, 18 tweets, 10 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
Interested in MATH ANXIETY? We know math anxiety undermines academic performance, but how does it affect students' choices? We developed a novel behavioral task to capture a behavioral signature of math anxiety: MATH AVOIDANCE. advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/11/e… 1/17
Why care about math anxiety? International surveys of students show that ~30% of students report being math anxious and that math anxiety is linked with poor performance worldwide, even for students performing above the 90th percentile in math. 2/17
Previous research, most coming from 30-50 years ago, suggested that math anxious individuals might avoid taking elective math courses and majoring in math or science majors, but little is known beyond that work about the link between math anxiety and choices. 3/17
We set out to understand math avoidance within an experiment modeled on economic decision making. Participants were asked to choose whether they would do an easy math problem or difficult math problem. 4/17
To avoid issues about “what is easy or difficult”, we created a computer adaptive program with thousands of problems of different difficulty levels that made problems easy or difficult based on each participant’s ability. 5/17
RESULTS: Our results showed that individuals low in math anxiety tended to follow the rewards and choose difficult math problems when they were paid more for them. 6/17
RESULTS: We found that math anxious individuals, however, were significantly more likely to choose to do easy math problems, even when we offered to pay them more money to do difficult problems. And this avoidance was specific to math problems (as compared to word problems). 7/17
In some ways, we found that you can’t even pay math anxious individuals to do difficult math problems. 8/17
Why does this matter? Our findings suggest another important consequence of math anxiety: avoiding math even when it is highly rewarded. Math anxious individuals might be losing out on valuable learning and career opportunities by choosing to avoid effortful math. 9/17
Interventions focused on math anxiety should target remedying not only the performance deficits produced by math anxiety but also help math anxious individuals be less biased by their anxiety when making choices about math in school (eg to take calculus) and their careers. 10/17
Our paradigm is freely available on GitHub, and we encourage researchers and educators to use our paradigm to study math anxiety and math avoidance: kywch.github.io/CAST_jsPsych/c… 11/17
This research is a great example of interdisciplinary success: social and cognitive psychologists who were content experts in math anxiety and motivational choices working with neuroscientists interested in economic decision-making. @jalishajenifer @sianbeilock Marc Kyoung 12/17
We also had a great open science process (osf.io/t4wju/) with a pre-registered replication included in the paper, open materials, open data, and free access to the paradigm (kywch.github.io/CAST_jsPsych/c…) 13/17
I wonder whether this work would also be of interest to people who study emotions more generally and anxiety in clinical settings 14/17 @Daniel_Brad4d @DavidRozekPhD @foxdotdrew @healthyminds @affectScience
Fantastic Inverse write-up about our work: inverse.com/article/61092-… 17/17
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Chris Rozek

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!