The effects of introductory economics course on students' beliefs and aptitudes in economics

Tang, Tommy Y. H. & Robinson, Tim J. (2004) The effects of introductory economics course on students' beliefs and aptitudes in economics. Australasian Journal of Economics Education, 1(2), 199 -222.


In a 2002 paper, Meyer and Shanahan claimed that there are subject-specific aspects of learning which cannot be uncovered using generalised student learning inventories; these generalised inventories are thus insensitive to subject-specific sources of variation in learning. The authors argue that there is a need to 'seek additional sources of variation that are perhaps conceptually unique... within the discourse of particular disciplines'. This paper reports the findings of a survey study built on, and aimed to extend, Shanahan and Meyer's findings. The survey investigated (a) commencing students' economic beliefs, and (b) their capacity for economic thinking. A 30-item questionnaire was constructed and administered twice, first at the beginning, and then at the end of summer semester of 2003 (November 2003 – February 2004). Using factor analysis, the three economic belief constructs – economic misconception, economic methodology and economic assumption – were validated. Students with high scores in economic misconception were found to have a lower capacity for thinking like an economist. After one semester of study in introductory economics, it was found that students, on the whole, possessed more economic misconception, as compared to beginning of semester, and they had not demonstrated an increase in their ability to think like an economist.

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ID Code: 8165
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: First year economics, economics education, student learning, assessment, learning outcome, student learning inventory, economic misconceptions
ISSN: 1448-448X 1448-4498
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Australasian Journal of Economics Education
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2014 05:40

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