Accurate Assessment of Multicultural Growth: The Case for Using Retrospective Reassessments

José A. Soto, Michael Stoyer, Marcela Borge, Jasmine A. Mena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate assessment of multicultural growth is critical to ensure the success of social justice-oriented pedagogy within psychology. However, this is hindered by students’ tendency to overestimate their baseline knowledge in unfamiliar domains. We tested whether students’ retrospective reassessment of their initial multicultural competency demonstrated significant change after completing a multicultural course, indicating a selfcorrection in their baseline knowledge. Participants were 169 undergraduate students enrolled in an upper level multicultural psychology course at a major university in the northeast between 2012 and 2019. Students self-reported their level of multicultural competency at the beginning of the semester (pretest) and were then asked to reevaluate their pretest scores at the end of the semester (retrospective reassessment). Results of multivariate analysis of variance analyses and follow-up univariate tests confirmed that students’ retrospective reassessments of their multicultural competency were significantly lower than their pretest scores. This was true for both White students and students of color. Our findings suggest that students may not have an accurate sense of their multicultural knowledge until after they have had in-depth exposure to multicultural content. Instructors interested in including indicators of pre–post multicultural learning in courses should consider including a retrospective reassessment of initial knowledge for a more accurate baseline assessment and a more conservative test of pre–post changes in multicultural competency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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