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PSY 3213C - Research Methods in Psychology (Valencia Connect Campuses)

Empirical Study Definition

The APA defines an empirical study as a "Study based on facts, systematic observation, or experiment, rather than theory or general philosophical principle." An empirical research article reports on the results of research that uses data collected from observation or experiment. Empirical research articles are primary research articles.


An empirical study will include: 

  • an abstract
  • an introduction
  • a method section
  • a result section
  • a discussion/conclusion section
  • a list of references


To search for Empirical Studies in PsycInfo:

  • Type your search terms into the search boxes.

  • On the Advanced Search screen, scroll down to Methodology, and select EMPIRICAL STUDY.

  • Click Search.

Empirical study selection in PsycInfo