The Perceived Credibility of Two Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Rationales for the Treatment of Academic Procrastination

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Abstract

The present study examined the perceived credibility of two versions of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), specific and general, in the treatment of academic procrastination. A total of 96 university students rated treatment plans for their potential effectiveness which also included manipulations of two further variables: (1) the expertness level of the prospective counselor (expert vs. non-expert) and (2) whether the treatment was presented as an empirically supported treatment (EST) or non-empirically supported treatment (non-EST). The findings revealed a significant interaction between counselor expertness and EST status for the specific REBT rationale, but not for the general REBT rationale. As expected, participants’ credibility ratings of the specific REBT rationale were higher when a prospective counselor was described as expert as opposed to non-expert. However, this was only for the non-EST description. Contrary to predictions, when the specific REBT rationale was presented as an EST, treatment credibility was lower when counselor expertness was high compared to low. The findings have implications for clinical practice in respect to what information should be provided in treatment rationales and warrant further investigations into how specific REBT treatment is perceived.