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PsycINFO Thesaurus

 
 
A thesaurus provides a standard language or set of terms with which to describe a subject area. Applied to indexing of a database, it indicates to a searcher which terms to use to retrieve the maximum number of relevant documents.

The thesaurus terms are used by indexers to describe the contents of publications in a consistent, comprehensive and concise manner. These terms are listed in the Descriptors field (DE=) of each record added to the database.

Using our interactive Thesaurus Search you can browse for terms via a hierarchical, alphabetical, or rotated index display. These display formats allow you to navigate the thesaurus alphabetically or through the hierarchical relationships between terms. After finding appropriate terms, you can submit a search for those terms in the database descriptor field.

The PsycINFO Thesaurus file consists of more than 8200 records derived from the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 11th edition (2007). The terms in the Thesaurus file correspond to those appearing in the Descriptor fields (Major Descriptors identified by an *).

Thesaurus Features

  • Includes more than 8,200 standard and cross-referenced terms.
  • New terms are mapped back to all relevant records in APA's databases spanning all years.
  • Scope notes define the terms.
  • Historical notes include information about the historical usage of terms since their introduction.
  • Term hierarchies show the relationship to other terms.
  • Posting notes tell how many times the term has been used in APA database records when the Thesaurus was published.
  • The year indicates when the term was added to the Thesaurus.
  • 1. Hierarchy of Terms

      The relationships between descriptors are:

      Scope Note - Used with terms that have ambiguous meanings, applications unique to the PsycINFO database, or usage patterns that have changed over time. In many cases, a Scope Note provides a definition and/or information on proper use of the term. The Scope Note always refers to the Main Term with which it is associated and does not necessarily have implications for the list of associated terms.
      Broader Term - indicates a term which is conceptually broader in meaning than the lead-term.
      Narrower Term - indicates a term which is conceptually narrower in meaning than the lead-term.
      Related Term - indicates a term which is related in meaning to the lead-term.
      [+] = Term indicated is listed as a main term with narrower terms available

    2. Synonyms

      Use - Directs from a term that cannot be used to a term that can be used to search.
      Use for - Indicates some of the most frequently encountered synonyms, abbreviations, alternate spellings or word sequences.

    For more information on the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, please visit here.