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Predicting Performance in an Introductory College Statistics Course

Lauren Laake
Institution if not ONU: 
Cedarville University

The purpose of this study was to repeat a correlational study done two years ago and see if attitudes toward statistics predict performance in an introductory statistics course. Within the first week of an introductory statistics course taught Spring Semester 2007, students completed the Survey of Attitude Toward Statistics (SATS). No significant correlation was found between any measure on the SATS and performance in the course as based upon two exam scores. Instead, the GPA’s of the students were better predictors of performance in the statistics class (Exam 1 r =.34, p < .05; Exam 2 r =.56, p < .01; Exam average r = .574, p < .01). Attitudes toward statistics inter-correlated among themselves, but not with the statistics exam grades. Unlike the study done two years ago, performance in the statistics course was not correlated with any SATS measure. However, statistics grades correlated significantly with the student's cumulative GPA. Seemingly, performance in introductory statistics is related to the general academic achievement rather than specific attitudes or skills. As would likely be true for all classes, students who achieve high academically overall will achieve similarly in all classes despite their personal desire to be in a particular course.

ONU Student Research Colloquium
Psychology and Sociology