Doing Research in Education

What are Empirical Studies?

The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines empirical as: "derived from or denoting experimentation or systematic observations as the basis for conclusion or determination, as opposed to speculative, theoretical, or exclusively reason-based approaches" (p. 327).

Therefore, an empirical study is one based on "facts, systematic observation, or experiment, rather than theory or general philosophical principle" (APA Databases Methodology Field Values).

Finding Empirical Studies in PsycInfo

It is easy to find empirical studies in PsycInfo.

On the Advanced Search screen, scroll down to near the bottom of the screen and choose "Empirical Study" from the Methodology limit box:

methodology limit

If you have already done a search, look for the filter for Methodology on the left side of the search results screen:

methodology filter

Using PsycInfo to Find Peer-Reviewed, Empirical Studies

For additional PsycInfo search tips, see this YouTube playlist