Perceived ability in statistics predicts statistics subject performance and statistics anxiety moderates that relationship

Lin, Patrick, Suarez, Lidia, Tan, Nadya, Krause, Amanda, and Miller, Daniel (2022) Perceived ability in statistics predicts statistics subject performance and statistics anxiety moderates that relationship. In: [Presented at the STP Annual Conference on Teaching]. From: ACT 2022: STP Annual Conference on Teaching, 20-22 October 20252, Pittsburgh, PA, USA/Online.

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Statistics subjects offered in many undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programs teach students how to conduct and understand research. Students frequently report that statistics is a challenging subject. It is, thus, important to understand factors associated with the students’ performance in statistics. The current study employed a correlational design to explore the role of perceived ability in statistics on statistics performance, as well as how statistics anxiety might moderate that relationship. Fifty-seven undergraduate psychology students (n = 39 female, n = 18 male; Mage = 25.53, SDage = 7.87) took part in the study by completing a questionnaire online. Results showed a positive relationship between perceived statistics ability and performance, as well as a significant moderation effect of statistics anxiety. Specifically, students who rated themselves as having a good ability in statistics performed the best in their statistics subject, regardless of their anxiety levels. In contrast, those who rated themselves as having low ability in statistics performed better when they reported high anxiety levels, as compared to low anxiety levels, indicating that statistics anxiety might have a positive effect, especially for those who rate themselves as poor in statistics ability. The findings advise psychology educators of the importance of increasing students’ perceived ability as the critical predictor in statistics subject performance. Perceived ability could be increased by sequencing activities from easier to more difficult to scaffold learning, the use of continuous assessment, constant positive reinforcement, and so on. The findings also suggest that inducing anxiety might benefit students, particularly for those who feel their ability is low. This could be achieved by including some difficult questions during assessments, asking students to solve problems quickly using research methods and statistics, and other methods.

Item ID: 76629
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Keywords: teaching and learning; statistics; research methods; T&L; learning and teaching; emergency online learning; EOL; COVID19; COVID-19; tertiary psychology education
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 01:26
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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