Everyone Can Read a Histogram, or can they?

Tuesday, September 16th, 201412:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Presented by: Jennifer Kaplan, The University of Georgia


Histograms are adept at revealing the distribution of data values, especially the shape of the distribution and any outlier values. They are included in introductory statistics texts, research methods texts, and in the popular press, yet students often have difficulty interpreting the information conveyed by a histogram. This talk will identify and discusses four misconceptions prevalent in student understanding of histograms. In addition, pre- and post-test results on an instrument designed to measure the extent to which the misconceptions persist after instruction will be presented. The results indicate not only that some of the misconceptions are commonly held by students prior to instruction, but also that they persist after instruction. Future directions for teaching and research are considered.