No Self-Serving Bias in Therapists' Evaluations of Clients’ Premature Treatment Termination. An approximate replication of Murdock et al. (2010).



In an often-cited study, Murdock et al. (2010) found that therapists are more likely to attribute premature treatment termination to client characteristics than to themselves, a finding that the authors interpreted in terms of a Self-Serving Bias (SSB). We replicated and extended the study of Murdock et al. (2010, study 2). Psychologists and psychotherapists (N = 91) read two case vignettes about premature treatment terminations of clients that, in a between-subjects set-up, were either described as own clients or other therapists’ clients. Next, participants used three attribution subscales (blaming therapist, client, and situation) to evaluate potential causes for the premature terminations. This way, we tested whether participants would manifest SSB. We also investigated whether therapists’ scores on self-confidence and need for closure were linked to SSB tendencies. Unlike Murdock et al. (2010), we found no overall SSB. However, a stronger need for closure was related to more SSB tendencies (i.e., less endorsement of “blame therapist” attributions) in the own-client-condition (r = -.35, p

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Date made available19 Oct 2021

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