Monday, May 5, 2014

Chew and Dillion's "Statistics Anxiety Update Refining the Construct and Recommendations for a New Research Agenda"

Here are two articles, one from The Observer and one from Perspectives on Psychological Science. The PPS article, by Chew and Dillion, is a call for more research to study statistics anxiety in the classroom. Chew and Dillon provide a thorough review of statistics anxiety research, with a focus on antecedents of anxiety as well as interventions (The Observer article is a quick summary of those interventions) and directions for further research.

I think Chew and Dillion make a good case for why we should care about statistics anxiety as statistics instructors. As a psychologist who teaches statistics, I find that many of my students are not in math-related majors but can still learn to think like a statistician, in order to improve their critical thinking skills and prepare them for a data/analytic driven world after graduation. However, their free-standing anxiety related to simply being in a statistics class is a big barrier to this and I welcome their suggestions regarding the reduction of this barrier.