Boolean operators allow you to expand or narrow your search as needed.

Note that Boolean operators are case sensitive; they must be typed in all caps.

Combine search concepts to narrow (“AND”) or broaden (“OR”) results. Use “NOT” to exclude records from retrieval.

Operator
Example
Retrieval
AND
Learning AND Motivation
Both terms (Narrows the search)
OR
Learning OR Motivation
Either or both terms (Broadens the search)
NOT
Learning NOT Motivation
Excludes those with Motivation (Narrows the search)

If you enter the following

Screenshot showing Advanced Search screen with Boolean AND, NOT, and AND being used in search

The search engine will…

Screenshot showing PsycNET search results page for a Boolean search

You can change the search by grouping concepts within parentheses.

Screenshot showing PsycNET Advanced Search screen with learning disorders exact search and two AND queries with a NOT used in one of them

Note the subtle difference in scope between the search above and this search, where the search engine will…

Screenshot showing the PsycNET Search Results page after a search with Booleans was run

If you wish to group concepts, but are searching multiple fields, enter concepts on individual rows and select the field from the drop-down menu. For example:

Screenshot of the PsycNET Advanced Search fields with Boolean ANDs used for Title, Author, and Index Term fields

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