The Relationship between Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes towards Statistics and Their Research Anxiety

Main Article Content

Adnan Taşgın Yasemin Kaya


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between preservice teachers’ attitudes towards statistics and their research anxiety. The population of the study consisted of the students of a public university in Turkey who were studying at the Guidance and Psychological Counseling, and the Preschool Education programs. From this population, 257 participants were sampled for this research based on scale sampling method. In order to determine the attitudes and the anxiety of the participants towards statistics and research, two separate scales were to the participants. The scale of attitudes towards statistics consisted of 33 items, which assessed five subscales. The scale of research anxiety consisted of 12 items measuring a single factor. The data were analyzed through independent samples t-test and correlation analyses. The study results suggested that the female preservice teachers had more positive attitudes towards statistics than the male preservice teachers. On the other hand, the male preservice teachers’ research anxiety levels were lower than the female preservice teachers. Moreover, the attitudes and the anxiety levels showed significant differences based on the departments of the preservice teachers in favor of the Guidance and Psychological Counseling department. Finally, a positive correlation found between the research anxiety and the attitudes towards statistics levels of the participants.

Article Details

How to Cite
Taşgın, A., & Kaya, Y. (2018). The Relationship between Preservice Teachers’ Attitudes towards Statistics and Their Research Anxiety. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 5(4), 731-739. Retrieved from


Aslan, C., & Karagül, S. (2016). Anxiety levels of graduate students in Turkish language education programme about carrying out scientific research. Journal of Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Faculty of Education, 38, 201-217.

Baloğlu, M. (2003). Individual differences in statistics anxiety among college students. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 855–865. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00076-4

Baloğlu, M., Kocak, R., & Zelhart, P. F. (2007). The relationship between statistics anxiety and attitudes toward statistics. Ankara University Journal of Faculty of Educational Sciences, 40(2), 23–39. doi:10.1501/Egifak_0000000179

Basaran, İ. E. (2005). Educational psychology. Ankara: Nobel.

Büyüköztürk, S. (1997). Development of research anxiety scale. Educational Management in Theory and Practice, 3(12), 453–464.

Büyüköztürk Ş. (1999). The relationship between anxiety and research in terms of gender, research experience and course achievement. Education and Science, 23(112), 29-34.

Canbaz, S., Sürter, A. T., Aker, S., & Peksen, Y. (2007). The anxiety level of the interns in a medical faculty and affecting factors. Journal of General Medicine, 17(1), 15–19.

Carmona, J., Martínez, R. J., & Sánchez, M. (2005). Mathematical background and attitudes toward statistics in a sample of Spanish college students. Psychological Reports, 97, 53-62. doi:10.2466/pr0.97.1.53-62

Cebeci, Z., & Bek, Y. (1999, May). Online statistics education: The Alfa Virtual Statistics School. Paper presented at the meeting of the first Statistics Conference, Turkish Statistical Society and Statistics Association, Belek, Antalya.

Cherian V. I., & Glencross, M. J. (1997) Sex, socioeconomic status, and attitude toward applied statistics among postgraduate education students. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 3, 1385-1386. doi:10.2466/pr0.1997.80.3c.1385

Chiesi, F., & Primi, C. (2010). Cognitive and non-cognitive factors related to students’ statistics achievement. Statistics Education Research Journal, 9(1), 6-26.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. (4th ed.). London: SAGE.

Çokluk-Bökeoglu, Ö. & Yılmaz, K. (2005). The relationship between attitudes of university students towards critical thinking and research anxieties. Educational Administration: Theory and Practice, 11(41), 47-67.

Doğan, N. (2009). The effect of computer-assisted statistics instruction on achievement and attitudes toward statistics. Education and Science, 34(154), 3-16.

Dweck, C. (2002). Messages that motivate: How praise molds students’ beliefs, motivation, and performance (in Surprising Ways). In J. Aronson (Eds.), Improving academic achievement: Impact of psychological factors on education (pp. 37–60). USA: Elsevier Science.

Feist, J. (1990). Theories of personality. Worth, TX: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Griffith, J. D., Adams, L. T., Gu, L.L., Hart, C. L., & Nichols-Whitehead, P. (2012). Students’ attitudes toward statistics across the disciplines: A mixed-methods approach. Statistics Education Research Journal, 11(2), 45-56.

Khavenson, T., Orel, E., & Tryakshina, M. (2012). Adaptation of survey of attitudes towards statistics (SATS 36) for Russian sample. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 2126–2129. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.05.440

Lalonde, R. N., & Gardner, R. C. (1993). Statistics as a second language? A model for predicting performance in psychology students. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 25, 108-125. doi: 10.1037/h0078792

Macher, D., Puechter, M., Papousek,I., & Ruggeri, K. (2012). Statistics anxiety, trait anxiety, learning behavior, and academic performance. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27, 483-498. doi: 10.1007/s10212-011-0090-5

Mahmud, Z., & Zainol, M.S. (2008). Examining postgraduate students’ perceived competency in statistical data analysis and their attitudes toward statistics. International Journal of Education and Information Technologies, 1, 79–86.

