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ERIC Number: ED287729
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
The Nature of Mathematics Anxiety.
Cemen, Pamala Byrd
This paper attempts to generate a comprehensive description of the nature of mathematics anxiety through a synthesis of: (1) the general and test anxiety literatures applied to mathematics anxiety; (2) the mathematics anxiety literature, and (3) case studies developed through in-depth interviews. The indepth interviews were conducted with seven university students, five of whom were high mathematics anxious and two of whom were low. Mathematics anxiety is defined as a state of anxiety in response to situations involving mathematics which are perceived as threatening to self-esteem. A model of anxiety as a process is developed and presented in the paper. The model includes environmental antecedents, dispositional antecedents, and situational antecedents. It is an interaction of these antecedents which produces an anxiety reaction, with its physiological manifestations. During cognitive reappraisal, decisions are made about dealing with the anxiety. If self-esteem is basically strong and there is a certain level of task-related confidence, the individual may be able to control the anxiety and channel it into the task. When this occurs the anxiety might facilitate performance. However, if the individual is unable to control the anxiety, it can debilitate the performance. There also are ways the individual copes or does not cope with the immediate anxiety situation. Coping for long-term might involve avoidance of mathematics and convincing oneself mathematics is not useful. Forty-one references are appended. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A