P2-21: Challenges to Using and Interpreting the SATS-36 Instrument: Do you like statistics? Do your students like statistics? How do you know?

By Douglas Whitaker (Mount Saint Vincent University); Alana Unfried (California State University, Monterey Bay); Marjorie Bond (Monmouth College)


The Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS-36; Schau, 2003) is the most widely-used instrument for measuring attitude-related constructs in statistics education (e.g. Nolan, Beran, & Hecker, 2012). However, the SATS-36 is only an update to the earlier SATS-28 instrument (Schau, 1992), and in the decades since the original release, advancements in statistics education research have resulted in numerous challenges to the use of the SATS family of instruments. This poster will describe some of the challenges facing users of the SATS instruments. While some challenges have been previously discussed in the literature (e.g. research based on factor analysis and construct alignment (Cashin & Elmore, 2005; Vanhoof et al., 2011)), other challenges have not been documented thoroughly before (e.g. problems with the Effort construct and issues with alignment to the theoretical framework). This poster will describe challenges and discuss how these may impact interpretations of research and what ways they might be addressed.  Additionally, a clear description of these challenges may help teachers using the SATS instruments to learn more about their students make more appropriate interpretations of the results. One way of addressing these challenges - the development of a new family of instruments for measuring students’ and instructors’ attitudes toward statistics - will also be discussed.