Mathematic Anxiety

What is Mathematical Anxiety

“Mathematical anxiety is anxiety about one’s ability to do mathematics. It is a phenomenon that is often considered when examining students’ problems in mathematics.”

In the 1950s, mathemaphobia is mentioned to describe phobia like feelings toward mathematics. People with mathematical anxiety may experience panic, paranoia passive behaviour or lack of confidence in math.

In some cases, mathematical anxiety is related to poor math performance in academic study or work; It also can lead to math avoidance. Mathematical avoidance may result in less math competency and less math practice, in return, individuals would be more anxious in the mathematical field.

Something you may not know

Individuals with mathematical anxiety don’t mean that they lack ability in math field or they are not smart enough. In other words, they can’t perform to full mathematic potential as the symptoms of anxiety which disrupt individuals’ mathematical performance.

Put it in this way, as the human being, we all have working memory and the working memory has a limited capacity. When we are working with math, the majority of working memory is dedicated to math problem-solving. However, individuals with anxiety’s working memory will be taken by anxiety symptoms. As a result, poor math performance is expected.

As mentioned earlier, people with mathematical anxiety don’t necessarily mean they lack math ability.


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