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Finding Cultural Theories: Overview


This guide will help you identify a theory and locate articles relating to the culture you wish to examine.  

By the end of this guide you will be able to: 

  • identify search terms for your topic
  • search for cultural articles in a library database
  • locate information on theories and theorists in research articles, reference books, and on the web

More Information

Identifying search terms

Before you begin searching, pick out the main concepts from the assignment details. Good search terms will often be the suggested nouns. In the case of this assignment, most of the key search terms are stated clearly, although you may need to adjust them to retrieve relevant results.

See our Choosing your topic guide to learn how to do this. You can also try some of these suggestions, focusing appropriate combinations:

  • Cultur*

*Note: This asterisks (*) is a truncation device and will ask the database to search for culture, cultures, and cultural

  • Cross-cultural  
  • Identity
  • Personality
  • Human development
  • Morality
  • Gender
  • Aggression
  • Theor*

*Note: This asterisks (*) is a truncation device and will ask the database to search for theorytheories, and theoretical

Finding Cultural Theories & Theorists Through Research Articles

Research articles can provide a gateway for the discovery of theorists and theories. Below are two demonstrations of how to begin this type of research. 

Theorist Search in PsycINFO

(1 min 18 sec) Recorded February 2016

For this course, you can use a database focused on the subject area of Psychology, such as PsycINFO

Follow the steps below to search for peer-reviewed articles in PsycINFO:

1. On the Library homepage, click on Databases A-Z. 

2. Click on P and scroll down to PsycINFO.

Log in with your myWalden email and password. 

3. Now you are on a search screen with three Search boxes. We will break your topic down into just keywords and type one concept or keyword(s) per box. Let's use the example topic of African American cultural theory:

In the first search box type:  cultural theor*

In the second search box type: African American

4. Under the search boxes, click inside the check mark boxes for "Full Text" and "Peer Reviewed".

5. Click the Search button.


Do you see some articles that will work for your research?

Your results are all articles from peer-reviewed journals. Click the PDF or HTML Full Text links for an article you want to view in full text.

You can repeat these steps in some of the other databases listed on the Psychology page, or

explore different keyword choices to further refine your search.

For more help saving a PDF, visit the Saving - PDF Help guide.