Survey of Probability Attitudes

By Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Matthew Beckman, & Ephraim Hanks (The Pennsylvania State University)


Elementary probability courses are a common component of the statistics and data science curriculum. We adapted an existing survey called the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS-36) to assess students' attitudes toward probability. While the SATS-36 and other tools have become popular for assessing students' attitudes toward statistics, very few studies have assessed attitudes of students in probability courses toward the subject of probability. We distributed our Survey of Probability Attitudes (SPA) virtually among students at the beginning and end of 13 probability and 7 non-probability courses at Penn State University Park and Behrend campuses in the spring semester of 2021. 427 probability students and 159 students who were not enrolled in a probability course completed both pre and post versions of the SPA. We use mixed effects models to examine the change in five attitude components for students who were and were not enrolled in a probability course. We received IRB exempt status.