Skip to Main Content
George Mason University Infoguides | University Libraries
See Updates and FAQss for the latest library services updates.


References - What are they?

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, manuals and handbooks are called reference books. When do you need them?

For example, you may want to find out how certain terms or concepts are used in psychology. Let's use "happiness" as an example. If you want to explore how "happiness" is defined and measured in psychological research, consulting an entry on "Happiness" in the Encyclopedia of the Mind is a great way to start. 

While encyclopedias and dictionaries are usually organized alphabetically, handbooks cover more specific topics. If you want to explore the main concepts in a specific subfield of psychology, handbooks will be more useful than encyclopedias.

To find other encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and manuals that are not listed here, check out the Books tab on the left.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Handbooks and Manuals

APA Handbooks

APA (American Psychology Association) Handbooks in Psychology are reference books on a variety of topics across the behavioral and social sciences.  You can find them in the Mason Catalog