Q. I am designing a correlational study examining the effect of a candidate’s physical attractiveness on voter behavior.

How would I find statistics or surveys on my topic?


One approach to finding information for your correlational study is to start with the library's Psychology Research Guide http://library.uhd.edu/psychology. (To quickly locate that guide from  the library homepage select the Research Guides tab in  the middle of the page. You should see a link for Psychology toward the bottom of the box. The guide is also easily located  through the A-Z  and subject list links in the middle of the box.) Select PsycINFO from the listed databases on the Journals and Databases page of the guide. Next, select the Choose Databases link that you will see on the same line as the name of the database, PsycINFO. You will then see a list of other databases that are options for you to search at the same time.  For example, you may want to also select Academic Search Complete, Gender Studies Database, Political Science Complete, and SocINDEX with Full Text. Try searching by combining some of the following keywords. Be sure to select the Full Text and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals options on the left side of the screen before you submit your search.

attractiveness AND (politicians or candidates)

attractiveness and perceptions

beauty and intelligence

beauty and perceptions

beauty and politics

body image


impression formation

marital status

objectification research

physical attractiveness

physical-appearance-based bias

physical characteristics (human body)

political campaigns

political candidates

political elections

political psychology


presidential candidates

presidential character and competence

public opinion

stereotypes (social psychology)


voting behavior

voting research


objectification research AND voting behavior

political candidates AND elections AND physical-appearance-based bias

There are a couple of approaches you can take to refine your search: the first is to refine the results using the subject terms (or subject thesaurus terms) shown in the left-hand column; the second is to select one or two articles from your results that are the most related to your topic, then use the article's list of cited works or references as your next set of articles to retrieve and view.

The first approach requires you to look at the words and phrases presented as subjects or subject thesaurus terms. There will be a number of terms; pick two or three that you believe are most relevant. You can also use the date-range limiter to limit your results to just a few years, such as 2006-2011. This should help you focus your list of results. You may need to do this several times, trying different subject terms until you see a list of results that is of most interest to you.

The second approach requires you to pick one or two articles from your results. Make sure it is an article you believe strongly applies to your topic. Use the article’s list of works cited, or references, and search for the articles listed. This should greatly help you narrow the papers of interest to just a few.

To find surveys and statistics, just be sure you click the option in the left column for scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals. Most of the articles you get should include surveys and statistics because they’re based on research. They will usually say something in the abstract about doing a survey or using a survey instrument. Their results will include statistics.

To get the articles, click on any link you see to full text, or if there is no full text link, click on “Find this article.” If you want to be sure you see only articles that are full text in the database, click the option in the left column for “full text.”

Another way to start your searching is to select the LibSearch tab from the same Research Tools box in the center of the library homepage. (The Psychology Research Guide also provides a link for LibSearch on the Journals and Databases page.) LibSearch is a powerful database that searches across  the library's resources. You can start by typing in  some of the suggested terms from above. Once you have your results, you can limit your search to scholarly articles by clicking "Limit to articles from scholarly publications, including peer-review" located on the left side of the page. Also select "U of H Downtown" under Library Location and consider whether you want to select other options available on the left side of the page to further refine your search. To access an article, click on the article title, which should take you to the article information page. Look for the link to the full-text PDF. 

You may want to also take a look at our video tutorial for LibSearch

  • Last Updated Dec 03, 2018
  • Views 232
  • Answered By UHD Librarian

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