Predicting Student Performance in a Statistics Course Using the Mathematics and Statistics Perception Scale (MPSP)

Document Type

Article - Open Access

Publication Title

Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Science

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Students tend to have higher apprehension for a statistics class than for other psychology classes. Because anxiety can impair the performance in a class, and ultimately the mastery of the subject matter, the Mathematics and Statistic Perception Scale (MSPS) was designed to assess students' perceptions of anxiety and attitudes toward statistics as well as provide a tool that could be used in classroom settings. The 22-item scale with three subscales (mathematics perceptions, statistics perceptions, and perceptions of relevance) was administered to 154 undergraduates and showed that over the course of a semester, perceptions of mathematics anxiety tended to decrease and perceptions of relevance tended to increase, whereas negative perceptions of statistics remained unchanged. Pre-test scores were predictive of final course grades. Programmatic assessment using the scale is discussed.