Cultural diversity in introductory psychology textbook selection: The case for historically Black colleges/universities (HBCUs)

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The present study describes a culturally relevant approach to introductory psychology textbook selection for students attending a historically Black college/university (HBCU). The following multistage procedure was used: (1) a survey of HBCU psychology departments was conducted to ascertain how they selected their introductory psychology textbooks; (2) a review of the literature on introductory psychology textbook selection was performed to identify criteria; and (3) rating criteria were developed; used in the actual selection of a textbook for HBCU students; and were subjected to psychometric analysis. The psychometric analyses of 240 ratings (10 criteria X 4 raters X 6 books) involved both reliability assessment of the scale with the selection criteria as items and interrater reliability in evaluating introductory psychology textbooks. The survey of HBCU faculty yielded no consensus or systematic process from the respondents. Both internal consistency reliability and agreement among faculty were adequate on the rating instrument for the total scores and subscale scores of Quality of Learning Resources and Learning and Comprehension. However, the subscale scores for Cultural Relevance yielded mixed results by type of reliability: Interrater agreement was adequate but internal consistency reliability was poor. Future research using multiple methodologies must address the relevancy of cultural diversity for introductory psychology courses.