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Educational and Psychological Instruments

Links to databases and other resources for finding educational and psychological instruments. Also provides explanations, search tips, and other advice for locating and using instruments.

Welcome

In Education and Psychology, "instruments" are questionnaires and other items that are used to study human attitudes or behaviors. They are sometimes called "measures," "scales," "surveys," or "tests." 

Finding educational/psychological instruments is challenging. No database provides free, full-text copies of every item. Also, depending on the people you want to study and what you want to learn about them, there could be hundreds of instruments available. Instruments can be difficult to track down, because some creators publish their instruments in books and journal articles, while others have sold their tests to publishing companies.

This guide is only a starting point for finding instruments. If you need additional help, contact Ellysa Cahoy (University Park, ellysa@psu.edu), Bernadette Lear (Harrisburg / World Campus, BAL19@psu.edu), or a librarian at your location. 

Finding a Few Questions Fast

If you are working on a simple class assignment and just about any instrument will help, try these:

Sources of Freely Available Instruments

Poll Questions

If you are interested in people’s attitudes toward education, health, race, or other social issues, try public opinion polls. 

CAUTION: These databases contain questions dating back to the 1930s, as well as recent surveys. Also, these databases do not provide information about whether the questions are reliable, valid, or well-designed.