Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Aspiranti


School psychologists often lead the evaluation process that is responsible for identifying students with an education-based disability. They are also responsible for providing recommendations for the student following the evaluation. The current study is focusing on the variable of exceptionality label as it is a universally present variable that has the potential to affect all evaluations. Two recent studies have examined and found labeling bias on preservice educators (Allday et al., 2011; Fisher et al., 2022). This study sought to expand this research by looking at labeling bias in school psychologists. The study measured the effect of exceptionality label on the collection of momentary time sampling (MTS) data, reported causes of student behavior, and predictions of student academic and social success. The accuracy of participants’ MTS data collection as well as the role of theoretical orientation in predicting causes of student behavior were also examined. Data for this study were collected via a survey sent to school psychologists in the state of Kentucky. In addition to answering questions about their daily practices, school psychologists read a vignette and watched a video of a hypothetical student. During the video they collected MTS data; at the conclusion of the video, they answered questions regarding the cause of the student’s behavior and made predictions regarding the student’s future success. There were no significant findings regarding the biasing effect of exceptionality label on the collection of MTS data, reported causes of student behavior, or predictions of future academic or social success of a student. There were significant findings regarding the endorsed theoretical orientation and reported cause of behavior. School psychologists were not biased by the presence of exceptionality label when collecting data or predicting future student success. This provides evidence to support the objectivity of the evaluation process completed by school psychologists. Limitations of this study include the small sample size, the video, and the setup of the MTS data collection in the survey.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)