Mathematics anxiety and women : cognitive, motoric and physiological dimensions

No Thumbnail Available
Morse, Roxanne
Nicholas, Donald R.
Issue Date
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
Other Identifiers

The purpose of this study was to further explore single case data related to the construct of math anxiety, as it applies to women. A triple mode analysis was used to identify critical variables and to establish patterns of synchrony, desynchrony and partial synchrony. A total of six women participated in two math tasks. While performing these two tasks, high threat and low threat, heart rate, self-reported anxiety and motoric performance were monitored. Data were collected before and after each specific task. Data were also collected at pre-selected points during the task performance. This continuous time series and interval data were utilized to provide clarification of the math anxiety construct, as it applies to women.Using visual inspection, there was not enough variance in the physical and motoric data to warrant a deferential determination of synchrony or desynchrony. The subjects responded differently than hypothesized. The heart rate measure varied only slightly over task and time. Self-reported anxiety, SUDS and STAI, was above average. The WAIS digit symbol results were sometimes opposite the hypotheses. Cognition, self-report and the standardized measure of state anxiety emerged as the dominant factors in assigning the construct of math anxiety. These are consistent with the findings of Hackett and Betz (1989) whose research theorized the existence of a model for math self-efficacy.