NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ847631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0361-476X
The Effects and Side-Effects of Statistics Education: Psychology Students' (Mis-)Conceptions of Probability
Morsanyi, Kinga; Primi, Caterina; Chiesi, Francesca; Handley, Simon
Contemporary Educational Psychology, v34 n3 p210-220 Jul 2009
In three studies we looked at two typical misconceptions of probability: the representativeness heuristic, and the equiprobability bias. The literature on statistics education predicts that some typical errors and biases (e.g., the equiprobability bias) increase with education, whereas others decrease. This is in contrast with reasoning theorists' prediction who propose that education reduces misconceptions in general. They also predict that students with higher cognitive ability and higher need for cognition are less susceptible to biases. In Experiments 1 and 2 we found that the equiprobability bias increased with statistics education, and it was negatively correlated with students' cognitive abilities. The representativeness heuristic was mostly unaffected by education, and it was also unrelated to cognitive abilities. In Experiment 3 we demonstrated through an instruction manipulation (by asking participants to think logically vs. rely on their intuitions) that the reason for these differences was that these biases originated in different cognitive processes. (Contains 6 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; 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