Math Anxiety Research

by xb3 | | CC BY

My business partner, William Devine, a licensed professional counselor, has been doing lots of research these past few weeks. He’s been reading up on math anxiety and the effects of adults’ attitudes and behavior on children’s math performance.

He started looking into this because I was basing the That’s Math product we’re developing on my experiences with student math performance – both high and low.

Of course I’ve been watching student math performance some 20 years. But he still wasn’t about to spend hundreds of hours building a product based on my soap-box rantings.

Indeed, what I was offering was merely…

Proof by Blatant Assertion.

I’ve been using the standard proof by blatant assertion method on for a year. So it seemed that building That’s Math on the same premise would work.

Everyone knows that the things grownups say in front of kids about math has a huge impact.

When I brought Wil in as a partner, the first thing he said was, “You can’t just say it’s true.”

“Well, it is true,” I said.

“You may be right, but saying it really loud doesn’t make it true. And pushing it on people doesn’t make them believe it.”

Proof by Research.

So here we go. Off into research world – finding out what causes math anxiety. Or at least what pieces we can help change to relieve math anxiety.

Thankfully Wil’s great at it. And I’ve managed to convince him to share a little with y’all – even before we launch That’s Math.

I’m officially introducing William “Wil-with-one-L” Devine, MA, LPC, CART, as a writer on

We’ll be sharing what he finds, each week. And of course I’ll give my two cents when I’m inclined.

What do you want to know?

If you’re interested in knowing more, let us know in the comments. And what do you think is true about math anxiety and its effect on math performance? What about the effect of adults on the math performance of children?

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