A Mixed Method Investigation of Social Science Graduate Students’ Statistics Anxiety Conditions Before and After the Introductory Statistics Course

Liuli Huang


Research frequently uses quantitative approach to explore undergraduates’ statistics anxiety conditions. However, few studies of adults’ statistics anxiety use qualitative method or focus solely on graduate students. Moreover, even less studies focus on comparing adults’ anxiety levels before and after the introductory statistics course. This line of study is important to pursue since the introductory statistics course should play the very important roles of both preparing students’ the foundation knowledge of higher level statistics course, and inspiring students’ interests for higher level course. In addition, graduate students tend to have different backgrounds, learning motivations, and learning habits compared to their undergraduate counterparts. Overall, limited mixed research method is available on social sciences graduate students’ (1) statistics anxiety before and after the introductory statistics course and (2) actions taken to decrease the anxiety. This study seeks to fill this gap by incorporating a mixed research method to explore social sciences graduate students’ statistics learning processes. Findings suggest that the social sciences graduate students’ anxiety levels diminished after the introductory statistics course, even though they also experienced severe statistics anxiety at the very beginning. These findings became essential for institutions, higher education instructors, and social sciences statistics learners to consider.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v7n3p156


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