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1003PSY Research Methods and Statistics 1 Assignment Due Date: 4.00pm, Friday, 7th October, 2011

[Insert title here] [Insert name here] [Insert student number here]

Word count: [Insert word count here] Statement of originality: I declare that this assignment is my own work and other than the material that was provided in the template document, it does not include: (i) material from published sources used without proper acknowledgement; or (ii) material copied from the work of other students

2 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] Abstract [Insert Abstract here. Maximum 120 words]

3 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] [Insert title here] A key component of psychology studies is the learning of statistics theory and the subsequent application of that theory through research methodology that incorporates statistical analyses and interpretation. Competency in statistics produces psychology students who are able to critically evaluate the research of others and conduct meaningful research themselves. Knowledge of statistics allows psychologists to evaluate the quality of services to groups of interest, analyse behaviour and determine the needs of others. As valuable as this ability is, few subjects in psychology study appear to stir as much student anxiety as studies in statistics. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the strength of several factors thought to be related to successful learning in first year statistics courses. Traditionally, IQ has been used as a major predictor of academic achievement (Brody, 1997; Sternberg & Kaufman, 1998). However, other researchers have argued that intellectual ability for academic success is less important than other personality related factors in predicting study outcomes. Two of these factors have been identified as achievement motivation and self-discipline/self-control (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005; Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone, 2004). Busato, Prins, Elshout and Hamaker (2000) investigated the influence of intellectual ability, achievement motivation, personality factors (extraversion, conscientiousness and openess to experience) and learning styles on academic success over three years in a cohort of psychology students. Correlational analyses revealed that, as expected, both intellectual ability and achievement motivation were positively associated with academic achievement. Intellectual ability was positively correlated with two of the three year grades, while achievement motivation was positively correlated with all three of the year grades. In addition, achievement motivation was postively associated with the first exam score at university, thus emerging as the more reliable predictor of academic success. Consistent with

4 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] these results, Kruck and Lending (2003) found that motivation was a better predictor of academic performance than the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) scores that are used to evaluate tertiary education entry eligibility. Likewise, Marrs, Sigler and Hayes found support for the motivation subscale of the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory - 2nd Edition (LASSI-2: Prevatt, Petscher, Proctor, Hurst, & Adams, 2006) as the most important discriminator of success in first year psychology students. Moreover, Waschull (2005) found that a combination of motivation and self-discipline was the only factor found to predict success in online psychology courses when analysed alongside traditional self-efficacy related predictors such as time commitment and self-evaluated study skills. Self-discipline/self-control as a factor on its own has been shown to outperform measures of IQ in predicting academic success in eighth grade students (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005). Chamorro-Premuzik and Furnham (2003) also examined the variables of self-discipline and achievement striving as part of an investigation of the relationships between personality traits and academic success. They found strong relationships between these variables and concluded that personality traits represent an important contribution to academic success. In contrast, a recent meta-analysis has indicated that academic self-efficacy is the best independent predictor of GPA (Robbins et al., 2004). Academic self-efficacy reflects one's perception of their own ability to succeed in the academic environment (Robbins, et al., 2004). In the case of statistics courses, this may be directly related to the perception that maths ability is related to ability to understand and master statistics . Students beliefs that they lack numeracy skills may undermine feelings of adequate self-efficacy in learning statistics, thus having a negative effect on the process of gaining statistical literacy. However, the ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts known as numeracy is not equivalent to statistical literacy (Rolka & Bulmer, 2005). Statistical literacy is defined as

5 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] an ability to critically evaluate statistical results and appreciate the contributions this can make to objective decision-making (Wallman, 1993). Given this distinction, it is unlikely that either perceived or actual mathematics ability alone will bear the strongest relationship to outcomes in statistics courses. The aim of the present study is .. describe the aim of the study To achieve this aimdescribe in brief, broad terms the methodology to be used [INSERT HYPOTHESES HERE] With appropriate references to the literature reviewed above (and any additional citations you consider would be helpful) state the four hypotheses to be tested in this study, and the basis upon which these hypotheses are made.

