The Master's Tools Still Cannot Dismantle the Master's House: Critical Shortcomings in the Training of Multiculturally Competent Psychologists

Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lupe-Rebeka Samaniego, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Ragnar Storaasli, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Carolee Nimmer, Ph.D.


Psychology, Multicultural Education


Many questions remain regarding how to train psychologists in multicultural competence. The lack of consistently operationalized terms, a unifying theoretical foundation, measurable objectives, and proven training strategies in this arena leaves students vulnerable to ineffective and even harmful interventions. Graduate programs sometimes utilize exercises designed to give students the experience of being oppressed, assuming that participants will then be less likely to oppress others. Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise is used as an exemplar of such an approach. The exercise is critiqued with respect to its lack of proven efficacy, potential to cause harm, ethical challenges, and theoretical inadequacies. This critique is used to generate recommendations regarding ways to provide more effective training for psychologists in multicultural competence.


Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

This document is currently not available here.