Award Date

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Mark H. Ashcraft, Chair

Second Committee Member

David E. Copeland

Third Committee Member

Joel S. Snyder

Graduate Faculty Representative

Gabriele Wulf

Number of Pages

88

Abstract

This experiment tested possible math anxiety effects on the two most prominent working memory span tasks, the operation span and reading span tasks. Math anxiety effects on the performance of the processing component of the operation span task, which is math based, were found, but not on the processing component of the reading span task, which is reading based. High math anxious individuals were the largest group of individuals that failed to meet the prescribed 85% accuracy threshold of the processing component of the operation span, countering the hypothesis that not meeting the threshold score is due to a lack of motivation. Math anxiety groups did not differ in working memory capacity (i.e., storage component of the operation span task, processing and storage components of the reading span task) or fluid intelligence (i.e., RAPM and PMA number series performance), further supporting theories that high math anxious individuals do not differ from others in working memory capacity and that they should not be removed from experimental analyses due to the failure to meet the prescribed 85% threshold of the processing component of the operation span task.

Keywords

Fluid intelligence; Intellect; Math anxiety; Mental efficiency; Operation span; Processing component; Reading span; Short-term memory; Threshold; Working memory

Disciplines

Other Psychology | Psychology

Language

English

Comments

Related thesis by Robert Durette:

http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/954/


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