Method Participants [Insert demographic information about the sample here and provide a brief description of how the sample was recruited] Materials Participants were asked to complete four measures. The first was a Maths Quiz comprising 20 questions which included 4 items addressing knowledge of mathematical symbols (e.g. true or false: 8 > 3), ten items requiring the solution of mathematical problems of varying difficulty (e.g. 3/5 x 2/7 = ?), and three items requiring rounding complex numbers to the nearest hundredth (round 27.4949 to the nearest hundredth). The second measure was the Subjective Numeracy Scale (SNS) developed by Fagerlin et al (2007). The SNS is

6 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] designed to assess both comfort with and comprehension of numerically represented information (e.g. How good are you at working with fractions? and When people tell you the chance of something happening, do you prefer that they use words ("it rarely happens") or numbers ("there's a 1% chance")?). This measure has been validated by demonstrating correlations between SNS score and measures of objective numeracy (Zikmund-Fisher, Smith, Ubel, & Fagerlin, 2007). The third measure used was the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS 28) developed by Vallerand and Pelletier (1992). This widely used measure assesses overall academic motivation as well as subscales assessing extrinsic, intrinsic and amotivation (the perception that actions and outcomes are not causally linked). This instrument is reported to have adequate reliability (mean Cronbachs alpha of .81 across the subscales) and adequate construct validity due to correlations with existing measures related to motivation (Vallerand et al., 1992, 1993). The final measure used was the Brief SelfControl Scale developed by Tangney et al. (2004) which includes 13 items assessing selfreported self-control (e.g. I am good at resisting temptation. and I wish I had more selfdiscipline. ). This scale has also demonstrated good internal reliability (mean Cronbachs alpha of .84) and adequate construct validity due to correlations with existing measures related to self-discipline (Tangney et al.). Procedure [Briefly describe the procedure by which the data was collected] Statistical Analysis [Insert information here about the variables studied, general statistical strategy used (i.e. the type of statistical analysis that will determine whether or not your hypotheses are supported), and data exploration/evaluation methods.] Results Descriptive Statistics

7 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] [Insert statistical analyses that describe the distributions for the variables of Exam mark, Maths quiz, subjective numeracy (SNS in your data file), academic motivation, and self-control (SDS in your data file)] Variables Associated with Exam Performance [Insert statistical analysis that describe the relationships between the variables highlighted in your hypotheses] Discussion [Insert Discussion here]

8 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] References [Insert any additional references used alphabetically in this list] Brody, N. (1997). Intelligence, schooling, and society. American Psychologist, 52, 10461050. Busato, V. V., Prins, F. J., Elshout, J. J., & Hamaker, C. (2000). Intellectual ability, learning style, personality, achievement motivation and academic success of psychology students in higher education. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 1057-1068. doi: 10.1016/s0191-8869(99)00253-6 Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Furnham, A. (2003). Personality traits and academic examination performance. European Journal of Personality, 17, 237-250. doi: 10.1002/per.473 Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents. [Article]. Psychological Science (WileyBlackwell), 16(12), 939-944. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01641.x Fagerlin, A., Zikmund-Fisher, B. J., Ubel, P. A., Jankovic, A., Derry, H. A., & Smith, D. M. (2007). Measuring numeracy without a math test: Development of the subjective numeracy scale. Medical Decision Making, 27, 672. Prevatt, F., Petscher, Y., Proctor, B. E., Hurst, A., & Adams, K. (2006). The revised learning and study strategies inventory: An evaluation of competing models. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66, 448-458. Robbins, S. B., Lauver, K., Le, H., Davis, D., Langley, R., & Carlstrom, A. (2004). Do psychosocial and study skill factors predict college outcomes? A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 261-288. Rolka, K., & Bulmer, M. (2005). Picturing student beliefs in statistics. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 37, 412-417.

9 [INSERT RUNNING HEAD HERE] Sternberg, R. J., & Kaufman, J. C. (1998). Human abilities. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 479-502. Tangney, J. P., Baumeister, R. F., & Boone, A. L. (2004). High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades, and Interpersonal Success. Journal of Personality, 72(2), 271-324. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00263.x Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Briere, N. M., Senecal, C., & Vallieres, E. F. (1992). The Academic Motivation Scale: A Measure of Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Amotivation in Education. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 10031017. doi: 10.1177/0013164492052004025 Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Briere, N. M., Senecal, C., & Vallieres, E. F. (1993). On the Assessment of Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Amotivation in Education: Evidence on the Concurrent and Construct Validity of the Academic Motivation Scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53, 159-172. doi: 10.1177/0013164493053001018 Wallman, K. K. (1993). Enhancing statistical literacy: Enriching our society. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 88, 1-8. Zikmund-Fisher, B. J., Smith, D. M., Ubel, P. A., & Fagerlin, A. (2007). Validation of the subjective numeracy scale: Effects of low numeracy on comprehension of risk communications and utility elicitations. Medical Decision Making, 27, 663.


Appendix [Insert or attach your Raw SPSS Output. There is no need to format the output into APA format. You may print 2 sheets per page to save paper]