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ERIC Number: EJ1015683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1570-1824
External Representations for Data Distributions: In Search of Cognitive Fit
Lem, Stephanie; Onghana, Patrick; Verschaffel, Lieven; Van Dooren, Wim
Statistics Education Research Journal, v12 n1 p4-19 May 2013
Data distributions can be represented using different external representations, such as histograms and boxplots. Although the role of external representations has been extensively studied in mathematics, this is less the case in statistics. This study helps to fill this gap by systematically varying the representation that accompanies a task between participants, and assessing how university students use such representations in comparing aspects of data distributions. Following a cognitive fit approach, we searched for matches between items and representations. Depending on the item, some representations led to better achievement than other representations. However, due to the low overall accuracy rates and various difficulties that students displayed in interpreting these representations, we cannot make strong claims regarding matches between items and representations. (Contains 4 figures and 2 tables.)
International Association for Statistics Education and the International Statistical Institute. PO Box 24070, 2490 AB The Hague, The Netherlands. Tel: +31-70-3375737; Fax: +31-70-3860025; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A