Math Anxiety & Attitudes

Lots of adults (and children) struggle with math anxiety and otherwise have negative attitudes towards math! In our lab, we’ve linked math anxiety to adults’ fraction reasoning and other measures of ratio reasoning:

Sidney, P. G., Thalluri, R.*, Buerke, M.*, & Thompson, C. A. (2019). Who uses more strategies? Linking mathematics anxiety to adults’ strategy variability and performance on fraction magnitude tasks. Thinking and Reasoning, 25(1), 94-131. DOI: 10.1080/13546783.2018.1475303

Choi, S. S.*, Taber, J. M., Thompson, C. A., & Sidney, P. G. (2020). Math anxiety, but not induced stress, is associated with objective numeracy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 26(4), 604-619.

And, we have documented more negative attitudes towards fractions than other types of elementary school math:

Sidney, P. G. 1, Thompson, C. A. 1, Fitzsimmons, C., & Taber, J. M. (2021). Children’s and adults’ math attitudes are differentiated by number type. Journal of Experimental Education, 89, 1-32. DOI: 10.1080/00220973.2019.1653815


In our new studies, my research group is examining students’ statistics anxiety in undergraduate and graduate classes.

Also, as part of the EEIJMS working group at UKY, my colleagues and I are examining how math anxiety, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences change over time in first-year mathematics courses. We are particularly interested in beliefs and experiences of under-represented minority students (with respect to gender and racial/ethnic background).