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Poster 11-7. Attitudes Towards Statistics: A Study with Undergraduate Students

Claudia Borim da Silva (Brazil)
Marcia Regina Ferreira de Brito (Brazil)  


Poster Abstract
Due to statistic importance in academic, professional and day by day life of people, the aim of this study was to determine attitudes toward Statistics presented by undergraduate students enrolled in many courses and relate with course grade, self-perception about performance in Mathematics and Statistics, attitudes toward Mathematics, besides confirming how this tool can be understood. Subjects were 643 students of all areas, who studied Statistics during 1998. Attitudes toward Mathematics and Statistics were measured by using a Likert scale and it was used a questionnaire too. The significance level was 5%. Statistics Attitudes scale average was 49,93 and 53,3% of students were classified as presenting positive attitudes. Student enrolled in Human Science courses and those who criticized Statistics presented negative attitudes. Student that considered Statistics important and unsuspicious and had used Statistics as a tool, showed positive attitudes. They were also observed in students who could present some statistic attribute, when compared with students who had some mathematical contents. Linear regression indicated that more significant variables were attitudes towards mathematics, self perception about performance in Mathematics, in Statistics and the last one was course grade, in this sequence. The results suggest special attention to the mathematics teaching, as of the first series, because this course interferes attitudes towards statistic and its use in situations in which it is essential.

Key words: Attitudes toward statistics, scale, Statistics Education.



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