Feeds

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'

Choose easy joke degrees as a result

Boost IT visibility and business value

Six out of every ten university students are afraid of mathematics to the point where it deters them from studying technical subjects, according to new research. The proportion of students who "show symptoms of anxiety" regarding maths is also significantly higher among females than males.

In a survey of 885 first-year undergraduates reading 23 different subjects at the University of Granada, 47 per cent of men showed symptoms "such as tension, nervousness, concern, worry, edginess, impatience, confusion, fear and mental block" when asked to tackle mathematical tasks. Among women, 62 per cent showed a similar response.

The technique used to measure maths-related anxiety was the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales, apparently. The research was carried out by maths professors Patricia Pérez-Tyteca, Enrique Castro, Isidoro Segovia, Encarnación Castro and Francisco Fernández, and educational-psych prof Francisco Cano.

According to the University of Granada, the allied mathematicians found that:

"An indirect effect of mathematical anxiety is that of avoiding studies related to Mathematics, which later conditions the type of degree they can choose". In other words, many students choose degrees different to those they preferred – and in which they would be really good in many cases – in order to avoid studying subjects connected with Mathematics.

The University says that the work has been published in the journals Indivisa: Boletín de Estudios e Investigación, Investigación en Educación Matemática and Revista de Educación de la Universidad de Granada. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.