Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Dena Pastor

Megan Good

John Hathcoat

Cara Meixner


Typical approaches to test and item development are rooted in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Culturally responsive and antiracist assessment practices are two new processes that challenge the typical process noted in the Standards, incorporating critical race theory and cultural responsiveness into the item development process. Given these two approaches are relatively new, there is minimal research on how test takers process and comprehend test items created using these approaches.

This dissertation modified multiple-choice test items through the lenses of cultural responsiveness and antiracism to create two sets of item types (diversity-infused and sociopolitical consciousness; DI and SPC items), then used cognitive interviews to observe how college students process and comprehend such items. Consensus and reflexive thematic analyses of interview data show that students process DI and SPC items relatively similarly, with few but notable differences across both item type (DI vs. SPC) and racial identity (white vs. Students of Color). Results provide hope for the use of DI and SPC items in tests, although further research is needed to explore their fullest potential through refinement, topic generation, and replication with different students and analyses.



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