Positive test bias in software testing among professionals: A review

Laura Marie Leventhal, Barbee M. Teasley, Diane S. Rohlman, Keith Instone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Fundamental but virtually unexplored issues in human-computer interaction involve the roles of biases in software engineering tasks. In studies of naturalistic testing tasks, as well as ones which follow common laboratory models in this area, we have found ample evidence that testers have positive test bias. This bias is manifest as a tendency to execute about four times as many positive tests, designed to show that “the program works,” as tests which challenge the program. In our prior work, we have found that the expertise of the subjects, the completeness of the software specifications, and the presence/absence of program errors may reduce positive test bias. Skilled computer scientists invent specifications to test in the absence of actual specifications, but still exhibit positive test bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction - 3rd International Conference, EWHCI 1993, Selected Papers
EditorsLeonard J. Bass, Juri Gornostaev, Claus Unger
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783540574330
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, EWHCI 1993 - Moscow, Russian Federation
Duration: Aug 3 1993Aug 7 1993

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume753 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other3rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, EWHCI 1993
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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