The role of anticipation in the relation between math anxiety and math performance /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Chang, Hye Sang, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2017
Description:1 electronic resource (98 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Sian L. Beilock Committee members: Marc G. Berman; Susan C. Levine; Greg J. Norman.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 78-12(E), Section: B.
Summary:Many students frequently feel anxious about mathematics. While math anxiety is generally associated with poor math performance, multiple factors may influence how individuals with varying levels of math anxiety perform on math. In this dissertation, I examine one of the important factors that may influence the relationship between math anxiety and performance: anticipation, which is known to trigger anxiety-related responses. In Chapter 1, I investigate whether the duration of anticipation moderates the relationship between math anxiety and math performance, whether there are domain-specific performance decrements for math (compared to non-math control) tasks, and whether specific patterns of physiological responses mediate the math anxiety ~ math performance relation. I find that individuals exhibiting high, compared to low, math anxiety perform poorly on the math task after a longer anticipation period. Anticipation-related performance impairments for high math anxious individuals are domain-specific for hard problems and domain-general for easy problems. Lower parasympathetic activity, as measured by respiratory sinus arrhythmia, relates to better performance on the hard math task after the longer anticipation period among low math anxious individuals. In Chapter 2, I ask whether the duration and timing of anticipation affect math learning differently across high school students varying in math anxiety levels in a classroom context. I demonstrate that the shorter, compared to longer, anticipation before learning is associated with increased benefits of receiving a math lesson for higher math anxious individuals. Taken together, these findings advance our understanding of how and when math anxiety relates to math performance, and provide additional insights to educators on how to alleviate the negative effects of math anxiety.