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This guide will introduce you to resources that you can use when researching and studying Psychology.

What is Research Data?

Data can be an important part of research. It comes in many different formats and can be collected using a variety of methodologies. Data is typically described as being in one of two categories: qualitative or quantitative.

Qualitative data is usually non-numeric and is used to describe characteristics or qualities. This type of data is typically collected through observation, focus groups, or interviews. An example of a Qualitative research project would be if you wanted to find out why students prefer eating at G&T's over The Commons. To make this determination you might choose to interview 15 people and then read over your interview transcript and try to find overlapping themes or ideas that guide each student's decision. 

Quantitative data is numerical and is used when a researcher wants to quantify or measure something. Quantitative data is collected through surveys or measurements and can be analyzed through statistical analysis. An example of a Quantitative research project would be if you wanted to determine the average snowfall at W&J during JayTerm. Each day you would record the amount of snowfall in a spreadsheet or other data collection tool and then at the end of the month you would analyze your data and report the average daily snowfall for the term. 

Both of the examples above, illustrate research projects in which the researcher collects their own data. However, many research projects use data that has already been collected by others. This data can be found in many places in library databases and on the open web. Below are a few suggestions for where you might find helpful data. 

Statistical Databases

The library subscribes to a couple of statistical databases, which are good places to start.


Think about where you might find the type of information you are looking for, and what type of organization might be collecting and sharing that information.

Examples include government agencies, non-profit organizations, or lobbying groups to name a few. 

Non-profit organizations, think tanks, and policy groups

Inter-governmental organizations

Hint: Look for tabs or options on the website for "data," "statistics," "reports," or "publications."