Free Essay

Attitude Towards Mathematics: Emotions, Expectations and Values

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By enerkejd
Words 708
Pages 3
MARKKU S. HANNULA

ATTITUDE TOWARDS MATHEMATICS: EMOTIONS,
EXPECTATIONS AND VALUES

ABSTRACT. This article suggests a new framework for analysing attitude and changes in attitude. After reviewing relevant findings in the field of psychology of emotions, the author will provide a new conceptualisation for attitude. Four different evaluative processes are identified as aspects of attitude: emotions aroused in the situation, emotions associated with the stimuli, expected consequences, and relating the situation to personal values. The usefulness of this analytical framework will be illustrated with an exemplary case study.
An ethnographic case study of Rita, a lower secondary school student, will be analysed.
The case study will describe her negative attitude towards mathematics, and then examine how negative emotions developed during problem solving situations. Within half a year her attitude towards mathematics changed dramatically to more positive.
KEY WORDS: attitude, case study, change, emotion, expectation, value

1. I NTRODUCTION

1.1. Earlier findings
The everyday notion of attitude refers to someone’s basic liking or disliking of a familiar target. A general overview of the development of attitudes throughout school years is documented through surveys and metaanalyses. These studies have shown that, for example, girls tend to have more negative attitudes towards mathematics than boys (Frost et al., 1994;
Leder, 1995), and that attitudes tend to become more negative as pupils move from elementary to secondary school (McLeod, 1994). The general attitude of the class towards mathematics is related to the quality of the teaching and to the social-psychological climate of the class (Haladyna et al., 1983).
Ma and Kishor (1997) synthesised 113 survey studies of the relationship between attitude towards mathematics and achievement in mathematics. The causal direction of the relationship was from attitude to the achievement. Although the correlations were weak in the overall sample, they were stronger throughout grades 7 to 12, and in studies that had done separate analysis of male and female subjects.
Educational Studies in Mathematics 49: 25–46, 2002.

The effort to promote positive attitudes has been somewhat successful on the individual level. For example, mathematics anxiety can be reduced through systematic desensitisation (Hembree, 1990). On the whole class level the efforts to reform teaching to promote desired attitudes have generally been unsuccessful (McLeod, 1994). However, recent evidence suggests that collaborative approaches can promote positive attitudes among students (e.g. Boaler, 1997a, b, 1998; Ridlon, 1999).
A lot of research has been done on attitude towards mathematics, but theoretically the concept needs to be developed. Several authors (e.g. Di
Martino and Zan, 2001; Ruffell, Mason and Allen, 1998) have pointed out that attitude is an ambiguous construct, it is often used without proper definition, and it needs to be developed theoretically. The most obvious problem with attitudes is the discrepancy between espoused and enacted attitudes. Moreover, attitude measures need substantial refining (Ma and
Kishor, 1997). Di Martino and Zan (2001) distinguish two basic approaches to defining attitude towards mathematics:
1. A ‘simple’ definition describes it as the degree of affect associated with mathematics; i.e. attitude is the emotional disposition toward mathematics. This kind of definition ignores the cognitive element in attitude. However, even those who use this kind of definition, often rely on paper and pencil test, which makes it hard to distinguish emotional disposition from beliefs.
2. A three-component definition distinguishes emotional response, beliefs, and behaviour as components of attitude.1 This second approach seems incompatible with the widely accepted view (e.g. McLeod, 1992,
DeBellis and Goldin, 1997) of attitude, emotions and beliefs as belonging to the affective domain.
1.2. Aim of this paper
This paper will develop a new framework for analysing attitude. A foundation will be built from the background of psychology of emotions. The observable category ‘student’s attitude towards mathematics’ will be separated into four different evaluative processes: 1) the emotions the student experiences during mathematics related activities; 2) the emotions that the student automatically associates with the concept ‘mathematics’; 3) evaluations of situations that the student expects to follow as a consequence of doing mathematics; and 4) the value of mathematics-related goals in the student’s global goal structure.
The development of a new framework will be followed by a case study that will illustrate the analytical power of the proposed framework. All

