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32 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Educators of Statistics have improved instruction but students still perform poorly and fail to grasp statistical concepts. What factors contribute to continued poor performance in statistics courses?
Very little attention has been given to students feelings, attitudes, beliefs, interests, expectations and motivations statistics.

Students' negative attitudes become hurdles and contribute to difficulties in learning statistics.
What are the goals of studying statistics?

What helps students in learning to apply concepts of statistics?
Develop flexible problem-solving skills and improve data analysis skills.

Students must feel safe to explore, brainstorm, keep working on problem, feel comfortable with temporary confusion, and feel confidence to experiment.
How does failing to understand a statistical concept lead to negative feelings about statistics?
Failing to unerstand in any subject leads to confusion. Then a student doesn't get a good explanation of a concept. This leads to loss of confidence and minimal comprehension in the subject.

As a result, statistics is viewed as boring and the student has less interest.
Where is the weakness in Likert-type questionairres?
-Are limited in telling specifically what students are anxious about.

-Do not tell what type of help would be useful.
Surveys are used to assess students attitudes toward statistics.

What weaknesses exist in these surveys?
-Use likert type scales which do not allow for explanation.

-Ask questions that a beginning student does not have experience or exposure to answer.

-May be measuring math anxiety.
Surveys such as the SAS and ATS intend to measure whether or not a student has negative belief about statistics.

In what ways may the survey be measuring something else?
The survey may be measuring dislike of Math or Math anxiety more than specifically anxiety to statistics.

Since the responses do not allow for explanation, there is a limit to the extent that they can be interpreted.

If "I would like to study adanced statistics" gets a negative response, there are different ways to interpret:

Is the negative response due to statistics in general or only advanced statistics?

What does advanced mean to the student?

Did they hear rumors of difficult professors?

Better to have open-ended procedure.

If a begining student is asked if he has a negative feeling about statistics, they may not know what statistics is about. Or if asked about statistics in job, may not have ideas where it can be used.
Identify strategies of studying Statistics as identified in the Statistics without Stadistics article.
Give stat problems the students can solve to build confidence.

Create an environment with low anxiety.

Force students to analyze figures.

Incorporate games, puzzles, user-friendly computer software.

Work in groups.

Encourage students to take risks in learning
What should be done to improve statistics surveys?
Separate out math anxiety from stat anxiety.

Use open-ended questions so that students can explain answers.

Ask questions appropriate to the level of statistics that a student has.

Use interviews
What strategies can help a student get past cognitive obstacles when learning statistics?
Find out what kind of questions statistics can answer.

Find out how statistics is used in your field of study.

Understand precisely what terms mean and understand them well enough to explain to a novice.

Fell comfortable to explore, brainstorm

Feel ok with temporary confusion.

Keep working on problem even if difficult.
How can you avoid the traps of familiarity and partial knowlege?
What are 2 ways of analyzing statistical information?
Qualitative Analysis - analysis based on perception and patterns.

Quantitative Analysis - performing calculations based on public rules and comparing numerical data
What is inferential statistics?
Decide whether the data from your group is true for all people. Answers the question, "how likely is it that the results from my population represent the whole population?"
What is the difference between experimental and correlational?
Experimental involves random assignment and greater control.

Correlational, you can't randomly assign people, take them as you find them.
What is random assignment for?
Make sure people dont differ on what could affect treatment.

Cancel out what could give you a false result.

The difference may be due to what you manipulated in the study or on the characteristics of the participants if they differ significantly in IQ, motivation, anxiety, etc. But when you randomly assign to groups, these characteristics should be equally distributed so that they do not affect the results as a confound.
What is the purpose of statistics?
Statistics help describe and summarize data and tell if results are reproducible or happened by chance.

Tell if differences between groups are real or happened by chance.

Statistics is not the goal. Won't tell you what to study or important facts.
Are all facts that support a theory of equivalent value?
No. Facts that support a theory bring it to closure. Facts that give you confidence that the theory is right give confidence to make predictions.

Terman IQ study showed that some facts go to the logic of what the theory is about. The facts you want are the ones that will influence future research.
What does falsifiable mean?
Can you prove a theory wrong
What is the bootstrap phenomenon?
Start with a preliminary theory and preliminary measurements.

Use measurements to improve theory.

Results will start to tell you where to improve.

Improve theory and measurements.

Results: get better tests of theory.
What stratey can help a theory progress?
Come up with a good measure and facts that support the theory.
How do students get tricked into thinking that they understand something when they dont?
Being familiar with a few key terms tricks a student into thinking he understands concepts. Problem: Scores 50 percent on Exam.

When a student concludes, "I understand," he doesn't study more. But can you answer questions about the subject? If not, learning was passive.
What does comprehensive mean wrt theory?
A theory which addresses the whole problem is better than one which addresses only part of the problem.

O dont give half answer to a question.
What is a theory and what qualities make a theory a good one?
A theory is a coherent set of ideas which explain observations and predict or are consistent with facts discovered later.

A good theory explains important data, makes surprising predictions and encourages future research.
What should you keep in mind when designing a theory?
Be Brief and Concise - so someone could understand what the theory is claiming and test it.

Clarity of Contstructs - Explicitly state conceps in clear language and have a clear statement of how A and B are related

A causal hypothesis is not proved just by association.
Just because A and B change does not mean that one is responsible for the change in the other. Some third factor may be the cause.

Rule it out by experimentation.
If A and B are negatively correlated, it does not mean that one does not influence the other. Explain.
There may be an association between A and and B, but it is counteracted by a third factor.
Explain the difference between an associative and causal hypothesis and a cause-effect relationship.
An associative hypothesis says that there is a statistical relationship between variables.

A causal hypothesis states that a variation in A results in a variation in B.

A cause-effect relationship exists when a change in one variable is necessary and sufficient to change another variable.
What is the purpose of a sample?
A sample is a subset of the population. Based on observations of the sample, draw conclusions about the whole population.
What is the problem in this situation:

Thirty students are polled to learn how many hours per week they work. The results are then generalized to 10,000 students.
The sample is too small to represent the population.
What is the problem in this situation?

A large enough sample of freshmen is polled and the results are generalized to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The sample should represent the characteristics of the population.
What is wrong with the conclusion from this study:

Dodge concludes that 70% of drivers in test drives prefer their car over their current car.
People performing the test were driving new dodges while they were driving and comparing how much they liked the new dodge to their older car.

70% may be measuring who prefer new cars, not necesarilly dodge.
What is wrong with this hypothesis:

A company performs a study on their product and concludes that it is superior to other products.
They may have left out information that would not favor their product.
What is wrong with the following hypotheses:

My last 5 dates were bad, the next one will surely be bad.

My last 5 dates were so bad, the next one is bound to finally be good.
Assumption that future cases will resemble past cases.

Assumption that future cases will not resemble past cases.