Statistics Anxiety and Science Attitudes: Age, Gender, and Ethnicity Factors

By Bui, Ngoc H.; Alfaro, Michelle A. | College Student Journal, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Statistics Anxiety and Science Attitudes: Age, Gender, and Ethnicity Factors


Bui, Ngoc H., Alfaro, Michelle A., College Student Journal


We examined student characteristics, statistics anxiety and attitudes toward science among 104 (76 females, 23 males, 5 gender not disclosed) undergraduates. Younger students were more negative regarding the implications of science and the enjoyment they perceived in learning science. No significant gender differences were found and Latinos/Hispanics, Caucasian, and other ethnic groups did not differ on statistics anxiety and attitudes toward science. However, anxiety for interpretation of statistics and taking a test and class in statistics were moderately high for these groups. These findings support the notion of the ubiquity of statistics anxiety across groups, regardless of previous experience. We also found that statistics anxiety was inversely related to attitudes toward science, suggesting that future research examine how to improve attitudes toward science to lessen statistics anxiety among students. Limitations of the study are also discussed.

Keywords: statistics anxiety, science attitudes, age, gender, ethnicity

**********

Different student characteristics have been shown to be related to academic success, such as low levels of procrastination (Rothblum, Solomon, & Murakami, 1986), high levels of work drive (Ridgell & Lounsbury, 2004), good emotional stability (Ridgell & Lounsbury), and low amounts of negative life stress (Petrie & Russell, 1995). However, of particular concern for many professors of statistics is anxiety associated with taking a course in statistics. Studies that have examined statistics anxiety have shown that a student's competence and success in a statistics course is influenced by their attitudes toward the course (Kottke, 2000). Baloglu (2004) pointed out that statistics anxiety is a relatively new construct and is related to but different from math anxiety. Although both types of anxiety have to do with the stress that students feel when dealing with mathematical reasoning, Baloglu states that statistics anxiety is distinct in that students also have apprehension involving the verbal reasoning and manipulation of the mathematical symbols that are required in understanding statistics. If this is true of statistics anxiety, do attitudes about science, which is a field that also involves a degree of verbal reasoning, relate to statistics anxiety? To better understand statistics anxiety, we explored student characteristics and attitudes toward related fields in the present study.

Student Characteristics and Statistics Anxiety

A variety of student characteristics, such as age and gender of the student, have been examined in relation to statistics anxiety. For example, nontraditional students (age 25 or older) were found to have greater statistics anxiety related to taking tests and being in the class (Bell, 2003). Additionally, traditional students had higher final statistics course grades compared to their non-traditional counterparts. Bell suggests that the lower grades of the non-traditional students can be partially explained by statistics anxiety, but they could also be due to non-traditional students' longer absence from math courses prior to enrolling in their current statistics course. Although Bell's comparisons between traditional and non-traditional students provide important findings for instructors who teach a variety of students, the study did not examine the relationships between statistics anxiety and other student characteristics and background, such as prior math experience (e.g., level of last math course and the number of years since the student's last math course). To explore these relationships, in the present study we compared non-traditional and traditional college students' statistics anxiety and the influence of previous math experience.

Mji (2009) examined whether the student characteristics of gender and college major were related to statistics anxiety. Using the Statistical Anxiety Ratings Scale (STARS; Cruise & Wilkins, 1980), Mji found that statistics anxiety was high among all 226 South African technical college students sampled. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Statistics Anxiety and Science Attitudes: Age, Gender, and Ethnicity Factors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.