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Attitude, Values and Ethics

... ATTITUDES, VALUES AND ETHICS ATTITUDE Attitude is a person’s overall evaluation of a person, or issue. It could be favorable or unfavorable towards something. It is considered along with other elements- beliefs and behaviors.Beliefs represent what we have learned or come to know through experience. As such, they are either true or represent what we think is true. Example, that working on a challenging project would bring recognition in the organization or that working after office hours would affect health and personal life while behaviors represent the actions we take with regard to a particular object or entity. Example, whether one complete the project successfully or leave the office at 6:00 PM in the evening. In the simplest case, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors should be related but there are instances that the relation between attitudes, beliefs and behaviors is not very strong (Wiegel et al., 1974). For example, we might dislike studying, (a negative attitude) and rarely study at all (negative behavior) yet truly believe it will lead to success, yet rarely study. We could even dislike studying, be unsure whether it leads to better grades, and yet spend a great deal in studying. Hence, we can say that attitude is a complex cognitive process (Neovistas.com, 2004). Attitudes can be examined in terms of its three components: Affect, Behavioral, and Cognition. Affect consists of the emotional feelings stimulated by the object of the attitude for......

Words: 6269 - Pages: 26

Free Essay

Value and Attitudes

...SUBJECT : Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors CONDITION: Classroom environment STANDARD: 1. Define Values, Attitudes, Behaviors and Beliefs. 2. Explain the importance of beliefs, values and norms. 3. Explain the value system and the significance of the socialization process. 4. Explain Louis Rath’s seven value criteria. 5. Explain cognitive dissonance and ways to reduce it. TYPE OF INSTRUCTION: Instruction and Small Group Discussion TIME OF INSTRUCTION: 2 Hours LEAD IN: The Army is probably the largest and most diverse organization in the country with an ethnic and racial makeup most reflective of American society. Each individual brings a set of values and attitudes that have been cultivated over many years. Additionally, these values and attitudes are still being shaped and refined with each new experience. Many of you have strong memories about recent events in your lives, such as promotion, schooling, a new baby, or a transfer. These events and ones yet to come, serve to shape your values and attitudes for the future. However, values and attitudes do not automatically change just because someone puts on an Army uniform. Some values and attitudes, when coupled with a lack of awareness, or insensitivity about others that are different from ourselves, can produce confrontations, anger, and even violence. It is imperative all soldiers and civilian employees recognize and manage their differences so they do not......

Words: 4576 - Pages: 19

Free Essay

Attitude Towards Obesity in Canada

...worldwide for many years, even more so in the last four decades as obesity is now occurring in earlier stages of life (Gahagen, 2004). The attitude of children towards healthy behaviours affects them both immediately and in the future. By emphasizing the importance of physical activity via a positive role model such as Cam Newton, the NFL is directing a message to young children that physical activity and exercise are necessary in order to live a high quality life and one day ultimately fulfill their dreams. This commercial appears to be directed at pre-school and elementary school children. By targeting children of the pre-school and elementary ages, the NFL attempts to establish healthy behaviours in their younger audience whose behaviours can be modified the easiest. If a child learns to value physical activity and recognize the benefits at a young age, they are more likely to continue to be active and ultimately benefit their overall wellness in the years to come. References: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aKYZFcmAmU Gahagen, S. (2004). Child and adolscent obesity. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolsecent health care, 34(1), 6-43. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.uregina.ca:2048/science/article/pii/S1538544203001664 Hockey Canada released a commercial that targeted the attitudes of parents towards the influence they have on their children’s athletic career. This commercial involves a mother and her daughter who appear to be attending...

Words: 383 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Personality, Attitudes, Values and Motivation

...An individual’s effectiveness in the workplace often depends on his/her personality, attitudes and values, along with his/her motivation to succeed. Concurrently, the perception, attitudes and values of colleagues in the workplace play a role in determining the individual’s effectiveness. Understanding these characteristics of employees can be very crucial for organizations to operate successfully. At the same time, it is essential that employees understand the values associated with the organization in order to avoid any conflicting feelings toward the work they are employed to do. By recognizing and appreciating each other’s characteristics and constraints, employees and the organizations they are part of, form a highly-beneficial symbiotic relationship. Thus, it becomes imperative for employees to remain motivated and for organizations to keep them motivated. Personal Reflection Having read and understood the importance of personality, attitudes, values, and motivation to succeed, in the workplace, I reflected upon my own characteristic traits to predict my effectiveness in the workplace. Personality Heredity. A very important factor that determines certain aspects of our personality is heredity. Although heredity is responsible for one’s biological, physiological and psychological makeup, and it plays a major role on the personality characteristics of a child, but as you grow into an adult, it is possible, and highly probable that a lot of these characteristics......

