De Rol van Rekenangst op de Relatie Tussen Geslacht en de Cognitieve Factoren Ordeverwerking en Werkgeheugen
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Introduction. Research shows that mathematical skills are influenced by math anxiety, working memory and numeric processing. There are significant gender differences in these factors, but there is little knowledge on the role of math anxiety in the relation between gender and the cognitive factors. This study investigates what role math anxiety plays in the relation between gender & working memory and in the relation between gender & numeric processing. Method. The participants (90 male; 97 female) were gathered through a convenience sample and asked to fill in an online survey, which consisted of the AMAS, NSS, WAIS Digit Span Forward & Backward and Matrices Forward & Backward. To determine the role of math anxiety, a correlation, an independent t-test and a mediation-analysis were used. Results. There was a significant correlation between the AMAS and NSS, r = -.18, and between the AMAS and Matrices Forward & Backward, r = -.22; r = -.18. The t-test showed significant differences between men and women for math anxiety, t(176) = -3.92, and numeric processing, t(176) = 2.00. Women scored higher on the AMAS and lower on the NSS than men. No significant differences were found for the working-memory tasks. The mediation-analysis showed a significant indirect effect via math anxiety, ab = -0.20, but no significant direct effect. Conclusion. Math anxiety does not play a role in the relation between gender and math anxiety. It does, however, play a fully mediating role in the relation between gender and numeric processing. This means that math anxiety explains why women perform worse at the NSS than men.