Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Lawrence Locker

Committee Member 1

Janie H. Wilson

Committee Member 2

Karen Z. Naufel


Math anxiety is a general fear or tension associated with thinking about or engaging in tasks requiring mathematical computations or interpretations. Past research paid little attention to the role of metacognition. It was expected that metacognition would moderate the effects of math anxiety such that performance, reaction time, and confidence would decrease as anxiety levels increased. Participants completed a math anxiety scale, a modular arithmetic task, and a state metacognition scale. Participants also provided information regarding their confidence in how well they answered each math question correctly as well as their estimation of their overall performance. As expected, metacognition moderated math anxiety and predicted that performance would decrease as anxiety increased, except at high metacognition levels. Further, metacognition predicted confidence in accuracy such that individuals with high metacognitive ability were more confident in their ability to correctly answer the problems. This study supports and extends past research findings on the importance of metacognitive processes (evaluation, monitoring, checking, and planning behaviors) and their interaction with anxiety.

Research Data and Supplementary Material