Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

Jeffrey Berman

Committee Member

Jia W. Zhang

Committee Member

Philip Pavlik


Objective. The aim of the present study was to assess whether providing credential information about therapists from an online source would have an impact on perceptions of psychotherapists comparable to when such information is conveyed in physical settings. Method. Participants viewed two emulated psychotherapist websites, one in which credential information was included and another without these credential details. After viewing each website, participants rated the perceived skills and empathy of the therapist. Results. Analysis revealed that therapists were viewed as more expert when professional credentials were provided. Therapists were also viewed as more empathic with credential included, but only when the therapist was racially similar to the participant. Conclusion. This evidence suggests that providing credential information in online formats can serve to enhance positive perceptions of psychotherapists. Consistently so for perceptions of expertness, and conditionally for perceptions of empathy. Therefore, it is recommended that therapists provide this information to clients online whenever possible.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access