The Relationship Among Working Memory, Math Anxiety, and Performance Mark H. Ashcraft and Elizabeth P. Kirk (a Journal Critique)

Topics: Psychology, Science, Anxiety Pages: 3 (789 words) Published: December 12, 2010
The Relationship Among Working Memory, Math Anxiety, and Performance Mark H. Ashcraft and Elizabeth P. Kirk
Cleveland State University

The general focus of this research is to examine performance in standard cognitive frameworks and online tasks. The researchers hope to examine the influence that math anxiety exerts on mathematical cognition and to identify the processing components that are so influenced. HYPOTHESIS:

The higher the math anxiety, the lower the working memory capacity, the higher the probability to get a low performance. VARIABLES:
IV – math anxiety
DV –working memory capacity, performance
The independent variable math anxiety is manipulated into three levels: high, medium, low. The level of anxiety is determined through the use of sMARS (short math anxiety rating scale) is a 25-item version of the most widely used measure of this construct, 98 item MARS. The sMARS assesses an individual’s level of apprehension and anxiety about math on a 1-5 Likert scale, asking for participants’ responses about how anxious they would be made by various settings and experiences. The dependent variables ----- working memory capacity and performance. Salthouse and Bobcock’s listening span (L-span) and computation span (C-span) tasks assessed participants’ working memory capacity by requiring them to store increasing numbers of words or digits in working memory while processing simple verbal or arithmetic tasks. In L-span task, participants hear a number of simple sentences, one by one, and must answer a simple question about current sentence before hearing the next. In C-span test, simple arithmetic problems replace the sentences then the participants give the answer to each problem, one by one, and must recall the last number in each of the several problems within that, in order. In experiment 2, participants see the problem and are timed as they produce its answer verbally. In experiment 3, participants were given the L-span and C-span...
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