A Meta-Analysis on Students' Attitudes toward Statistics
Esma Emmioglu, Yesim Capa-Aydin
Educational Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Statistics has been a compulsory course for most of the students enrolled in various undergraduate and graduate programs. Despite the fact that these courses have been widely practiced, research on statistics education has accelerated recently (Ottaviani, 2005; Vere-Jones, 1995). Although most of these research stressed on the cognitive side of instructions (Gal & Ginsburg, 1994; Garfield, 2002; Lovett & Greenhouse, 2000), a few studies focused on students' attitudes and motivations in statistics (Garfield, Hogg, Schau, & Whittinghill, 2002; Schau, 2003). A small but growing body of evidence showed that attitudes toward statistics relate to the success in statistics courses. However, there were some inconsistencies in the previous findings. A meta-analysis has been conducted to clarify the relationship between statistics anxiety and achievement (Fitzgerald, 1997), but such synthesis has not been undertaken to examine the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and achievement. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and statistics achievement through a meta-analysis of earlier studies. In the current study, computer searches were conducted including databases such as ERIC, Web of Science, Statistics Education Research Journal, Journal of Statistics Education, and Dissertation Abstracts. As a preliminary step, 20 research studies were included in the analysis. Analysis was conducted using Comprehensive-Meta-Analysis program. Results of the preliminary meta-analysis showed a medium relationship. The average effect size for the random effects model was 0.24 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.18 to 0.30, and statistically significant. Hedges and Olkin's Q statistic showed that studies included in the meta-analysis were not homogenous. Our preliminary analyses revealed promising results; that is, they indicated the contribution of attitudes toward statistics on explaining statistics achievement. Our current effort is to expand the existing database to provide more evidence on the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and statistics achievement.

Keywords: Attitudes toward statistics; Statistics achievement; Meta-analysis

Biography: Received B.Sc. degree in Elementary Science Education program in 2004, in Turkey

Has been enrolled in an integrated M.Sc. and Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction program between 2004-2011 in Turkey.

Studied in University of California Santa Barbara, CA as a visiting scholar in 2008.

Studied on several projects including 'attitudes toward statistics, emotional regulation, and research productivity during PhD.