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Tag: statistics attitudes

Attitudes Toward Statistics Scale (ATS)

A commonly-referenced survey for measuring attitudes about statistics is the Attitudes Toward Statistics Scale (ATS) (Wise, 1985). In their meta-analysis, Nolan, Beran, and Hecker (2012) helpfully provide a link to the ATS instrument: http://bit.ly/Tl3ATj (.doc). However, it is not clear to readers that the website that the shortened URL points to hosts another ATS-related file. This file (.doc) is a memo from Steven Wise about using the instrument that contains information not found in the original publication (Wise, 1985), including the item-construct mapping. This memo should be helpful for any researchers interested in the original items of the ATS.

References

Nolan, M. M., Beran, T., & Hecker, K. G. (2012). Surveys assessing students’ attitudes toward statistics: A systematic review of validity and reliability. Statistics Education Research Journal, 11(2), 103–123.

Wise, S. L. (1985). The development and validation of a scale measuring attitudes toward statistics. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 45(2), 401–405.

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Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown

Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, now in its fourth edition, is the product of the ASA-NCTM Joint Committee aimed at introducing statistics, in a non-technical way, to a wide audience. The book is a series of essays on a variety of topics that would likely appeal to many casual readers with the broad goal of improving statistical literacy. There is a strand of research that suggests that attitudes have an effect on achievement (in statistics education); positive attitudes can lead to better achievement. (For more information, see SERJ Volume 11(2), the special issue on attitudes toward statistics.)

Statistics A Guide to the Unknown 3rd edition coverThe third edition (Tanur, Mosteller, Kruskal, Lehmann, Fink, Pieters, & Rising, 1989; featuring essays grouped into four main areas: the biological, political, social, and physical world) is freely available in digital form at the Cengage website. Use the drop-down box to select the different parts of the book. Particularly for introductory courses, these essays may be a valuable tool for convincing students that statistics is useful and valuable.

The fourth edition (Peck, Casella, Cobb, Hoerl, Nolan, Starbuck, & Stern, 2006) seems to be a substantially new volume (hence making the older edition freely available). I have no experience with it, but one would imagine that it has been updated to stay relevant to the public.

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