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Accordion List

The Psychology Department and the Graduate Group in Psychology offer instruction on both the undergraduate (B.A.) and graduate (Ph.D.) levels. Resources and expertise are available for the study of a wide range of topics. Among them are behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, judgment, decision making and processes, developmental psychology, memory and learning, sensation and perception, evolutionary psychology, positive psychology, psychopathology and psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and social and cultural psychology..

The department boasts the world's first psychological clinic founded in 1896 and the development of clinical psychology as a specialization. At present there is an APA-accredited clinical psychology program. The graduate program prepares students for scientific and scholarly research and teaching. Students are expected to develop scholarly breadth in psychology as well as a specific area of research competence.

Doctoral level students have the option to pursue joint degrees, such as the J.D./Ph.D. Psychology, the M.D./Ph.D. Psychology, and the joint Ph.D. in Marketing and Psychology. There is no terminal master’s degree within the Psychology department.

Penn programs outside of the Psychology department are also target audiences of psychology collections. Professional programs in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies include the popular Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program and the Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics (MSOD) program. The former informs collections-based decisions in positive psychology, especially aided by the Howard R. Jachman Memorial Fund, and the latter in the realm of industrial-organizational psychology. In 2015, Penn initiated an undergraduate minor in Psychoanalytic Studies, with interdisciplinary faculty expertise in anthropology, English literature, history, psychiatry, philosophy, and other fields. The Fanny & Michael Pertnoy Endowed Fund for Psychoanalytic Studies supports collecting in this field.

The broad nature of the discipline is evident in the department's various collaborations. It plays a pivotal role in two important interdisciplinary efforts on campus — cognitive science and neuroscience. It has active ties to the Schools of Medicine (especially anatomy and psychiatry) and Engineering (especially computer and information sciences), the Wharton School (especially decision sciences, marketing, and statistics), the Graduate School of Education (especially the Language in Education and Psychology in Education Divisions), and to numerous Arts and Sciences Departments, most notably Anthropology, Biology, Linguistics, Music, and Philosophy. Research centers such as the Center for Neuroscience and Society, the Center for Cognitive Therapy, the Mind Center for Outreach, Research, and Education (MindCORE), and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics promote interdisciplinary research and graduate training.

The University's physical psychology collection is housed primarily in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and Holman Biotech Commons. A substantial portion of the historical collection is housed in LIBRA, including complete and near-complete runs of now-fully online psychology journals. The Penn Libraries maintains a massive virtual presence in psychology collections with ebooks and material in online journals and databases. Other material also regularly used includes anthropology (GN), sociology (HM-HX), some public aspects of medicine (RA), neurology, psychiatry, and psychopathology (RC), pediatrics (RJ), and animal behavior (QL). The focus of the Van Pelt collection is on method and theory, developmental psychology, comparative psychology, cognition, feeling and emotion, intelligence, perception, positive psychology, psychoanalysis, psycholinguistics, and senses and sensation. Together with the Lippincott Library, a good collection of applied and organizational psychology exists. Together with the collections at Holman, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, and the neurosciences are covered.

The publications of government and intergovernmental organizations which contain primary data and policy information are also very important. The University of Pennsylvania is a partial depository for U.S. government documents which includes important technical reports and federally-sponsored surveys from agencies such as the NIH.

The Penn Libraries subscribes to many databases and e-journals related to psychology. A number of them come from the American Psychological Association: APA PsycInfo (bibliographic index), APA PsycTests (tests and measures index), APA PsycBooks (ebook fulltext), APA PsycArticles (fulltext journal articles), and APA PsycTherapy (streaming video of clinical and counseling content) are among those included. Of equal importance are databases in medicine, such as access to MEDLINE via PubMed+ and Ovid, which we provide. For scholars of psychoanalysis, we subscribe to Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEPWeb), the predominant electronic collection of the field. Other interdisciplinary and related databases include Sociological Abstracts + Social Services Abstracts, Social Work Abstracts, ERIC, Education Source, CINAHL, and other interdisciplinary databases related to business, technology, education, policy, and medicine.

Penn provides online access to the DSM Library, a product issued by the American Psychiatric Association which provides access to not only the most current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the DSM-5 and DSM-5-TR, but prior versions as well. This manual remains the primary diagnostic tool for psychologists in practice.

Tests and other assessment instruments are discoverable through a number of online databases: APA PsycTests, Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI), and Mental Measurements Yearbook + Tests in Print (MMYB + TIP). Individual instruments are currently not collected due to access restrictions placed by test publishers.

1. Chronological


2. Formats

Books and journals are primarily collected, predominantly in electronic format. As currency is of particular importance in the field, journals are central to teaching and research and are heavily relied upon. In cases where full runs of journals are available online, such as in the case of many APA journals, print runs have been moved to LIBRA storage. The publications of relevant research institutes, technical reports, and working papers from major series are also considered. Textbooks are not usually considered unless requested.

3. Geographical

Not applicable.

4. Language

Although there are no limitations as to which languages the library collects, English language publications dominate the field and represent the largest portion of the collection. Materials in other languages are obtained selectively with particular attention to major historical and theoretical works, areas where Penn has historical strengths or research is ongoing.

5. Publication Dates

Emphasis is on current materials. This reflects both scholarly use patterns and budgetary constraints. Retrospective collection is done selectively to fill in gaps, in response to requests, or with a concern for the history of the discipline.

The interdisciplinary character of psychology results in materials being acquired from widely diverse sources. Approval plans, standing orders, publisher notifications, user request, and regular review of the scholarly literature account for most of the material purchased. Although many publications of university and domestic presses come primarily on the approval plans, faculty contact and review of the scholarly literature are crucial to obtaining all relevant materials in a timely manner. This is especially true for some types of reports, research institute publications and the important secondary literature.

Subject Level Location
Behaviorism, Neo-behaviorism, Functionalism Research level  
Clinical Psychology Research level  
Cognitive Psychology Research level  
Cognitive Science Research level with Engineering
Comparative Psychology Research level  
Consciousness, Cognition, Perception, Intuition Research level with Holman
Creative Processes, Imagination, Invention Research level  
Developmental Psychology Research level  
Differential Psychology, Individuality, Self Research level  
Feeling and Emotion Research level with Holman
General Works, Addresses, Essays, Lectures Research level  
Gestalt Psychology Research level  
Industrial and Applied Psychology Research level with Lippincott, Engineering
Intelligence and Intelligence Testing Research level with Holman
Learning and Conditioning Research level with Holman
Memory Research level with Holman
Methodology and Research Research level  
Mind and Body Research level  
Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology Research level with Holman
Neuropsychopharmacology Research level with Holman
Personality, Temperament, Character Research level  
Physiological Psychology Research level with Holman
Psychoanalytic Theory Research level with Holman
Psychological Tests and Testing Basic information level  
Senses and Sensation Research level with Holman, Math/Physics, Engineering
Sexual Behavior, Sex Roles, Sex Differences Research level  
Social Psychology Research level  
Statistics, Mathematical Psychology, Computer Applications Research level with Math/Physics and Engineering
Thought and Thinking, Psychology of Meaning, Psycholinguistics Research level  

Brief therapy is collected under Social Work, rather than under Psychology.