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Conducting a Lit Review in HDFS: Tests & Measures


Identifying and evaluating

Finding and evaluating tests and measures used in behavioral science studies can be tricky, but the library has resources to help.

Here are some video tutorials to get you started. Resources mentioned in the video are linked below, and you can hover over the information icon for more details. Additional help is available on this research guide.

Finally, for more help on using Mental Measurements Yearbook review to evaluate a test, see this guide from the Buros Center for Testing.

Finding full text

Finding full text of instruments (the actual test or measure, rather than a review or summary) can be a bit of a treasure hunt. Many instruments are proprietary (owned by someone) and require a fee. It completely depends on the instrument, though, so here are some tips:

  1. Decide if you actually need full text.
    Research articles using the test or measure will often include enough sample questions that you'll have a good enough sense of what the instrument is like. Some articles even include full instruments as an appendix at the end of the article, but this is not common. If you are planning on using the test or measure in a real study (undergraduate research included), you definitely need the full text. If research articles don't give you enough of a snapshot to understand the test or measure, you may want the full text.
  2. Check PsycTESTS.
    This database contains full text of some tests and measures.
    (To streamline your search, be sure to only select PsycTESTS as the database to search at the top of the home page.)
  3. Search for the name of the test or measure in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
    Sometimes doctoral and master's students will include full instruments in one of the appendices at the end of their document. Skim through the table of contents at the start of a thesis or dissertation to quickly tell if there's a test or measure in an appendix.
  4. Contact your librarian.
    Your subject librarian can always help you search!



To cite a review of a test (from Mental Measurements Yearbook or Tests in Print), see this guide from the publisher with examples.

To cite the test or measure itself, follow the guidelines on this APA Style Blog post, "How to cite a psychological test in APA style."

Open access measures

Some federal agencies and research and professional organizations have publicly-available measures. Examples include the following: