Math Anxiety

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Many high-achieving students experience math anxiety at a young age — a problem that can follow them throughout their lives. Academic frameworks, action research, surveys and other studies carried out by academics, have shown that students’ lack of interest and their dropping out of school are key problems. The psychological factors and their effects on academic situations are the growing concern of educational researchers attributed with a notable lack of scientific inquiry on some important factors. A review of the related literature reveals numerous studies addressing the psychological factors in general; while few studies are found to target the special psychological factors in educational situations. Many learners have already experienced mathematics anxiety in school consequently. Reported consequences of being anxious toward mathematics include the avoidance of mathematics and the decline in mathematics achievement. This kind of ‘anxiety’ was first detected in the late 1950s. (Dreger and Aiken 1957); noticed undergraduate college students reacting emotionally to arithmetic and mathematics. Although the reaction appeared to be similar to test anxiety in general, they found that mathematics anxiety is a potential factor. They have labeled it ‘number anxiety’, which is often assumed to be a high level of anxiety that can lessen performance. A moderate amount of anxiety may actually facilitate performance. Beyond a certain degree, however, anxiety hinders performance particularly in the case of higher mental activities and conceptual process. Psychological literature provides a number of theories of mathematics anxiety. (Suinn 1988); has defined mathematics anxiety in terms of its (crippling) effect on mathematical performance. It’s been observed that the feeling of tension and anxiety interfere with manipulation and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations. It also involves feelings of tension and anxiety...
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