Martins, J., Nascimento, M., & Estrada, A. (2011). Attitudes of teachers towards statistics: A preliminary study with Portuguese teachers. Paper presented at the meeting of Seventh Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (CERME 7). Rzeszow, Poland: University of Rzeszow and ESRM. Retrieved from

Mji, A. (2009). Differences in university students’ attitudes and anxiety about statistics. Psychological Reports, 104, 737-744. doi:10.2466/PR0.104.3.737-744

Nasser, F. (2004). Structural model of the effects of cognitive and affective factors on the achievement of Arabic-speaking pre-service teachers in introductory statistics. Journal of Statistics Education, 12. Retrieved from:
Onwuegbuzie A. J. (2000). Attitudes toward statistics assessments. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 25(4), 321–339. doi: 10.1080/713611437

Onwuegbuzie, A. J. & Wilson, V. A. (2003). Statistics anxiety: Nature, etiology, antecedents, effects, and treatments-a comprehensive review of the literature. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(2), 195-209. doi: 10.1080/1356251032000052447

Parker, R. S., Pettijohn, C. E., & Keillor, B. D. (1999). The nature and role of statistics in the business school curriculum. Journal of Education for Business, 751, 51-54. doi:10.1080/08832329909598990

Patall E. A., Awad, G. H., & Cestone, C. M. (2014). Academic Potential Beliefs and Feelings: Conceptual Development and Relations with Academic Outcomes. Self and Identity, 13(1), 58-80. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2012.738705

Potter, A. M. (1995). Statistics for sociologists: Teaching techniques that work. Teaching Sociology, 23(3), 259- 63.

Ramirez, C., Schau, C., & Emmioğlu, E. (2012). The importance of attitudes in statistics education. Statistics Education Research Journal, 11(2), 57–71.

Ridgway, J., Nicholson, J., & McCusker, S. (2007). Teaching statistics – Despite its applications. Teaching Statistics, 29(2), 44–48. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9639.2007.00276.x

Rosli, M. K., Maat, S. M., & Rosli, R. (2017). Students’ attitude and anxiety towards statistics: A descriptive analysis. Research on Education and Psychology (REP), 1(1), 47-56.

Salihova, S., & Memmedova, V. (2017). Students attitudes toward statistics lesson: Validity and reliability study. Journal of Academic View, 59, 116-127.

Sanders, L. (2001). Reducing students’ anxiety in research methods. Focus on Teacher Education, 1(3), 3-9.

Saracaloğlu, A.S. (2008). The relationship between post graduate students' academic motivation level, research anxiety and attitudes with their research competence. Yüzüncü Yıl University, Journal of Faculty of Education, 5(2), 179-208.

Saracaloğlu, A. S., Varol, R. & Evin, İ. (2003, October). The relationship between the scientific research anxiety, the attitudes towards research and statistics, and the research competencies of graduate students. Paper presented at the meeting of the Contribution to Science in Education: Graduate Education Symposium, Dokuz Eylul University Institute of Educational Science, Izmir.

Saracaloğlu, A. S., Varol, S. R., & Evin-Ercan, İ. (2005). The relationship between post graduate students’ research competence and scientific research anxiety and their attitudes towards statistics and research. Journal of Buca Faculty of Education, 17, 187-199. Retrieved from

Sesé, A., Jiménez, R., Montaño, J.J., & Palmer, A. (2015). Can attitudes towards statistics and statistics anxiety explain students’ performance? Revista de Psicodidáctica, 20(2), 285-304.

Tekin, M. (2007, October). Examination of the level of anxiety and proficiency of graduate students across various variables. Paper presented at the meeting of the third Graduate Education Symposium, Anadolu University Institute of Educational Sciences, Eskişehir.

Tempelaar, D. T., & Nijhuis, J. F. (2007). Commonalities in attitudes and beliefs toward different academic subjects. In M. K. McCuddy, H. van den Bosch, J. W. B. Martz, A. V. Matveev, & K. O. Morse (Eds.), Educational innovation in economics and business X: The challenges of educating people to lead in a challenging world (pp. 225–250). Berlin: Springer.

Tomazic, T. J., & Katz, B. M. (1988, August). Statistics anxiety in introductory applied statistics. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Statistical Association, New Orleans, LA.

Tremblay, P. F., Gardner, R. C., & Heipel, G. (2000). A model of the relationships among measures of affect, aptitude, and performance in introductory statistics. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 32, 40-48. doi: 10.1037/h0087099

Trimarco, K. A. (1997). The effects of a graduate learning experience on anxiety, achievement, and expectations in research and statistics (Report No. TM028328). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 419 022)

Türk Dil Kurumu (TDK). (2017). Türkçe sözlük [Turkish dictionary]. Ankara, Türkiye.

Unrau, Y.A., & Beck, A.R. (2004). Increasing research self-efficacy among students in professional academic programs. Innovative Higher Education, 28(3), 187 - 204. doi:10.1023/B:IHIE.0000015107.51904.95

Yaşar, M. (2014). Attitudes toward statistics scale: Validity and reliability study. Pamukkale University Journal of Education, 36(36), 59 - 75. Retrieved from

Yılmaz, K., & Çokluk, Ö. (2010). Research anxiety levels of faculty of arts and science graduates. Journal of Abant İzzet Baysal University, 10(1), 1-9.

Zhang, Y., Shang, L., Wang, R., Zhao, Q., Li, C., Xu, Y., & Su, H. (2012). Attitudes toward statistics in medical postgraduates: Measuring, evaluating and monitoring. BMC Medical Education, 12, 117. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-117

Zeidner, M. (1991). Statistics and mathematics anxiety in social science students: Some interesting parallels. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 61, 319-328.