Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Do Girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?

28.08.2013
Empirical educational researchers from Konstanz and Kreuzlingen in Germany and Switzerland question gender differences in mathematics anxiety.

Women are under-represented in math-intensive occupations, consistent with the stereotype that females are more anxious and less capable in mathematics than males. In cooperation with colleagues at the University of Munich, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and McGill University in Montreal, educational research by Dr. Thomas Götz and Madeleine Bieg of the University of Konstanz and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education points to a critical limitation of previous studies:

They did not assess anxiety during actual math classes and exams but asked students to describe more generalized perceptions of mathematics anxiety. To address this limitation, these researchers examined approximately 700 students and evaluated their anxiety during actual classes and exams, comparing these evaluations with generalized self-report measures of mathematics anxiety.

The result: Girls reported more anxiety than boys on the generalized self-report measure but were in fact not more anxious during actual classes and exams. Detailed results will be published in the journal “Psychological Science” at Wednesday, 28 August 2013.

Two studies examined approximately 700 students from grades 5 to 11. In Study 1, students’ responses to a questionnaire measuring anxiety concerning math tests were compared to real-time self-reports of anxiety directly before and during a math exam. In Study 2, questionnaire measures of math anxiety were contrasted with repeated real-time assessments obtained during math classes via mobile devices.

Study findings replicated prior research and gender stereotypes in showing girls to report more math anxiety than boys on generalized assessments – despite similar math achievement. However, data obtained during real-life math exams and classes showed girls to not experience more anxiety than boys. Findings also suggested that girls’ lower self-concept in mathematics may underlie this discrepancy, with questionnaires allowing inaccurate ability beliefs to negatively bias girls’ assessments of their math abilities and exacerbate their anxiety in this domain.

These findings thus suggest that girls do not actually experience more math anxiety than boys in the classroom, with gender differences being observed only on generalized assessments that permit bias due to gender stereotypes. These results further suggest that stereotyped beliefs regarding math ability, rather than actual ability or anxiety differences, may be largely responsible for women not choosing to pursue careers in math-intensive domains.

Original publication:
Goetz, T., Bieg, M., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C., (in press). Do girls really experience more anxiety in mathematics? Psychological Science. (http://pss.sagepub.com, pub-lished at Wednesday, 28 August 2013)
Contact:
University of Konstanz
Communications and Marketing
phone: +49 7531 / 88-3603
Email: kum@uni-konstanz.de
Prof. Dr. Thomas Götz
University of Konstanz
Empirical Educational Research
Universitätsstraße 10
78464 Konstanz
phone: +49 7531 / 88-4144
Email: Thomas.Goetz@uni-konstanz.de

Julia Wandt | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-konstanz.de

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>