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ERIC Number: EJ1146518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-948X
To What Extent Is Mathematical Ability Predictive of Performance in a Methodology and Statistics Course? Can an Action Research Approach Be Used to Understand the Relevance of Mathematical Ability in Psychology Undergraduates?
Bourne, Victoria J.
Psychology Teaching Review, v20 n2 p14-27 Win 2014
Research methods and statistical analysis is typically the least liked and most anxiety provoking aspect of a psychology undergraduate degree, in large part due to the mathematical component of the content. In this first cycle of a piece of action research, students' mathematical ability is examined in relation to their performance across different assessments. A maths test, including only components relevant to psychological research and analysis, was designed and subsequently completed by 427 students. Factor analysis revealed three distinct facets: understanding of mathematical procedures; interpretation of findings; and understanding the semantics of mathematics. Only the procedural and interpretative factors were predictive of overall course performance. Higher scores on both factors predicted better performance on multiple choice questions assessment and an unseen exam, whereas only the interpretation factor predicted performance on a critical thinking assignment and a lab report. The findings are considered with a view to developing another cycle of action research that more actively involves students.
British Psychological Society, Division for Teachers & Researchers in Psychology. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-1162-529551; Fax: +44-1162-271314; 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: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A