Skip to main content

Applied Psychology: Background Info

This guide organizes the most important resources for students in Steinhardt's Applied Psychology programs.

About this page

Reference works, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, provide background information on a topic and are especially useful at the beginning of a research project. They can help you:

  • get an overview of a topic
  • gather fast facts
  • define terms, theories, and people in an area
  • focus your argument
  • find further readings written by experts in the field

This page highlights reference works in the field of applied psychology.  Reference works in general psychology are on a separate page of this guide. 

Reference Works on Cultural and Social Context

Below is a selection of reference titles for background information about a particular cultural group, religion, and/or nation.  

To access these works and more, search for them by title OR browse for them under the "Nation and World," "Religion," and/or "History" categories in Gale Virtual Reference Library.

In addition, Credo Reference is an excellent general source of background information on various subjects, including individual cultural groups. 

Online Reference Works in Applied Psychology

International Education Reference Works

Researching a topic on international education?  

Be sure to check out the reference works on this page of the International and Comparative Education research guide!

DSM Online

The newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, called the DSM-5, is now available.  


For a PRINT copy, see the title's GetIt page for locations and call number.  

For an ONLINE copy, use the link above.


Oxford University Press Online

Reviews of Research & Book Reviews

Review materials are a good way to familiarize yourself with trends and key ideas in current psychology. These are usually annual or monthly cumulations of articles or citations to articles that give you a brief summary of research and findings.

  • Annual Review of Psychology
    1950 to date. Articles review significant developments in the field of psychology, including: biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, cognitive processes, animal learning and behavior, human development, psychopathology, clinical and counseling psychology, social psychology, personality, environmental psychology, community psychology, and more.

  • Annual Review of Clinical Psychology
    2005 to date. Articles provide comprehensive reviews of significant developments in the field of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry. The journal covers research, theory, and the application of psychological principles to address recognized disorders, including schizophrenia, mood, anxiety, childhood, substance use, cognitive, and personality disorders. Chapters also address broader issues cross-cutting the field, such as diagnosis, treatment, social policy, and cross-cultural and legal issues

  • Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics
    1980 to date. Articles discuss contemporary issues and review research on the physical, social, and mental processes of aging.
    Critical reviews of books, films and other media relevant to psychology. It replaces the print journal Contemporary Psychology and the database contains the contents of the journal's backfiles.
  • Book Review Digest Plus
    Indexes reviews of current fiction and non-fiction.  Dates of coverage: 1983 to present.