• Exploring the Relationship Between Mathematics Anxiety and Performance: An Eye-Tracking Approach

      Hunt, Thomas E.; Clark-Carter, David; Sheffield, David; University of Derby; Department of Life Sciences, College of Life and Natural Sciences; University of Derby; Derby UK; Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences; Staffordshire University; Stoke-on-Trent UK; Department of Life Sciences, College of Life and Natural Sciences; University of Derby; Derby UK (2014-12-09)
      Summary: The mechanisms underpinning the relationship between math anxiety and arithmetic performance are not fully understood. This study used an eye-tracking approach to measure a range of eye movements of 78 undergraduate students in response to performance on an arithmetic verification task. Results demonstrated a significant positive relationship between self-reported math anxiety and response time, indicating reduced processing efficiency. Analysis of eye-movement data reinforced the utility of an eye-tracking approach in studying arithmetic performance; specific digit fixations, dwell time, saccades, and regressions all significantly predicted response time. Furthermore, findings highlighted significant positive correlations between math anxiety and fixations, dwell time, and saccades. Despite there being little evidence that eye movements mediate the math anxiety-to-performance relationship, relationships observed between math anxiety and eye movements provide a useful starting point for research using an eye-tracking methodology in studying math anxiety and performance; the present findings suggest future work should focus on calculation strategy.