Is Math Anxiety Always Bad for Math Learning? The Role of Math Motivation.Tools Wang, Z.; Lukowski, S.L.; Hart, S.A.; Lyons, I.M.; Thompson, L.A.; Kovas, Yulia; Mazzocco, M.M.M.; Plomin, R. and Petrill, S.A.. 2015. Is Math Anxiety Always Bad for Math Learning? The Role of Math Motivation. Psychological Science, 26(12), pp. 18631876. ISSN 09567976 [Article] No full text available
Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/095679...
Abstract or DescriptionThe linear relations between math anxiety and math cognition have been frequently studied. However, the relations between anxiety and performance on complex cognitive tasks have been repeatedly demonstrated to follow a curvilinear fashion. Given the lack of attention to the possibility of such complex interplay between emotion and cognition in the math learning literature, the current study aimed to address this gap via exploring the relations between math anxiety, math motivation, and math cognition. The current study consisted of two samples. One sample included 262 pairs of young adolescent twins and the other included 237 adult college students. Participants selfreported their math anxiety and math motivation. Math cognition was assessed using a comprehensive battery of mathematics tasks. In both samples, results showed invertedU relations between math anxiety and math performance in students with high intrinsic math motivation, and modest negative associations between math anxiety and math performance in students with low intrinsic math motivation. However, this pattern was not observed in tasks assessing student’s nonsymbolic and symbolic number estimation. These findings may help advance our understanding of mathematics learning processes and may provide important insights for treatment programs that target improving mathematics learning experiences and mathematical skills.
