Exploring Perceived Interest and Value in Psychology Subject Offerings

Lloyd-Lewis, Benjamin, Krause, Amanda, and Miller, Daniel (2022) Exploring Perceived Interest and Value in Psychology Subject Offerings. In: [Presented at OCURA 2022]. p. 28. From: OCURA 2022: Online Conference for Undergraduate Research in Australasia, 31 August - 2 September 2022, Online.

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Quantitative subjects, such as research methods and statistics, are often perceived as a necessary evil by undergraduate students, despite the importance of this knowledge in professional settings. However, why psychology students perceive quantitative content this way is unknown. This study explores how interesting and valuable students perceive quantitative psychology subjects to be. Additionally, the study examines statistics anxiety and future career intentions’ role in students’ interest levels in, and perceived value of quantitative subjects. A sample of 141 first-year James Cook University psychology students were presented with 32 psychology subject names and descriptions. These participants were then asked what subjects they found most and least interesting, as well as what subject they perceived to be most and least valuable to their degree. Additionally, students were asked to complete the Ten Item Personality Inventory, Statistics Anxiety Scale, Ray’s Quick Measure of Achievement Motivation and the Student Attitudes Towards STEM Measure. True to our hypothesis, the study found quantitative subjects to be the lowest rated in terms of interest, but to be of moderate perceived value. Furthermore, analysis of the relationship between perceived subject interest and value and statistics anxiety, and future career intentions are underway. Previous studies have shown that factors such as teaching method can have a prominent effect over student interest in non-practitioner psychology subjects, previous exposure to content and receptive student-focused learning may influence ability to engage with content. This sampled psychology students with no prior experience with quantitative content. With no prior exposure, participants’ expectations of content may not be reflective of reality.

Item ID: 75913
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: teaching and learning; statistics; research methods; social psychology; learning and teaching; tertiary education; pedagogy
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 02:27
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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