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Activity Number: 605
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #320309 View Presentation
Title: The Influences of a Student's Race and Sex on Confidence and Performance in Introductory Statistics
Author(s): Cindy Van Es* and Michelle Weaver
Companies: Cornell University and Cornell University
Keywords: Attitude towards Statistics ; Confidence gap ; Introductory Statistics Education ; Gender differences

Students in a Cornell University Introductory Statistics class were given the Survey of Attitudes Towards Statistics or SATS (Schau et al 1995). An additional question asking students what grade they expected to receive was included. Responses were analyzed for differences between sexes and racial/ethnic groups. Female students rated their own statistical abilities significantly lower than their male counterparts. This confidence gap was reflected in students' affect, cognitive competency, and [subject] difficulty scores as well as what final grade they expected. When expected and achieved grades were compared, both male and female students overestimated their abilities but female students did so to a lesser extent. No differences in confidence in statistical ability were found between racial/ethnic groups. However, significant differences between racial groups were found when comparing student's expected and actual grades. These results suggest that educators should focus on differences between sexes when planning ways to improve students' self-confidence. They should also focus on implementing strategies to get students of different races to achieve.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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