main search screen, scroll down the page under Search Options. Towards the bottom on the right side, you'll see a box named "Publication Type." Highlight "Research Instrument."  You can leave the search box empty to browse through all of the different test reviews, or you can add keywords for the type of test you're looking for. 

Finding Articles about Psychological Tests

Like PsycINFO, CINAHL has a search field just for tests and measures. In the drop down menu next to the search box, select "IN Instrumentation" from the menu. You can then either type the name of the test in the search box, or you can keyword search for a type of test. 

Try these sample searches to see what CINAHL has to offer. 

  • IN Geriatric Depression Scale AND "Parkinson's Disease"
  • MH Borderline Personality Disorder AND IN Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire
  • (IN Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale OR IN Postpartum Bonding Scale) AND fathers

Searching in MEDLINE

In order to retrieve information on tests and measures from MEDLINE with Full Text, it's important to use MeSH headings when searching. Select "MH Exact Subject Heading" from the drop-down menu next to the search bar.

Try using one or more of the following headings to focus your search:

  • Aptitude tests
  • Language tests 
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Personality tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological tests
  • Psychometrics 
  • Questionnaires

Searching in ERIC

ERIC is the Educational Resources Information Center and contains research on evaluation and assessment, particularly focusing on children. In order to retrieve articles dealing with psychological testing, you simply need to limit the search. On the main ERIC search screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the box entitled "Publication Type" on the left. Select "Tests/Questionnaires" from the list of options.

ERIC limiters for tests and questionnaires

You could also limit to tests and questionnaires by selecting "PU Publication Type" in the drop-down menu next to the search box and entering the phrase "Tests/Questionnaires."

Then, you can either conduct a keyword search for the name of the test, the type of test, or the context (population, problem, and so forth). Note: ERIC is a great resource for finding information about types of tests and contexts, but can be less helpful when you're looking for information on a specific test. 

Try out a few of the sample searches below and see what's available.

  •  PU "Tests/Questionnaires" AND "self esteem" AND anxiety
  •  ("second language acquisition" OR "second language learning") AND PU "Tests/Questionnaires"

Searching in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations can be an excellent resource when you're looking for psychological tests and measures. Authors may use or adapt existing tests or may create their own, which are often included in appendices.

Visit the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Because searching for this specific type of item can take a number of keywords, it's generally easiest to work in the Command Line screen, although using the other search screens will work as well.

Start by entering your search terms for the topic. For example, if you're interested in women's health anxiety, you may type ("health anxiety") AND (wom?n OR female*). Now all you need to do is add another set of keywords to show that you're looking for tests and measures.

Your search may end up looking like this: ("health anxiety") AND (wom?n OR female*) AND (test* OR inventor* OR "rating scale*" OR measurement).

You'll want to use several different keywords to describe tests since they do go by many different names. The abstract will often mention if a particular test was used or developed, or if original research was done. If it doesn't, you may also want to check the PDF itself to see if a copy of any tests are included as appendices.

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