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Identifying the Causative Factors for Statistical Anxiety among Undergraduates (With Special Reference to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University)

Authors:

W. W. D. P. Fernando ,

General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, LK
About W. W. D. P.
Department of Management and Finance, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities
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M. V. Wathsanie,

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About M. V.
Department of Management and Finance, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities
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R. P. M. Kavinda,

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About R. P. M.
Department of Management and Finance, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities
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P. Lankeshwara

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About P.
Lecturer (Probationary), Department of Management and Finance, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities
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Abstract

Anxiety is a huge barrier when studying and working with statistics. Considering the context in General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), undergraduates’ performance in statistics is considerably lower when compared to their performance in other subjects. Thus, this study aims to explore causative factors and reveal the highly influential factors for statistical anxiety among undergraduates. A sample of 162 participants was drawn from the faculties of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities of KDU using a stratified random sampling technique utilizing Morgan’s approach of sample selection. The sample consisted of three strata, namely, undergraduates from Management and Technical Sciences (MTS), Logistics Management (LM) and Social Sciences  (SS) degree programs. This study was primarily carried out with primary data that was gathered using a structured questionnaire and the necessary secondary data was obtained from the examination department of KDU. The study examines the relationship between Statistical Anxiety and six standard indicators from the Statistical Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS): worth of statistics, interpretation anxiety, computation self-concept, test and class anxiety, this study aims to examine the role played by the relationship with statistics teachers and some personal factors such as age, gender, advanced level stream and previous educational qualifications in the anxiety caused by statistics. The results wasm the factor and the canonical correlation analysis revealed that all six factors outlined in STARS are significantly influential in statistical anxiety. The recommendations of this study are to create a clear idea of the value of the subject when studying statistics and to direct the student to a qualified person or the subject instructor in situations where students of statistics experience difficulties.
How to Cite: Fernando, W.W.D.P., Wathsanie, M.V., Kavinda, R.P.M. and Lankeshwara, P., 2020. Identifying the Causative Factors for Statistical Anxiety among Undergraduates (With Special Reference to General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University). Kalyani: Journal of the University of Kelaniya, 34(1), pp.80–97. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/kalyani.v34i1.49
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Published on 15 Dec 2020.
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