Contributed paper list

   (Tuesday 15th, 15:45-17:15)   In session C8B

Students' inferential reasoning about sample size


Ethan Brown (United States)


Intuitions that guide judgments about sample size and sampling variability have been studied for over 40 years, but the implications for statistics instructors are not clear. The administration of the second version of Goals and Outcomes Associated with Learning Statistics (GOALS-2), with 1,165 US undergraduate statistics students participating in a pilot test in December 2013, provides opportunities for an exploration of students’ inferential reasoning about sample size across multiple contexts. The assessment contains items regarding the impact of sample size on sampling variability, confidence interval widths, and p-values. For each item, about half of participants answered the item correctly, and performance was positively correlated across items. However, correlations were small and patterns of responses revealed little consistency across formally analogous distractors. More fundamental research on the linkages between these concepts appears to be needed.