Words: 3738 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

A Survey of Student Attitudes, Experiences and Expectations

...A Survey of Student Attitudes, Experiences and Expectations on selected vocational courses at the University of Northumbria April 2005 Anna Round Student Retention Project, University of Northumbria Part One: Background Section One: Introduction 1:1 Background 1 1:2 Literature survey 2 1:3 Primary research 4 1:3:1 Student questionnaire 4 1:3:2 Staff questionnaire 6 1:3:3 Interviews 6 Section Two: Literature survey 2:1 Student perceptions and the student experience 7 2:1:1 Holistic approaches 7 2:1:2 Academic preparedness and study skills 9 2:1:3 Student attitudes to feedback 11 2:1:4 Student attitudes to teaching and learning 13 2:1:5 Tutor-student relations 15 2:1:6 Accommodation and retention 16 2:2 Student Characteristics 18 2:2:1 Views of students 18 2:2:2 Student self-perceptions: skills 19 2:2:3 Student self-perceptions: workload 21 2:3 Transformation 22 2:4 Widening participation: some further issues 26 2:4:1 Non-traditional students and the student experience 26 2:4:2 Support and access to support 27 2:5 Students and motivation 28 2:5:1 Types of student motivation 28 2:5:2 Retention and motivation 29 2:5:3 Motivations for entering higher education 30 2:5:4 Goals and values (Mäkinen et al) 31 2:5:6 Motivation and......

Words: 100121 - Pages: 401

Premium Essay

Attitudes Towards Woman Roles

...ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN=S ROLES – MONFRIES & SCEVAK 1 Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology. Vol 1, 2001, pp 1-9 Developmental differences in attitudes towards women=s roles in = Australian Society: Critical periods for Afeminist@ socialisation. @ Melissa M. Monfries & Jill. J. Scevak Faculty of Education, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia ABSTRACT Gender role attitudes of adolescent girls have not been widely studied, nor have the mechanisms by which attitudes towards women’s roles develop. The present study focussed on adolescent girls’ gender role attitudes. Specifically it focussed on developmental differences in gender role attitudes of adolescent girls (n=642). The results indicated that Year 9 girls had significantly more positive attitudes towards feminism than Year 11 girls. These findings have important implications for girls’ career development. Results suggest that there is a critical period between Years 9 and 11 which accounts for girls’ increased conservatism towards feminism. The integral involvement of socialisation processes is necessarily implicated in this critical period. INTRODUCTION Group identification has been strongly associated with an individual's level of group consciousness (Henderson-King & Stewart, 1994). Tajfel (1978; 1982) specified that the two important components of group identification were the awareness of one's group membership and the evaluative stance towards one's membership in that......

Words: 1866 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Attitudes Towards Online Shopping

...International Journal of E-Business Development (IJED) Attitudes toward Online Shopping: A Comparison of Online Consumers in China and the US * Department of Marketing, Howard University, 2600 6th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA Department of Marketing, The George Washington University, Funger 301D, 2201 G Street, NW, Washington DC, 20052, USA ^ Department of Marketing, Towson University, Stephens Hall 123, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252, USA 1 gong.gw@gmail.com; 2maddox@gwu.edu; 3rstump@towson.edu market, one that is striving to transform its economy from being manufacturing-based to technology-based. The Chinese government has attached great importance to e-tailing in spurring economic growth and recently has released a series of policies to regularize and guide Internet and e-tailing development (6). Furthermore, China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy and is predicted to replace the US as the world's top economy in roughly a decade (12). Collectively, all of these factors bode well for an improving etailing environment in China. The focus of this study is to examine whether online consumers in China and the US share similar attitudes with regard to online shopping. While there is a wealth of research focusing on online shopping behaviour in Western countries, relatively little research has compared consumer attitudes toward online shopping across nations. Reflecting the call by Van Slyke, Belanger and Sridhar (13) for more......

Words: 8805 - Pages: 36

Premium Essay

Consumer Attitude Towards Fmcgs

...is distribution rather than production (Schutte, 1969). There are basically two kinds of Private Labels namely -Premium private labels and Value innovative private labels. Premium private labels are those Private Labels which are priced higher than the National Brands like Te'scoFinest Brand (which competes against P&G and Coca-cola in U.K.). Value innovative Private Labels are those Private Labels which compete with the functional quality of National brands and are available at economical prices. The history of private labels dates back to 1869 with 'Sainsbury' (the father of modem supermarkets), which was established in Victorian England, followed by Marks and Spencerin 1884. In the Indian perspective, Foodworld (1996), Subhikhsa (1997), and Food Bazaar (200 1-02) getthe credit for pioneering Private Labels. THEOBJEC~SOFTHESTUDY 1. To studythe salient attributes on which consumersevaluate both Private Labels and National Brands. 2. To comparethe attitude of consumers towards Private labels and National Brands. LITERATURE SURVEY For the sake of clear understanding researcharticles reviewed have beenclassified into the following broad headings: 1. Factors that impact the evolution of Private Labels. 2. Characteristics of the Private Label Brand Buyers. 3. Whether Private Labels are hedonic or functional? 4. Consumerattitude towards Private Label food products. 5. Various attitudinal and behavioral consumers'attributes on Private Labels buying. .Factors That Impact The...

