Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Douglas Clark Strohmer
Among laymen and professionals the growing use of the Internet for easy access to information to make decisions has made it important to examine how this easy access could impact the decision making processes. More specifically this research study examined the impact of easy access to the information through the Internet on counselors’ tendency to preferentially note confirmatory information when testing a client hypothesis.In this study 31 participants from master’s and doctoral level counseling programs were asked to select pieces of information from a client narrative that they felt were important in testing a particular client hypothesis. Since participants in several previous studies showed a confirmation bias when presented with this task, in this study participants were asked to search the Internet before selecting information. The study posited two rival hypotheses: H1a, counselors will not show a bias toward selecting confirmatory information if they search the Internet before selecting information from a client narrative to evaluate a client hypothesis. The other hypothesis posited, H1b, counselors will continue to show a bias toward selecting confirmatory information if they search the Internet before selecting information from a client narrative to evaluate a client hypothesis. The results of this study showed that H1a hypothesis was not supported and H1b hypothesis was supported. Easy access to information through the Internet did not reduce confirmation bias among counselors. A secondary analysis also showed that participants’ level of clinical contact hours did not have any significant impact on participants’ confirmation bias. Implications of this research for practice, education and research are discussed.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Gharibian Gharghani, George, "Counselor Confirmation Bias: Can the Internet Serve as a Debiasing Tool?" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 860.