If you listen, there are still plenty of people out there suggesting that math and other STEM subjects are more difficult for girls than boys. At the surface, this notion may seem to be true when you experience firsthand the angst some girls feel prior to taking math exams.

It’s the same notion that you can worry for weeks before a major test or performance, but once the big day arrives, everything becomes clear and calm. This phenomenon seems to be occurring in many female students and researchers seem to think they have pinpointed the sources of girls’ angst over math class.

http://tinyurl.com/kng7smcIn fact, in the days and weeks leading up to a significant math test, girls are much more likely to experience higher levels of pre-test anxiety than their male counterparts. However, once test day arrives, there is no measurable difference in anxiety levels between girls and boys. This made researchers questions the source of girls’ anxiety. Their conclusion? That girls experience additional and higher levels of anxiety in the days and weeks leading up to a math test than their male counterparts due in large part by the prevailing social norms that still exist.

Lots of studies have shown that girls and women are, on average, more anxious about math than boys and men are. Yet this new study finds that when it comes to showtime, that difference in anxiety vanishes. The finding offers more evidence to support the idea that girls’ anxiety about math is fueled by stereotypes they’ve internalized, according to the research team. That’s because people’s beliefs have a strong effect on what kind of anxieties they habitually feel, which is what researchers usually capture in surveys… but not on the more immediate butterflies/sweaty palms/what-if-I-imagine-everyone-naked-no-that’s-worse feelings they have during a scary event.

You know how you can worry for weeks before a major test or performance, but once the big day arrives, everything becomes clear and calm? That’s basically what one team of psychologists discovered happens to many girls before math tests and math class.

Lots of studies have shown that girls and women are, on average, more anxious about math than boys and men are. Yet this new study finds that when it comes to showtime, that difference in anxiety vanishes. The finding offers more evidence to support the idea that girls’ anxiety about math is fueled by stereotypes they’ve internalized, according to the research team. That’s because people’s beliefs have a strong effect on what kind of anxieties they habitually feel, which is what researchers usually capture in surveys… but not on the more immediate butterflies/sweaty palms/what-if-I-imagine-everyone-naked-no-that’s-worse feelings they have during a scary event.

Continue reading When It’s Test Time, Girls And Boys Are Equally Scared Of Math

Read more articles on girls in STEM courses

http://tinyurl.com/kng7smc