Students' perceptions and attitudes towards statistics in South African university: an exploratory factor analysis approach
Moroke, Ntebogang Dinah
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The major part of students at institutions of higher learning has shown an aversion for statistics. These attitudes impede on students’ performance. Among factors affecting students’ achievement in the subject is self-efficacy, self-concept, anxiety and low self-perception. In the main, this study sought to explore students’ perceptions and attitudes towards statistics. Data used was collected through SATS- 36 and MPSP questionnaires from students who availed themselves for lectures of first year statistics and statistics related courses at a university in South Africa. The findings proved that students’ perceived academic and professional relevance of statistics relates to their statistics proficiency. Students with low statistics self-perception are bound to develop negative attitudes towards the subject. Interest, mathematics and statistics self-efficacy, enjoyment, worth, relevance and effort were identified as precursors of statistics course achievement.