- The influence of experiencing success in math on math anxiety, perceived math competence, and math performance
- Learning and Individual Differences
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
It was investigated whether children would experience less math anxiety and feel more competent when they, independent of ability level, experienced high success rates in math. Comparable success rates were achieved by adapting problem difficulty to individuals' ability levels with a computer-adaptive program. A total of 207 children (grades 3-6) were distributed over a control and three experimental conditions in which they used the program for six weeks. Experimental conditions differed in pre-set success rate. Math anxiety, perceived math competence, and math performance were assessed before and after the practice period. Math anxiety scores improved equally in all conditions. Improvement on perceived math competence was modest. Math performance, however, only improved in the experimental conditions. Moreover, the higher the pre-set success rate, the more problems were attempted, and the larger the improvement in math performance, suggesting that success in math leads to more practice and thus to higher math performance.
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