With regards to the teaching of statistics, generally speaking the majority of undergraduate students tend to struggle when it comes to learning and applying course material. As illustrated by the Wason Selection Task we are better able to understand problems that we commonly encountered in the Pleistocene period of our biological evolution. This study set out to investigate if students were better able to learn and apply course material if a questionnaire was devised for them to answer and analyse which was based on questions that are relevant to their way of thinking in terms of biological evolution. For instance, ‘Theory of Mind’ questions for the girls and ‘intuitive physics’ questions for the boys. The basic premise of the study is that if the questions suite the students style of thinking they might remember how the statistical tests are applied more accurately. The questionnaire will also help to establish if there are actual differences in the abilities of males and females in the first place, among other correlations. If there are no significant differences between males and females, a new set of questions based on problems encountered in our biological evolution may need to be devised, in order to accurately assess whether this method of teaching will be effective.
The participants consisted of 102 undergraduate students that took part in the experiment as part of a research methods course. The students were predominantly Caucasian. There were a disproportionate number of females relative to males. The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 45.
The materials included a questionnaire (see appendix A)
Before starting the experiment verbal consent was received from the participants. They were then requested to spread out evenly in the classroom and asked not to confer with each other with regards to the questions. They were asked if they had any questions. Approximately 20 minutes were allotted for the completion of the questionnaire.
Analysis and Design
For the Gender Differences, Smoking Habits, Eating Habits, Handedness, Interlocked Fingers and Folded Arms data analysis, a between subjects Chi Square Independence test was carried out. The alpha level was set at p < 0.05. For the Gender versus Testosterone levels data analysis an Independent Samples T-Test was carried out. The alpha level was set at p < 0.05. For the Height versus Shoe Size data analysis a Pearson’s Correlation test was carried out. The expected correlation was r = 1. All data were analysed using SPSS 17.0 for Windows.
Gender versus Smoking Habits
H0 Smoking will not be significantly more common in males compared to females
H1 Smoking will be significantly more common in males compared to females
The independent variables were the participant’s gender. The dependant variables were smoker or non smoker. The results were χ² = .294, df =1, P = .588. This is a non significant result.
Gender versus Eating Habits
H0 Vegetarianism/Veganism will not be significantly more common in females compared to males
H1 Vegetarianism/Veganism will be significantly more common in females compared to males
The independent variables were the participant’s gender. The dependant variables were Vegetarian, Vegan or Non-Vegetarian. The results were χ² =.472, df =2, P = .790. This is a non significant result.
Gender versus Handedness
H0 Left Handedness/Ambidextrousness will not be significantly more common in males compared to females
H1 Left Handedness/Ambidextrousness will be significantly more common in males compared to females
The independent variables were the participant’s gender. The dependant variables were Left handedness, Right Handedness and Ambidextrousness. The results were χ² =...