Validation of a measure of ethical sensitivity and examination of the effects of previous multicultural and ethics courses on ethical sensitivity

Selcuk R. Sirin, Mary M. Brabeck, Anmol Satiani, Lauren Rogers-Serin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article describes the development of a computerized version of a measure of ethical sensitivity to racial and gender intolerance, the Racial Ethical Sensitivity Test (REST; Brabeck et al., 2000). The REST was based on James Rest's (1983) 4-component model of moral development and the professional codes of ethics from school-based professions. The new version, Racial and Ethical Sensitivity Test-Compact Disk (REST-CD), consists of 5 videotaped scenarios (used in the original REST) followed by an interactive "interview" presented on compact discs. Data from a study with 58 students provides initial validation of the REST-CD. Ethical sensitivity to racial and gender intolerance in schools, as measured by the REST-CD, was moderately related to attitudes toward racial and gender equity issues in society as measured by the Quick Discrimination Index (Ponterotto et al., 1995). The results provide evidence for both interrater and internal reliability of the REST-CD scores. This study also tests the hypothesized relationship between REST-CD scores and previous multicultural and ethics course work. Students with multicultural and ethics course experience have scored significantly higher on the REST-CD than students without course work. The paper-and-pencil tests are not significantly related to previous ethics/multicultural course work. In this article, we discuss the implications of the results and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalEthics and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003



  • Ethical sensitivity
  • Ethics
  • Multicultural education
  • Race
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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