The objective of this analysis was to determine the effect of the first semester of college on students’ optimism about their academic performance. (N=15).Optimism (using a scale) was measured at baseline (before the semester), and then the students were exposed to a semester of college courses. Following the course, optimism (using thesame scale) was again measured (after the semester).
A paired samples t-test was used to determine if there is a statistically significant difference between pre-test and post-testoptimism scores.
Null Hypothesis: The mean of the difference scores = 0
Alternative Hypothesis: The mean of the difference scores ≠ 0
|Comparison of Optimism Scores (Preand Post Semester) |
| |Meana |N|Std. Deviation |Std. Error Mean |
Pair 1 |Pre-test Optimism Score |10.3333 |15 |1.58865 |.41019 | | |Post-test Optimism Score |10.2667 |15 |1.53375 |.39601 | | a.t(14) = .180, p = .860
Based on these results (p=.860) and using the alpha level of .05, we must fail to reject the Null Hypothesis and conclude that there is not astatistically significant difference between the pre and post optimism test scores. That is, pre-test optimism scores were only marginally higher than those of the post-test scores. It couldbe inferred that the semester of college had no effect on the sample students’ optimism on academic performance. However, given the size of the sample and the small difference (less than1), these results as well as the practical significance/value of these findings must be given further consideration. Perhaps a larger sample from the population should be analyzed.