Student's Conceptions in Statistical Graph's Interpretation

Ida Kukliansky


Histograms, box plots and cumulative distribution graphs are popular graphic representations for statistical distributions. The main research question that this study focuses on is how college students deal with interpretation of these statistical graphs when translating graphical representations into analytical concepts in descriptive statistics. This study is divided into two parts. The research sample included 256 college students in the first part and 187 college students in the second part. The research tools were questionnaires dealing with the interpretation of the graphs, while relating the graphs and other concepts in descriptive statistics. In spite of the benefits learners may reap from using multiple representations, the results reveal that some of the students had difficulties in relating multiple representations to the same data. Educators have to take into account that only deep understanding of each and every one of the representations and their inter-relation will enable students to translate successfully one format into another. Some of the mistakes students made could be derived from the use of the intuitive rule known as the Same A-Same B.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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