ERIC Number: ED440325
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
A Curriculum To Improve Decision-Making for School Psychologists.
Davidow, Joseph R.
School psychologists are often asked to make significant decisions about students, but there has been a lack of research on how psychologists make such decisions. Obtaining the objective that school psychologists make sound decisions is an important goal, which involves training in how to minimize the adverse impact of predictable biases in human information processing under conditions of uncertainty. This paper presents a curriculum to help school psychologists improve their decision-making abilities. The curriculum is based on the work of Hershberger, Part, Markert, Cohen, and Finger (1994) who have conducted research on how medical students go about making important medical decisions. The paper discusses how cognitive phenomenon such as insensitivity to sample size, misconceptions about chance, the tendency to ignore base-rates data, and the use of irrelevant information, can distort decision-making. Examples from school psychology practice are incorporated into the curriculum to illustrate how this cognitive phenomenon can lead to systematic errors in judgment. The curriculum is divided into four units: (1) Discussion of Representativeness Heuristic; (2) Availability Heuristic; (3) Confirmation Bias; and (4) Adjustment/Anchoring Heuristic. The goal is that a semester long seminar about decision-making will improve school psychologists' ability to make important decisions about the students they serve. (Contains 40 references.) (Author/JDM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association of School Psychologists (New Orleans, LA, March 28-April 1, 2000).