Some Variables in Relation to Students' Anxiety in Learning Statistics

Sutarso, T.
Knoxville, TN

The purpose of this study was to investigate some variables that relate to students' anxiety in learning statistics. The variables included sex, class level, students' achievement, school, mathematical background, previous statistics courses, and race. The instrument used was the 24-item Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics (STATS), which was administered to the statistics classes at the College of Education and at the College of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). The STATS required students to describe themselves based on a 0 to 9 scale, with 0 being "does not describe me" and 9 being "describes me." The sample included 79 male and 97 female students in undergraduate and graduate statistics classes. The data were analyzed in contingency tables using chi square statistics to compute significance of relationships. All data analyses were performed on an IBM miniframe computer. The association analysis showed that there was a significant relationship between students' anxiety in learning statistics and the variables of students' achievement, statistical preknowledge, school, and current class level. However, the results do not provide enough evidence to suggest that there was a relationship between students' anxiety in learning statistics and the other variables (such as college mathematics background, gender, and ethnicity). (RLC)

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education