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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Cathleen Hebart-Swartzer

Second Committee Member

Robert Oprandy

Third Committee Member

Joanne Royce-Davis


Cognitive biases have long been studied for their effects on an individual's decision-making. This study is the first of its kind to link these preferential thinking patterns to high school biology students' acceptance of evolution. At five urban high schools, 164 high school biology students were surveyed using a new instrument called the Cognitive Bias Assessment For Science Students – Evolution. The CBASS-E assesses both the level of non-acceptance of evolution, as well as how intensely participants demonstrate four specific cognitive biases. The four biases measured on the CBASS-E are anchoring, bandwagon effect, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking. This study showed that confirmation bias closely relates to a student's view of evolution. As part of this research, students were shown a video designed to teach high school students about cognitive bias and its effect on science learning. Results indicated that both cognitive bias and views on evolution are persistent, as student responses did not significantly change after watching the video. Included in this research are implications for teachers and administrators, as well as suggestions for further areas of study.





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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