A Multi-Level Analysis of the Effects of Statistics Anxiety/Attitudes on Trajectories of Exam Scores

Kelly Rhea MacArthur, Jonathan B. Santo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores three understudied facets—quadratic effects, change over time, and gender as a moderator—of the otherwise well-documented relationships between statistics anxiety and academic performance. Using pre- and post- course survey data among a sample of 111 undergraduate students in Social Statistics courses at a U.S. Midwestern university, we employ hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to test for relationships between change in the six dimensions of the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) and exam grades over the course of the semester. We find that exam grades decreased over time, but at different rates across gender and the six STARS dimensions. We also identify a quadratic relationship between self-concept and final exam grades, as well as several gender interactions. This study highlights the multifaceted and dynamic nature of statistics anxiety/attitudes, as its relationship with academic performance is not always negative, linear, stable over time, or uniform across gender. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Statistics and Data Science Education
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Gender
  • STARS
  • Statistics anxiety
  • Statistics education research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Education
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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