Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. math worksheet. By Adrianna Giraud.
Have you ever felt stressed and anxious when your math teacher asks you a question? Or when you are doing your math homework? If so, you might have experienced what is called math anxiety. The feeling of being extremely nervous when faced with doing basic mathematics. If you have experienced math anxiety, you are not alone. Many people feel extremely nervous when faced with a situation that requires them to do basic mathematics. Math anxiety is more than just feeling nervous about doing math. Nervousness is a sensible reaction to a situation that is actually scary. In contrast, anxiety might not make sense. This means that a person may feel anxious even though he or she knows that there is really no reason to feel anxious. Also, anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart or sweating. Usually, people who have math anxiety believe that they are bad at math and because of this, they do not like math. These feelings lead them to avoid situations in which they have to do math. Children with math anxiety often have poor math skills . Adults with math anxiety often have trouble with math in their careers and everyday life . Adults with math anxiety are less likely to show interest, enter, and succeed in careers relating to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
When people are feeling anxious, it becomes harder for them to access their working memory because they are preoccupied with their fear. This preoccupation drains the cognitive resources they would otherwise have at their disposal. There is a lot of research to back this up, including research specifically about math anxiety. For example, in a 2001 study by Mark Ashcraft and Elizabeth Kirk, people with math anxiety exhibited a pronounced decline in working memory capacity when tested on a computation-based task but no decline on a verbal-based task, indicating that their working memory was only compromised when their math anxiety was triggered.
Researchers are also interested in how math anxiety develops. Although research has shown that math anxiety and math abilities are related , no study so far has been able to tell us which comes first. In other words, we do not know if being bad at math causes math anxiety, or if having math anxiety makes people bad at math.
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