European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 483–498 | Cite as

Statistics anxiety, trait anxiety, learning behavior, and academic performance

  • Daniel MacherEmail author
  • Manuela Paechter
  • Ilona Papousek
  • Kai Ruggeri


The present study investigated the relationship between statistics anxiety, individual characteristics (e.g., trait anxiety and learning strategies), and academic performance. Students enrolled in a statistics course in psychology (N = 147) filled in a questionnaire on statistics anxiety, trait anxiety, interest in statistics, mathematical self-concept, learning strategies, and procrastination. Additionally, their performance in the examination was recorded. The structural equation model showed that statistics anxiety held a crucial role as the strongest direct predictor of performance. Students with higher statistics anxiety achieved less in the examination and showed higher procrastination scores. Statistics anxiety was related indirectly to spending less effort and time on learning. Trait anxiety was related positively to statistics anxiety and, counterintuitively, to academic performance. This result can be explained by the heterogeneity of the measure of trait anxiety. The part of trait anxiety that is unrelated to the specific part of statistics anxiety correlated positively with performance.


Statistics anxiety Academic performance Learning strategies Procrastination 



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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media BV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Macher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuela Paechter
    • 1
  • Ilona Papousek
    • 1
  • Kai Ruggeri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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