Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 72 pages) : 1 color illustration.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Michael V Ellis

Committee Members

Myrna Friedlander, Michele Speranza


assessment, clinical diagnosis, clinical training, counseling skills, hypothesis testing strategies, supervision, Context effects (Psychology), Hypothesis, Psychological tests, Diagnosis

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


This study sought to replicate and extend the work done by Ellis, Brody and Speranza (1998) and Speranza (2001) by examining how counselor trainees differentially use three hypothesis testing strategies (i.e., confirmatory, disconfirmatory, and unbiased) to test and develop their diagnosis within three diagnostic contexts (i.e., the clinical data presented to trainees). The study's hypotheses were the following: (1) as predicted by Speranza (2001), the diagnostic context would affect the differential use of the hypothesis testing strategies by trainees; (2) identical to Speranza (2001), trainees would use a greater number of the disconfirmatory hypothesis testing strategy when compared to the confirmatory and the unbiased hypothesis testing strategy to test the diagnosis of primary insomnia (explicit diagnostic context); (3) additionally, trainees would use the confirmatory hypothesis testing strategy with greater frequency when compared to the disconfirmatory and the unbiased hypothesis testing strategy to test and develop their own diagnosis with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-IV-TR, criteria present (semi-explicit); and (4), trainees were predicted to use the unbiased hypothesis testing strategy with greater frequency to develop a diagnosis without the DSM-IV-TR criteria present (partially-explicit diagnostic context).