Assessing mathematics state anxiety with physiological measures (MaSAPhy)

Mathematics anxiety (MA) is a multidimensional construct which has been found to have an impact on mathematics performance. Recent research has made a distinction between a trait (how anxious one generally feels) and state component of MA (how anxious one feels in a specific situation), which has implications for measurement. Using self-report measures seems suitable for measuring trait MA, as trait MA is considered stable over time. Conversely, the experiences associated with state MA may be better captured using physiological measures. Physiological measures allow for real-time assessment of anxiety without interrupting the situation. In this project, we use a combination of self-report measures and physiological real-time measures to examine the relationship between state MA and performance in mathematical tasks of varying difficulties (carry/non-carry addition problems). Specifically, we investigate the relationship between state MA (self-reported and measured through electrodermal activity) and processing efficiency (measured through reaction time and eye-movements). The findings might provide an initial step for evaluating the validity of different physiological measures for assessing experiences associated with state MA in real-time.


Megan Foulkes
Christian Schons
Hanna Weiers

Presentations and Publications

Foulkes, M., Weiers, H., & Schons, C. (2023, pre-registration). Investigating the relationship between state mathematics anxiety and performance using physiological real-time measures.

Schons, C., Weiers, H., & Foulkes, M. (2023). Real-time assessment of mathematics state anxiety – implications for measurement and adaptive support. Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society Conference (MCLS), Loughborough (UK).