The problem of discrimination in the educational setting according to the race and ethnicity factor is very controversial, and researchers are interested in discussing the presence or absence of differences in minority students’ intelligence and abilities to demonstrate the high academic performance. While focusing on this problem, it is necessary to answer the following research question: Are there differences in students’ academic performance scores and intelligence based on the factor of ethnicity? The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) can be discussed as effective to be used in this research because two dependent variables can be measured in numbers and one independent categorical variable (Agresti & Finlay, 2009, p. 20; Huck, 2012, p. 380). The study aims to test the following hypotheses:
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H0: μ1 = μ2 = μ3 = μ4, H0: There are no differences in Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students’ performance and intelligence scores based on the factor of ethnicity.
H1: μ1 ≠ μ2 ≠ μ3 ≠ μ4, H1: There are differences in Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students’ performance and intelligence scores based on the factor of ethnicity.
Referring to the types of errors, it is important to note that Type II errors are more typical for this research conducted with the help of the MANOVA, although Type I errors are possible.
For this study, 40 participants are selected with the help of the questionnaire in which college students from one faculty state their age and ethnic or racial background. Thus, 40 male and female students aged 22-23 are randomly selected from 200 college students completing questionnaires. These 40 students are the sample population related to the research. Participants who belong to one student community are assigned to four groups according to their ethnic background: Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian. 10 participants represent each group.
The independent variable is the students’ ethnicity which is stated by students with the help of the questionnaire. The variable is categorical, and it is measured in four different ethnic or racial groups such as Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian according to the nominal scale. There are two dependent variables. The first dependent variable is the students’ academic performance score which is quantitative and continuous, and it is measured in 0.0 to 100.0 score according to the interval scale. In this case, the performance score is the student’s grade received after completing the Multi-Disciplinary Test, including questions from different academic disciplines studied at the faculty during the first year. The second dependent variable is intelligence which is quantitative and continuous, and it is measured in IQ scores with the help of the adapted IQ Tests. The used scale is also an interval.
The MANOVA should be used to conduct the research when it is necessary to discuss how one independent variable can impact two or more dependent variables. The MANOVA is chosen for the study because it allows conducting one statistical test for two dependent variables instead of focusing on a series of tests. To interpret the results of the MANOVA effectively and in detail, it is necessary to use posthoc tests when there is a significant F. To discuss the observed significance, it is necessary to focus on comparing p-values. Much attention should be paid to the fact that there is an accepted p < 0.05. It is important to compare p-values characteristic for such DVs as academic performance score and intelligence score. If after running the MANOVA, the Sig. for the DVs is stated as < 0.05, it is important to conduct posthoc tests. There are four groups related to the IV that is why post-hoc tests are necessary to determine the actual source of the signs stated with the help of the MANOVA. When there is no statistical significance, the null hypothesis seems to be supported. That is why post-hoc tests are conducted only when the null hypothesis is rejected to find the source of significant differences in means.
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The information obtained from the MANOVA and post-hoc tests are the numerical data representing possible differences or absence of differences in the performance and intelligence scores of students belonging to different racial backgrounds. The focus on differences in means and other measures of central tendency and variability is necessary. The shape of the distribution allows discussing the role of the students’ demographics. To conclude the hypotheses, it is necessary to compare the performance and intelligence scores of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students. F statistic is necessary to be studied while concluding on the hypotheses. If p < 0.05, the differences in the performance and intelligence scores can be discussed as present and caused by the ethnicity factor (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 22; Welkowitz, Cohen, & Ewen, 2006, p. 112).
The biases and faults are associated with the fact that if students determine their racial or ethnic background incorrectly or they have a mixed background, the results of the research cannot be discussed as accurate. To avoid limitations associated with using the ethnicity factor as the IV in the study, it is necessary to provide students with the opportunity to state their racial and ethnic background accurately, while pointing at the possible mixed origin and without selecting from the proposed options. The limitations of the study area in the fact that the selected students study at one faculty and these results are representative for the students of only this faculty. Furthermore, the content of the Multi-Disciplinary Test and IQ Tests used to measure the variables can also be biased, and this fact can affect the results and the researchers’ conclusions on hypotheses.
Participants can have different academic backgrounds which can also affect the test results. The limitations can be noted while interpreting the findings. Using the MANOVA, it is possible to conclude the academic performance scores are different for Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students. It is also possible to conclude that students with different ethical backgrounds have different intelligence levels. However, the research does not demonstrate how the ethnicity factor can impact the students’ academic successes in one certain discipline because of being limited by the use of the Multi-Disciplinary Test. The practical significance of the results is in opportunities for educators and psychologists to revise the approaches to working with minority students to enhance their academic performance.
The discussed study is focused on determining differences in Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students’ performance and intelligence scores. The MANOVA is an effective statistical test to be applied to the research to provide accurate results on the presence or absence of studied differences in means.
Agresti, A., & Finlay, B. (2009). Statistical methods for the social sciences (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Huck, S. W. (2012). Reading statistics and research (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Welkowitz, J., Cohen, B. H., & Ewen, R. B. (2006). Introductory statistics for the behavioral sciences (6th ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.