An Evaluation of College Students’ Perceptions of Statisticians

Gita Taasoobshirazi, Kennesaw State University
Madeleine Wagner, Kennesaw State University
Austin Brown, Kennesaw State University
Colene Copeland, Kennesaw State University


The widely used Draw a Scientist Test was revised to focus on statistics and 110 Elementary Statistics students were asked to draw a statistician. In addition, to better understand students’ drawings and have some relative comparison, 173 College Algebra students were asked to draw a mathematician. A detailed analysis of students’ images and students’ demographic information was conducted using descriptive statistics, categorical data analysis, logistic regressions, and hierarchical cluster analysis. Results showed that students tend to perceive statisticians and mathematicians as primarily White and male. However, female students were more likely than male students to draw a female statistician and mathematician. Two themed clusters emerged from the hierarchical cluster analysis for both the math and statistics students. We discuss the implications of the results for teaching and future research.