LOCUS-OF-CONTROL, GENDER AND TYPE OF MAJOR AS CORRELATES TO STATISTICS ANXIETY IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
This study proposed: (1) to determine the relationship of locus of control, gender, and type of major to statistics anxiety in students taking an introductory statistics course at the college level, and (2) to draw implications from these findings regarding the need for instructional attention to these constructs as a means of enhancing statistics competence at the college level. The Revised Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, Rotter's Internal-External Scale, and the Personal Data Form were used respectively to assess statistics anxiety, locus-of-control orientation (internal or external) and personal characteristics (age, prior statistics experience, gender, type of major, and enrollment status). These instruments were completed by 702 college student volunteers from The American University (249 students from nine classes), George Washington University (257 students from seven classes) and York College (196 students from seven classes), during the beginning of their first introductory level statistics course in the Fall of 1986. These schools are all private, four-year, liberal arts, post-secondary institutions. Findings were that female study subjects starting an introductory level statistics course had more statistics anxiety than their male counterparts. Using the t test, statistics anxiety was found to be significantly related to gender at the p $<$.05 level. Age was also found to be significantly related to statistics anxiety at the p $<$.05 level. Of the study subjects taking an introductory statistics course, those "19 and younger" were found to have significantly less statistics anxiety than those "20 and older". The investigator recommended that programs be developed from the elementary school through college level, to counter sex-role stereotypes which depict females as having poor math aptitude. It was also recommended that statistics-anxiety-reducing strategies be developed and incorporated in introductory statistics courses. These strategies should target women and students "20 and older".