• 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.
    • Math anxiety, intrusive thoughts and performance: Exploring the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: The role of intrusive thoughts

      Hunt, Thomas E.; Clark-Carter, David; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (2014-08-21)
      The current study examined the relationship between math anxiety and arithmetic performance by focusing on intrusive thoughts experienced during problem solving. Participants (N = 122) performed two-digit addition problems on a verification task. Math anxiety significantly predicted response time and error rate. Further, the extent to which intrusive thoughts impeded calculation mediated the relationship between math anxiety and per cent of errors on problems involving a carry operation. Moreover, results indicated that participants experienced a range of intrusive thoughts and these were related to significantly higher levels of math anxiety. The findings lend support to a deficient inhibition account of the math anxiety-to-performance relationship and highlight the importance of considering intrusive thoughts in future work.