Previous research about autobiographical inhibition shows that students with negative performance histories in certain school domains (e.g., geometry) systematically fail in tasks that are represented as belonging to the same domain; nevertheless, their performances dramatically improve when the same task is represented as diagnostic of abilities linked to a different domain (e.g., drawing; Huguet, Brunod, Monteil, 2001). In two field experiments we manipulated the representation of a statistics task delivered to psychology (study 1; n = 104) and biology (study 2; n = 166) students during their introductory statistics courses. In two different experimental conditions it was stressed that the task mainly required mathematical skills vs. verbal/humanistic skills. In both studies results show that, when mathematical skills are evoked, students with unfavourable past results in the scientific domain (relatively to the norm of each faculty) underperform their colleagues with more favourable performance histories, whereas no difference appear when the task is represented as verbal/humanistic.

Autobiographical Inhibition and Students' Performances in Statistics: Experimental Illustrations in Two Different University Courses

CARUGATI, FELICE;SELLERI, PATRIZIA;TOMASETTO, CARLO;MATTEUCCI, MARIA CRISTINA
2006

Abstract

Previous research about autobiographical inhibition shows that students with negative performance histories in certain school domains (e.g., geometry) systematically fail in tasks that are represented as belonging to the same domain; nevertheless, their performances dramatically improve when the same task is represented as diagnostic of abilities linked to a different domain (e.g., drawing; Huguet, Brunod, Monteil, 2001). In two field experiments we manipulated the representation of a statistics task delivered to psychology (study 1; n = 104) and biology (study 2; n = 166) students during their introductory statistics courses. In two different experimental conditions it was stressed that the task mainly required mathematical skills vs. verbal/humanistic skills. In both studies results show that, when mathematical skills are evoked, students with unfavourable past results in the scientific domain (relatively to the norm of each faculty) underperform their colleagues with more favourable performance histories, whereas no difference appear when the task is represented as verbal/humanistic.
European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2006
Carugati F.; Selleri P.; Tomasetto C.; Matteucci M.C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/29278
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