Math anxiety and its relationship to inhibitory abilities and perceived emotional intelligence

  1. Justicia Galiano, María José
  2. Pelegrina López, Santiago
  3. Lechuga, María Teresa
  4. Gutiérrez Palma, Nicolás
  5. Martín Puga, María Eva
  6. Lendínez, Cristina
Anales de psicología

ISSN: 0212-9728 1695-2294

Year of publication: 2016

Volume: 32

Issue: 1

Pages: 125-131

Type: Article

More publications in: Anales de psicología


Math anxiety has been found to be an emotional problem that has a negative effect on students� academic performance across different levels of education. This type of anxiety could be related to certain cognitive and emotional processes. A first objective was to examine the relationship between math anxiety and certain inhibitory abilities responsible of eliminating intrusive thoughts or preventing them access to consciousness. A second aim was to determine the extent in which math anxiety and students� self-perceptions of their own emotional abilities are related. To this end, 187 first-year undergraduate psychology students were administered different measures to assess math anxiety, statistics anxiety, inhibitory abilities, and perceived emotional intelligence. The results showed that students with high math anxiety were more likely to experience intrusive thoughts, were less effective at suppressing these thoughts, and reported lower scores in understanding and regulating their emotions. These cognitive mechanisms and emotional abilities are of relevance to better understand the nature of this type of anxiety.

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