Welcome to the Psychology Research Guide! This guide contains information on how to research and find resources in the Jessie C. Eury Library in order to complete assignments for Psychology. For additional resources, consult the Counseling guide listed below.
Some assignments may specify you need to use primary sources or indicate you need to use a primary source and a secondary source. So the question is, what is a primary source and a secondary source?
A primary source is an original source or a first-hand account of an event. In many fields, the original writings of the specific theorist, philosopher, or scientist are considered a primary source. For example, original writings by Sigmund Freud in psychology or Soren Kierkegaard in philosophy would be considered primary sources. Letters, diaries, legal documents, audio or visual recordings, and eyewitness accounts in newspapers are primary sources. In some fields, empirical research where the results of an experiment or study are reported is also a primary source.
A secondary source is a source about a primary source. A secondary source may provide commentary, explanation, insight, or evaluation of a primary source. A secondary source should cite the original primary source being discussed.
As always, if you have questions regarding if an item is a primary source, particularly as it may differ from discipline to discipline, inquire with your professor.
In a hurry? Use the search box below to search PsycINFO, PsycBooks, and PyscARTICLES simultaneously.
PsycPort, provided by APA, highlights psychology in the news.