Does Data Ambiguity Impact Confirmation Bias in Learning Disability Assessment

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 1
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. identify the role heuristics and biases play within psychoeducational assessment.
  2. recognize the unique aspects of the confirmation bias and where it may come into play within psychoeducational assessment.
  3. learn how school psychologists may protect against the use of cognitive biases within psychoeducational assessment.


Does a confirmation bias based on referral information differ on whether evaluation results represent average, learning disability, or ambiguous performance? The results from an experimental study will illustrate how school psychologists process through data profiles adequately and protected from bias. Practitioners will learn how biases and heuristics impact assessment practices, how to protect from possible errors in reasoning, and how these cognitive factors may interact with the patterns of data presented to school psychologists.



Michael L. Woodward, Northern Arizona University
Kathy J. Bohan, EdD, Northern Arizona University


Lisa L. Persinger, Carlos O. Calderon, PhD


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