Skip to main content

Psychology: A Research Guide: Encyclopedias
& Dictionaries--General

Psychology research resources are available in several libraries on the Cornell campus. The strongest collections are in Olin Library and Mann Library. This guide lists major reference works in psychology. Click on the TABS to access each section.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries - General

Colman, Andrew M. A Dictionary of Psychology. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015.
(Online. Print version: Olin Reference BF 31 .C65 2015)

An authoritative and up-to-date dictionary covers all branches of psychology. Clear, concise descriptions for each entry offer extensive coverage of key areas including cognition, sensation and perception, emotion and motivation, learning and skills, language, mental disorder, and research methods. Over 9,500 entries.

The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 4th ed. 4 volumes. New York: Wiley, 2010.
(Online. Print version: Olin Reference BF 31 .E56 2010)

The latest update of this comprehensive encyclopedia that includes both brief descriptive and biographical entries and longer analytical essays. Entries are individually authored, and often include cross-references and bibliographies. Volume 4 contains brief biographies for all the article authors and the author and subject indexes for the whole set.

Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. New York: Spring, 2014.
(Online only)

Contents: Introduction -- Definition -- History -- Traditional debates -- Critical debates -- International relevance -- Practice relevance -- Future directions -- Further readings -- Cross references -- Web-based information.

The Encyclopedia of Human Emotions. Eds., David Levinson, James J. Ponzetti, Jr., Peter F. Jorgensen. 2 volumes. New York: Macmillan Reference, 1999.
(Olin Reference BF 531 .E55x 1999)

Contains 146 alphabetical entries, written by academic researchers who study emotions or treat emotional disorders. Entries include bibliographies for further research.

Kazdin, Alan E., ed. The Encyclopedia of Psychology. 8 volumes. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.
(Olin Reference BF 31 .E52x 2000)

Rivalled Corsini as the primary encyclopedia of psychology in 2001, but now becoming dated. Regards itself as "unmatched in... scope, scholarship, and expertise." (Preface) Includes biographical entries.

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
Ed. Neil J. Smelser, Paul B. Baltes. 26 volumes. New York: Elsevier, 2001- .
Online edition is regularly updated. Print version: (Olin Reference H 41 .I58x 2001).

The best current subject encyclopedia embracing all disciplines in the social sciences. Includes several thousand signed articles, over 90,000 bibliographic references and 150 biographical entries.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. 9 volumes. New York: Macmillan Reference, 2008.
Online. Print version: Olin Reference H 40 .A2 I61 2008)

Revised and updated edition of the 17-volume International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences that appeared in 1968. A standard and reliable resource.

The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Ed. Robert A. Wilson and Frank C. Keil. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999.
(Olin Reference BF 311 .M556x 1999)

An interdisciplinary encyclopedia that uses research from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, evolutionary biology, computer science, and ethology to build a detailed cognitive science perspective. Detailed and technical.

The Oxford Companion to the Mind. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford UP, 2004.
(Online. Print version: Olin Reference BF 31 .O94 2004)

Provides signed definitions by numerous authorities on various aspects of the mind, including psychology, biology, and philosophy. Longer articles include references for further reading. There are selected biographies and useful illustrations and diagrams.

Popplestone, John A. Dictionary of Concepts in General Psychology. New York: Greenwood, 1988.
(Mann Stacks BF 31 .P83 1988)

Explains the major organizing concepts and ideas in the field of psychology. Lengthy articles give the historical development of the concept and its current meaning. Useful bibliographies with each article trace the history and development of each idea/concept.

Ramachandran, V. S., ed. Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. 4 volumes. San Diego: Academic Press, 1994.
(Olin Reference BF 31 .E54 1994; also Mann)

Lengthy, signed essays written by acknowledged experts in the field present an overview of research on each topic. Each essay provides a concise selected bibliography. Now somewhat dated.

Roeckelein, Jon E. Dictionary of Theories, Laws, and Concepts in Psychology. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998.
(Olin Reference BF 31 .R625x 1998)

A companion and update to Popplestone's Dictionary of Concepts in General Psychology.

Web Accessibility Assistance