Exploratory Factor Analysis of the Student Survey of Motivational Attitudes Toward Statistics

Presented by:
Matthew Dunham (California State University, Monterey Bay)

The workforce is collecting and analyzing more data every day, causing a great need to ensure a future workforce has proper data analysis skills. With research showing students’ attitudes toward statistics are generally negative while simultaneously being important predictors of student success in statistics, there is a danger of future generations not having necessary data analysis skills. Measuring students’ attitudes toward statistics is crucial, but current instruments are lacking. This is an analysis of the pilot S-SOMAS survey developed to measure students’ attitudes toward statistics. The survey was administered in two halves and Factor Analysis was conducted to determine adequate factor extractions and item loadings. In total, ten factors were extracted from Factor Analysis. Original constructs created in the pilot survey did not entirely hold up, but new defined factors are now seen. This work will help lead to a validated instrument able to be used in statistics classrooms.