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Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology

Sample Topic: Burnout

You're interested in burnout as a consequence of work related stress. This is a very broad topic and reading and studying previous research will help you find a focus. 

Let's explore the topic by utilizing different types of resources as detailed below. This method can also be applied to any topic you choose. For additional research help, please contact Young-Joo Lee at

Source Type 1 - Reference Books

Finding "burnout" in the reference books on I-O Psychology is challenging. Below is one of the ways you can try.

First, go to the Mason catalog

Then, click on the Advanced Search button below the search button. 

In the Advanced Search page, enter the following search terms:

Contains "burnout"

AND title contains "industrial or organizational"

AND title contains "encyclopedia"

Then, select "Reference Entries" from the list of filters on the left to limit the search. 

Source Type 2- Books

To find books on burnout at work, try following searches and compare the results:

  • burnout AND work AND psychology (click here to see search results)
  • burnout AND (industrial OR organizational OR job) AND psychology (click here to see those search results)

The above searches will yield too many results to browse therefore it is recommended that you add one or more keywords that are of interest to you such as:

  • burnout AND work AND (management OR prevention) AND psychology (click here to see those search results)

The final step is to limit the results to only books. To do so, use the filter on the left and choose Books under the Resource Types filter. 

Click here to see those search results. 

Source Type 3 - Journals

To find journal articles, your search has to be more specific. Try to formulate a research question such as the following. 

Research question: What type and duration of break is most effective in preventing workers from becoming exhausted or overextended? 

Database: PsycInfo

Search terms: employee AND break AND recovery

(To replicate the search results, click here.)

If you receive too many results, you can use the filters on the left. For example

  • "Academic Journals" under the Source Type filter 
  • "Empirical Study" under the Methodology filter

Examples: Below are some promising options to check out:

Are Social Media Bad for Your Employees?: Effects of At-Work Break Activities on Recovery Experiences

Examining the Interplay of Mico-Break Durations and Activities for Employee Recovery: A Mixed-Methods Investigation

What Makes for a Good Break? A Diary Study on Recovery Experiences during Lunch Break

Enhancing Daily Well-Being at Work through Lunchtime Park Walks and Relaxation Exercises: Recovery Experiences as Mediators