Professor Profiles


William Hanson, PhD

Associate Professor


Educational Psychology

About Me

I specialize in psychological assessment and evaluation, therapeutic feedback, and Measurement-Based Care (MBC). I also specialize in mixed methods research, that is, the integration, or intentional “mixing,” of quantitative and qualitative data. At heart, I’m a process-outcome researcher and interested in “what works,” assessment- and therapy-wise, and “why,” and what makes therapists effective. Currently, I’m co-authoring a book called, Revolutionizing Therapy: Measurement-Based Care in Day-to-Day Practice.

I received my PhD from Arizona State University, MA from the University of Minnesota, and BSc from Nebraska Wesleyan University, where I played varsity golf and competed in 3 NCAA championships. As part of my doctoral training, I interned at the APA-accredited Duke/Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In the past, I worked with a broad range of people, including psychiatric in-patients, non-psychiatric medical patients, and general outpatients. Before moving to Canada, I held faculty positions at Purdue University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, both in the U.S.


Recent Publications*
Cormier, D. C., Hanson, W. E., & Flanagan, A. (in press). Research designs in adolescent research. In J. Jewell & D. Shek (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Hanson, W. E., Leighton, J. P., Donaldson, S. I., Oakland, T., Terjesen, M., & Shealy, C. N. (in press). Assessment: The power and potential of psychological testing, educational measurement, and program evaluation around the world. In C. N. Shealy & M. Bullock (Eds.), Going global: How psychology and psychologists can meet a world in need. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Archibald, M. M., Radil, A. I., Zhang, X., & Hanson, W. E. (2015). Current mixed methods practices in qualitative research: A content analysis of leading journals. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 14, 5-33.

Jacobson, R. M., Hanson, W. E., & Zhou, H. (2015). Canadian psychologists’ test feedback training and practice: A national survey. Canadian Psychology, 56, 394-404.

Coates, M., Hanson, W. E., Samuel, D. B., & Ashe, M., & Cozen, J. (2015). The Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI): Psychological assessment implications and applications. In C. N. Shealy (Ed.), Making sense of beliefs and values: Theory, research, and practice (chapter 11). New York, NY: Springer.

Cozen, J., Hanson, W. E., Poston, J. M., Jones, S., & Tabit, M. (2015). The Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI): Implications and applications for therapeutic assessment and intervention. In C. N. Shealy (Ed.), Making sense of beliefs and values: Theory, research, and practice (chapter 15). New York, NY: Springer.

Hanson, W. E., McComb, J. C., & Stinchfield, R. (2014). Pathological gamblers’ perceptions of helpful treatment experiences: A mixed methods study. In S. Jiménez-Murcia and D. Blanca (Eds.), Pathological gambling and technological addictions. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Lugar Publishing.

Hanson, W. E. (2013). Teaching therapeutic assessment practicum. Therapeutic Assessment, 1(2), 7-12.

Hanson, W. E., & Poston, J. M. (2011). Building confidence in psychological assessment as a therapeutic intervention: An empirically based reply to Lilienfeld, Garb, and Wood (2011). Psychological Assessment, 23, 1056-1062.

Curry, K. T., & Hanson, W. E. (2010). National survey of psychologists’ test feedback training, supervision, and practice: A mixed methods study. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 327-336.

Merker, B. M., Hanson, W. E., & Poston, J. M. (2010). National survey of psychologists’ training and practice in breaking ‘bad news:” A mixed methods study of the MUM Effect. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 17, 211-219.

Poston, J. M., & Hanson, W. E. (2010). Meta-analysis of psychological assessment as a therapeutic intervention. Psychological Assessment, 22, 203-212.
*Current Google Scholar citations = 8,035; Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) citations = 883

Editorial Boards
European Journal of Psychological Assessment (EJPA)
Journal of Personality Assessment (JPA)
The Counseling Psychologist (TCP)

Theoretical Orientation
I’m a pragmatist, integrationist, and registered provisional psychologist (Alberta/#2660p). Theoretically speaking, I take a Measurement-Based Care (MBC) approach, which incorporates process-outcome data in all aspects of treatment, from intake to termination. Somewhat counterintuitively, it relies heavily on humanistic/person-centered principles and practices. In supervision, I take a developmental approach. And, in research, I take Gelso’s “Optimal Research Training Environment” approach. Additionally, all these approaches are evident in my teaching, which links and integrates science and practice.


It’s been said “teaching… when done well, satisfies the soul” (Author unknown). Teaching well is difficult, however, and involves much more than lecturing and marking assignments and exams. It also involves supporting and encouraging students, providing relevant learning opportunities, and creating a demanding, yet manageable, learning environment. Additionally, it involves establishing clear-cut learning goals. Perhaps most importantly, it involves developing trusting student-teacher relationships, where students feel comfortable confiding in teachers and, when necessary, expressing disagreement. Developing this type of relationship is something I take pride in. I also take pride in developing a dynamic/active feedback loop, whereby my teaching is constantly improved and enriched by ongoing, week-to-week student feedback. Essentially, as a teacher, I am deliberate, engaged, and reflective. Why are these elements, or teaching qualities, important? They’re important because, taken together, they enhance teaching performance, expertise, and overall success.

Courses Taught
EDPY 442, Introduction to Counselling
EDPY 501, Introduction to Research Methods
EDPY 533, Basic Skills, Issues, and Attitudes in Counselling I
EDPY 534, Basic Skills, Issues, and Attitudes in Counselling II
EDPY 543, Mental Health Testing in Counselling
EDPY 544, Principles of Psychological Assessment and Testing
EDPY 597, Intelligence & Ability Testing
EDPY 903, Capping Projects

Teaching Awards
Graduate Teaching Award, University of Alberta (2018)
Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2005)