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Media Psych Certificate Resources: Brand Psychology Resources

Using this page

On this page, you will find additional e-book and journal titles recommendations related specifically to the brand psychology certificate.  You will also find a walkthrough of a sample search related to a brand psychology topic.  The walkthrough will explain choosing terms, building a search, narrowing your results, and advanced search strategies.

e-Books in our Collection

Sample Search Walkthrough

Use the tabs in this box to walk through a sample search query.  This is meant to give you some ideas of how you can use our databases to search for materials, refine your results, and access items of interest. 

Step 1: Choose where to search

You saw some great resource suggestions on the previous pages of this guide. You can either choose to search in a subject-specific database related to business/management topics, or you can begin in FASTsearch. Remember, FASTsearch searches through  most of our database content at once, so it will usually take some refining to narrow in on the items you want.

For this sample search we will use Communication and Mass Media Complete, a database from EBSCO. To connect, first follow the 'Journals, Books and Databases' link on the main library website:

Then choose 'Communication and Mass Media Complete' (or whichever resource you prefer) from the alphabetical list.

Before plugging in search terms, it can be a good idea to brainstorm some synonyms for the terms you plan to use.  For example, imagine you are researching the relationship between storytelling and brand. Try jotting down a few alternative ways to describe each of your terms; these can be broader terms, narrower terms, or synonyms:

Brand                                                                     Storytelling                         

brand names                                                          narrative                    

brand loyalty                                                           story

product line                                                            anecdote/anecdotal


Thinking of synonyms before-hand will let you find more results which are still relevant to your topic by giving you some alternate language to use in your searches. You can always discover additional search language by looking at the keywords and subject headings used to describe the articles you find most useful.

You will usually want to use the 'Advanced Search' page (databases and FASTsearch have advanced search features). The advanced page will give you more control over your search, increasing your chances of finding relevant results. 

You can either use the pre-built structure in the database to enter your terms, or you can enter them all in one line.  We'll show an example of each. 

Pre-Built Structure

This strategy is particularly useful if you want to specify different search fields (i.e. author, title, abstract, etc.) for your terms:

Single Line

You can use this strategy if you're looking for all of your terms in the same field. When you start to use more advanced techniques, searching in a single line becomes a bit like building a math equation. Some researchers enjoy this strategy while others will prefer using set structures. 

Search Results

This search yielded 45 results in total, 25 of which are scholarly journal articles.  Here is a screenshot of some of the results returned:

Most databases, including FASTsearch, will provide options to narrow your results on the left side of the screen. Some of the most common ways to filter results are to limit to a certain source type (such as scholarly journals) or to limit to a certain date range (such as articles published in the last five years):

There are also more advanced filtering options. You may want to spend a little time getting familiar with these other filters and seeing how they can improve your results. Of particular note is the 'subject' filter.  If you click on the link to 'more options' you can select multiple items from these lists to include or exclude in your search, which is a quick way to target those items most relevant to your research:

You may have noticed that we enclosed the term "social media" in quotation marks in our sample search.  This is one of many quick search tips, called 'phrase searching', which can dramatically alter the results you find. This is a brief run-down of a few other tips, but we would recommend checking out either our Quick Tip Videos blog page or our Library Research Methods guidefor full details. 

Phrase Searching

Enclose multi-word search terms in quotation marks to find exact phrases. Example: "social media".  If you do not enclose phrases in quotes, the database simply assumes you are looking for both terms, but it does not know you wish to find them together in a certain order.


Use an asterisk at the end of a root word to find multiple endings. You will place the asterisk at the point at which you may start seeing variation. For example: brand*.  This search would return results such as: brands, brand, branding, etc.

Proximity Search

Find terms physically near each other in a record without specifying their order. Different databases use different syntax so check their help features. In ProQuest, you build a proximity search by connecting your terms with a capital 'N', a forward slash, and then a number representing how close together you want to find the terms. 

For example: organization* N/3 feedback

This search specifies that I would like to find a version of the word 'organization' within three words (or less) of the term 'feedback'. Some sample results from this search include things like:

  • organizational learning from performance feedback
  • feedback for practitioners and organizations
  • feedback into the organizational decision-making process

***It's important to remember that this search function only specifies how close you find the words, but not the context. It will be highly useful for some searches and may not be helpful for others, so you will only want to use it in some cases.


Remember those synonyms we brainstormed earlier? Nesting is a strategy that will allow you to search for multiple synonyms in one go so you don't have to run as many searches. To nest terms, you will enclose them in parentheses and separate them using the operator 'OR'. 

For example: ("social media" OR "online social networks" OR Twitter OR Facebook") 

The database knows that it can find any one of those terms to bring back a match. 

**Note, you will almost always nest terms and add in additional keywords.  You can see this in the image below:


e-Journals in our Collection

Journal: Social Marketing Quarterly

Database: SAGE Premier

Full-Text Access: From 1999 - Present

Journal: Journal of Brand Management

Database: ABI/Inform Complete

Full-Text Access: From 9/1/2000 - 1 Year Ago

Journal: Journal of Consumer Psychology

Database: Social and Behavioural Sciences/Science Direct

Full-Text Access: 1995 - Present