The Halo Effect, Gender, and CACREP Accreditation as Factors that
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This dissertation was aimed at examining the competency ratings of individuals who evaluate counseling student performance affected by gender, accreditation status of training program, and perceived expertise level of the evaluators. The examination of biases during the evaluation process is necessary to ensure the consistent assessment of students for the adequate evaluation of the preparation of counselor trainees. Due to the limited sample size, the three independent variables were analyzed in two separate analyses, with A 2 × 2 ANOVA examining the main and interaction effects of gender and perceived expertise level and a one-way ANOVA examining the effect of the accreditation status of the training program. A digital video recording counseling role-play performed by the counselor student was emailed to 4,000 members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) including professional counselors, counselor educators, and counseling students. A half of the recipients of the video-taped counseling were led to believe the counselor was performed by a novice, whereas the other half was led to believe it was performed by an expert. The counselor student performance was rated on the Counseling Skills Scale-Revised (CSS-R) by the members of ACA who participated in the study. Information of the participants’ gender and the accreditation status from which they completed their professional training was collected via emails. The findings from the study indicated that the main effect of perceived expertise level was significant but in an opposite direction, that is, the average rating of the evaluators who believed they were rating a novice’s performance was approaching significantly higher than that given by those who believed they were rating the performance of an expert. Hypothesis A: There will be no significant main effect of the halo effect status on ratings of the raters who are shown the counseling session presented as performed by an expert or a novice. Hypothesis B: There will be no main effect of gender on raters’ ratings of the counseling session. Hypothesis C: There will be no interaction between halo effect and gender on raters’ ratings of the counseling session. The reason for the reverse halo effect could be attributed to the underdog theory, where raters identify the underdog more favorably. This can occur when observers “author their own underdog narratives” (Paharia, Keinan, Avery, & Schor, 2009). The main effect of Gender and the interaction effect between gender and the halo effect was not significant, neither the effect of accreditation status of the training programs from which the evaluators completed their training.