COGNITIVE AND NON-COGNITIVE FACTORS RELATED TO STUDENTS’ STATISTICS ACHIEVEMENT

FRANCESCA CHIESI

University of Florence, Italy

f.chiesi@tin.it

CATERINA PRIMI

University of Florence, Italy

cprimi@texnet.it

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to investigate students’ achievement in introductory statistics courses taking into account the relationships between cognitive and non-cognitive factors. It was hypothesised that achievement was related to background in mathematics (a cognitive variable), as well as to attitudes toward statistics and anxiety (non-cognitive variables). Students were presented with measures assessing their attitudes, mathematical competence, and anxiety toward courses and examinations at the beginning and at the end of their statistics course. Achievement was assessed by tasks assigned during the course, as well as by students’ final grades and the number of exam failures. The results reveal the relationships between cognitive and non-cognitive factors, their changes during the course, and how both interact in predicting achievement.

**Keywords: **Statistics
education research;** **Statistics
attitudes; Statistics anxiety; Mathematical competence; Structural equation
modelling

**__________________________**

*Statistics Education Research
Journal, 9(1), 6-26, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj*

*Ó **International
Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), May, 2010*

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FRANCESCA CHIESI

Department of Psychology, University of Florence

via di San Salvi 12, Complesso di San Salvi, Padiglione 26

50135 Florence ITALY