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Leiv Opstad
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Leiv Opstad: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

Social Sciences and Education Research Review, 2019, vol. 6, issue 2, 6-30

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to map out any differences regarding attitudes towards mathematics among students at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Approximately 200 students from three departments, Economics, Business School, and Industrial Economics and Technology Management, answered a survey about their attitudes towards mathematics. Through factor analysis, a measuring instrument for ‘attitude towards mathematics’ was constructed. The chosen methods were an independent samples t-test and binary logistic regression. This study sought to understand the impact of students’ attitudes towards mathematics and how that affects their choices within economics and business courses. Students at the Business School can choose different major courses in third year. There is a substantial difference in attitudes towards mathematics among those students. The findings suggest that students from Industrial Economics and Technology Management have the highest self-confidence in mathematics. Further, students with low self-confidence, value and enjoyment in mathematics tend to choose non-quantitative subjects such as marketing, organisation and management, while students with high scores prefer finance subjects. This research confirms that those students who valued mathematics and view it as useful, choose mathematic related studies. Furthermore, there is a link between students’ attitudes towards mathematics (enjoyment, value and self-confidence) and their choice in further studies. A student’s confidence and interest in a field of study is related to their chosen major. One motivation is earlier experience within the field. If a student achieves good grades and has success in mathematics, it creates a positive attitude towards this subject and will influence the choice of studies.

Keywords: attitudes towards mathematics; quantitative analysis; business course major (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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