SPECIAL EDUCATION PLACEMENT DECISIONS: A BEHAVIORAL DECISION THEORY PERSPECTIVE.
AuthorO'REILLY, CAROLYN STOTZ.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDespite the large number of special education eligibility determinations in which school psychologists are involved, and the great deal of integration and interpretation of information that these decisions require, few investigations of the cognitive strategies that school psychologists utilize in assessing placement candidates have been reported. The purpose of this study was to examine the susceptibility of school psychologists to placement decision bias. Specifically, the influence of referral information on school psychologists' subsequent evaluation and classification of a special education candidate was tested. Forty currently practicing school psychologists evaluated a bogus psychological report allegedly written about a child referred for either Gifted or Learning Disabilities (LD) placement consideration. Although all assessment data were identical, the school psychologists receiving a Gifted referral were more likely to classify the child as Gifted, and those receiving an LD referral were more likely to classify the child as LD. Additionally, the school psychologists recalled and weighted the importance of assessment data in a referral-consistent manner.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration