Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Brent S. Mallinckrodt

Committee Members

Greer Litton Fox, Gina Owens, Dawn Szymanski, Richard Saudargas

Abstract

This study examined how multicultural readings included in the introduction to psychology curriculum were linked to an increase in students’ multicultural interest and sensitivity. Specifically, this study investigated the impact of reading and discussing multicultural articles on students’ ethnocultural empathy, universality-diverse orientation, and openness to diversity. Second purpose of the study was to examine possible individual differences associated with response to the intervention. Participants in the current study were undergraduate students enrolled in five sections of the introduction to psychology class, which were randomly assigned as control and experimental groups. The multicultural readings are four original research articles that examine topics in psychology from a cross-cultural and multi-cultural perspective. Measures of dependent variables used in the study were: Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy (Wang et al., 2003), Personality Style Inventory for Adolescents (Lounsbury et al., 2003), Experiences in Close Relationships Short Form (Wei, Russell, Mallinckrodt, & Vogel, 2007), Miville–Guzman Universality– Diversity Scale-Short form (Fuertes, Miville, Mohr, Sedlacek,& Gretchen, 2000), Openness to Diversity Scale (Pascarella, Edison, Nora, Hagedon, & Terenzini, 1996), and Balanced Inventory of Desired Responding (Paulhus, 1984). A one-way Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to test the hypothesis that the experimental group, after being exposed to the multicultural readings would show a greater increase in multicultural variables. The study’s main hypothesis was not supported, because the group X time treatment interaction was not significant. Exploratory analyses of personality traits as covariates suggested that only one variable, Attachment Avoidance, was associated with one multicultural outcome, namely, extent of change in SEE-Acceptance of Cultural Differences.

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