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Positivity bias in higher education research

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/03/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Higher Education Quarterly
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date4/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Abstract: Many forms of bias have been identified in higher education research, and in educational and social research in general. This article identifies a further form of bias, positivity bias, and places it in this broader context. Positivity bias is the tendency, in some forms of published higher education research, to only or chiefly report examples of initiatives or innovations that worked and received positive evaluations. Empirical evidence of positivity bias, in the form of an analysis of a sample of published articles from selected higher education journals, is presented and discussed. Suggestions as to the causes of positivity bias and how it might be handled are presented.