Adaptation of Survey of Attitudes Towards Statistics (SATS 36) for Russian Sample
In this paper we discuss the process of adapting a tool for measuring statistics anxiety (Survey of Attitudes towards Statistics (SATS 36)) in Russia. Our sample consists of 253 political science, sociology, and psychology students in statistics courses. The internal consistency of the Russian SATS is 0.94, however there are some differences in factor structure between the original and the adapted scale.
The paper describes the results of examining the relationship between attitudes towards statistics and academic motivation and persistence in sociology students. Often, in the everyday understanding social sciences are identified with the humanities and therefore are considered as not requiring specific mathematical training. Such attitudes in the social sciences students can lead to a decrease in the learning effectiveness and academic issues up to expulsion. To measure the attitudes towards statistics we used SATS-34 that covers a wide range of attitudes to both the academic subject and the statistics in general. The results showed that based on the combination of various aspects of the attitude the students can be divided into three types: interested in mastering statistics, formally interested and uninterested in the subject. The groups differ in the level of perseverance and the prevailing academic motivation. In addition, significant differences between groups were found in the expected and actual grades in the course. The article concludes that the attitudes towards statistics are related to both psychological characteristics of students and to the level of course mastery. The differences between the groups were significant notwithstanding the hard and regular monitoring and the high importance of the course in the curriculum, i.e. the hardness of control does not negate the contribution of psychological factors in the learning effectiveness. We assume that the differences between the groups would have been even more pronounced in a more relaxed learning environment.
School climate is a significant factor of educational achievement. However, relevant research in Russia is difficult due to the absence of instruments. The paper peeks into the history of the notion of school climate, discussing approaches to defining the term. It also describes the most widespread questionnaires used to measure school climate and provides an analysis of their components. The empirical study is based on the student questionnaire used by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which should ideally allow measuring a number of school climate aspects. A psychometric analysis based on the methods of confirmatory factor analysis and modern test theory reveals that the structure of school climate indices is different from what questionnaire designers expected it to be. It can not be clearly determined whether the questions reflect the school climate indicators that the questionnaires were supposed to measure. Some statements are worded in such a way that most school students should either agree or disagree with them, without showing any difference in their attitude toward the subject. The scale is unbalanced for the majority of items. The article suggests making some specific steps to improve this instrument
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.