Strong motion records taken during earthquakes in Turkey are used to calculate Newmark displacements in slopes. These displacements are then utilized in developing a novel displacement-based methodology to select the seismic coefficient which is used to calculate pseudostatic safety factor. In the first step of the study, calculated Newmark displacements are evaluated in three different categories which are as follows: using all data, using data for different earthquake magnitude (M) ranges with and without distance constraint and using data for different peak acceleration (a(max)) ranges. For all categories, different equations are obtained to assign slope displacements as a function of the ratio of yield acceleration to peak acceleration. The results show that categorization of data is an important issue, because the displacements are earthquake magnitude and peak acceleration dependent. In the second step, equations obtained for different peak acceleration ranges are used to propose charts linking upper bound slope displacements (D), seismic coefficients (k(h)) and pseudostatic safety factors (PSF), which are three important parameters of a pseudostatic approach. This enables the k(h) values be chosen based on the allowable displacements, instead of the current applications based on judgement and expertise. The results show that k(h) values for any allowable displacement should be based on anticipated a(max) values, while use of high PSF values results in lower displacements. Extensive comparison with solutions from the literature is also made. The methodology is best suited for earthquake triggered shallow landslides in natural slopes, consisting of materials which do not lose strength during dynamic loading. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.