When it comes to elementary school students, the relationship between math anxiety and math performance is still relatively unexplored. Therefore, within the project iFeelMath at Åbo Akademi University and the University of Oulu, we will follow 400 fourth-grade students on five occasions up to sixth grade. The project aims to provide answers to the classic “chicken or the egg” question, i.e., whether it’s math anxiety that affects performance, performance that affects math anxiety, or if the relationship is mutual.

The project is also one of the first to adopt a situational perspective in research to promote our understanding of the mechanisms behind the relationship between math anxiety and performance. In this part of the research, we will observe students at the Experience Lab while they do math tasks. The focus will be on both students’ self-reported experiences of math anxiety and physiological data using skin conductance.

With this design, we can see how students’ physiological responses (skin conductance) are linked to individual math tasks, enabling the modeling of situation-specific relationships and how these are connected to students’ self-reported math anxiety over time.

The project leader is Johan Korhonen, professor of educational psychology at Åbo Akademi University .

Funding from: