A spike in blood pressure. A racing heart rate. Sweaty palms.
For many adults, this is what they feel when faced with difficult math.
But for kids, math anxiety isn’t just a feeling, it can affect their ability to do well in school. This fear tends to creep up on students when performance matters the most, like during exams or while speaking in class.
One reason for a kid’s math anxiety? How their parents feel about the subject.
“A parent might say, ‘oh I’m not a math person, it’s okay if you’re not good at math either,’ ” Sian Beilock, cognitive scientist and President of Barnard College, says. “It can send a signal to kids about whether they can succeed.”