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My initial investigation started with using the SUMMON in the Capella library. I


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My initial investigation started with using the SUMMON in the Capella library. I began using search terms and questions relevant to my specialization and the area I wanted to study. The search results were primarily insignificant to what I wanted and did not appear to read what I typed. After a few days, I decided that this was not going to be helpful to me. I went to the Tools and Resources tab in our classroom and clicked on the program library guide for developmental psychology. I looked over the top journal’s section and clicked on Developmental Psychology, and connected to the APA PsychArticles-Publication Database, where I could search this specific publication by year. I did not find this helpful at all and quickly abandoned this search. It is a valuable tool if I am looking for a particular year to study, but time-consuming to go through each year and search by keywords.
I went back to the program library guide and looked over the APA resources. I clicked on the APA PsycInfo database, clicked on the choose database section, and selected APA PsycArticles, SocINDEX with Full Text, and ERIC. There was a total of 8 available articles, and I realized I would need to include more databases and more keywords. I went back to the databases box and added Academic Search Premier, Education Research Complete, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, APA PsycTests, and OpenDissertations. I updated my keywords to emerging adults, coronavirus pandemic impact, and life choices. I received 28 articles in this search but realized I did not click peer-reviewed. Once I selected peer-reviewed, my total dropped down to 20 articles. The articles that I viewed in this search did not fulfill my needs or match my needs for my research. I was able to look for more keywords under the heading “Subjects,” and I began a list of keywords to use in my future research.
I went back to the search box and this time searched ‘young adults or college students or emerging adults,’ and ‘coronavirus or covid-19 or 2019-ncov’ and ‘psychological impact or psychological effect or emotional effect.’ I was able to produce 868 articles, and this was enough for me to be satisfied to begin my readings. Once I started my readings, I noticed that the articles did not discuss life changes. I went back to the search field and added dropout rates to my keywords which produced 18 articles. It allowed my search to focus on a major life change which narrowed my topic down. I was not surprised by the fewer articles, but I learned how to find what I was looking for, which allowed me to stop searching and start working on the assignment.
What did you learn from this process? Describe specifically any major discoveries or realizations that changed your thinking about the topic. Provide one detailed example of your experience with a particular source.
The process was time-consuming and overwhelming. I am used to looking for journal articles but not on a topic that is so new and therefore does not have a lot studied or researched. I also learned that making a keyword list will help me save time when looking for research already conducted in the area I want to study. One significant discovery I had was the number of studies that have been undertaken so far with the Coronavirus. I was afraid that there was not going to be a lot out there and almost abandoned the idea of studying the current Pandemic. When my one search gathered 868 articles, I was intrigued and wanted to dive in and read them all.
One article discussed the COVID-19 shutdown and how it affected the dropout rate in disengaged high school students (Antoni, 2021). The article gave a comprehensive literature review on the topic, provided keywords, and guided me to narrow down my search. One example was learning the different words for COVID-19. I did not know that it was also now called 2019 ncov. After I entered ncov into the APA PsycINFO database, more articles became available on my topic.
Upon reading the literature review, I realized how extensive my research would be, but it brought me to hope that I could look at different life choices in the area I wanted to study. For example, I was looking up life choices as a keyword and recognized this was too broad and I need to narrow my keywords down to specific life choices, i.e. dropout rate, career change, and marital status. The format of the article helped me break down my keywords and put them into specific categories and headings. Once I began to play around with these categories, I became excited to find the information I needed for the assignment.
How did the readings help you in your investigation? In particular, what kind of impact did Chapters 5 and 6 in your Critical Thinking in Psychology text have on your thinking process?
The readings allowed me to be more aware of any possible bias in the current studies. Due to COVID 2019 being such a new phenomenon, testimonials are often a way to collect data. We must not take testimonials as fact so early on in collecting any new data regarding this virus because it can lead to false beliefs (Ruscio, 2006). The sensitivity around the Pandemic is high in our country and therefore under a significant amount of scrutiny. I read the articles and had to look at them from an unbiased opinion and challenged my choices on selecting an article. I did not want to choose an article purposely because I believed it followed the current popular belief in one area. By following the current popular belief, I expose myself to blind obedience, which can cause me not to have a thorough literature review in my work (Ruscio, 2006). I will need to be mindful of bias during this time as I research articles that rely on testimonials or my own biased belief about the virus.
What would you do differently? If you were asked to conduct a similar search six months from now, what would you change about your approach? Why?
One of the first things I would have done would have been to look up synonyms of my keywords. Once I recognized that COVID-19 has several synonyms to it, I was able to find so much more in that area. I feel like that was a lightbulb that went off in my head, and the assignment became a lot easier for me to finish. I would have started with a free association exercise because I had so much mental block I could not move beyond my original search. Once I recognized my search would be multidimensional, it became a much easier assignment to tackle and complete.
Antoni, J. (2021). Disengaged and nearing departure: Students at risk for dropping out in the age of covid-19. Planning & Changing, 50(3/4), 117–137.
Ruscio, J. (2006). Critical thinking in psychology: Separating sense from nonsense (2nd ed.). Wadsworth, Cengag


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