Words: 4664 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Examining Emotions, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction

...Examining Emotions, Attitudes, and Job Satisfaction BUS 520 – Leadership and Organizatinal Behavior . Emotion, attitude and job satisfaction can influence decision-making. A poor decision-making is an effect of negative behavior or mood and can interfere with a person’s job or decision-making. Job satisfaction is another way whereby employees can be influence. Emotions determine job satisfaction (and vice-versa) and how employees attitude influence the performance of the organization. Having all these traits can be asset to all the managers and directors in a company whose job is to entail the planning and decision-making. Making sense on how people behave can depend on understanding their attitudes. Some people can have emotional attachments toward the company they work for (and some don’t). Managers can have some strong influence over the satisfaction of employees and how they are treated fairly. Managers have a collection of feelings and beliefs that can be strongly attached to job satisfaction. I have come to notice that ambition can negatively influence job satisfaction more so in making decisions in part of the roles that the employees play. Job satisfaction in other words, can be placed as a positive emotional state resulting from a great culture to another, providing better chances to employee’s participation in decision-making. Job satisfaction can be one-dimensional if it comprises evaluation in the interest of employee’s attitudes. ......

Words: 1491 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Discussion of the Change of Customers’ Attitudes Towards and Expectations and the Ways Organisations Respond

...Introduction: This essay mainly focuses on the relationship between the change of customers’ attitudes towards and expectations and financial services sector’s respond. A review of the theoretical background of business external environment and contextual environment is represented as well to give a theoretical framework. This essay consists of three major parts. The first part refers to the competitiveness of the financial services sector and the importance of organisations recognizing the influences of the external environment and how the developments in these influences can have a substantial impact on organisational success. The second part gives the theoretical framework of business external environment and contextual environment, and especially concentrates on the influence of the social environment on customer attitudes and expectations. In addition, it reveals customers and financial services sector are not isolate parts to each other, whereas they are in a two-way interaction process. The third part provides an example in particular to illustrate the ways in which organisations have recognised changes and how to respond in terms of products and services in order to achieve customer satisfaction and maintain their competitive position. With the development of economic globalization, the number and cooperation of countries’ financial organizations are getting larger and closer, so the competition is increasingly fierce. Competition here includes not only the......

Words: 1618 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Article Review: Teacher Attitudes Toward Dyslexia: Effects on Teacher Expectations and the Academic Achievement of Students with Dyslexia

...Article Review: Teacher Attitudes Toward Dyslexia: Effects on Teacher Expectations and the Academic Achievement of Students with Dyslexia A study by Bakker, Denessen, Hornstra, van den Bergh, and Voeten (2010) examined teacher attitudes toward dyslexia and the effects of these attitudes on teacher expectations and the academic achievement of students with dyslexia compared to students without learning disabilities (Bakker et al. 2010). The objective of the experiment is to examine whether students with dyslexia are indeed at risk for stigmatization by their regular education teachers, which can result in lower teacher expectations for these students, and whether lower teacher expectations can affect the achievement of students with dyslexia. Throughout this correlational descriptive research study, three research questions took emphasis: 1.) To what extent do teacher attitudes toward dyslexia predict teacher expectations for individual students with dyslexia? 2.) To what extent do teacher attitudes toward dyslexia predict the achievement of students with dyslexia? 3.) Does the association between teacher attitudes toward dyslexia and the achievement of students with dyslexia appear to be significantly mediated by teacher expectations? The results of their study were inconclusive, as they received variable results across the spelling, math, and overall academic achievement that the author(s) was unable to make a definitive correlational statement on the relationship......

Words: 543 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Emotions and Attitudes

...Emotions and attitudes play a big role in the organisation in terms of productivity and employee motivation. Emotions are the physiological, behavioural, and psychological episodes experienced towards an object, person or event. Attitudes represent the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings and behavioural intentions towards a person, object or event. The difference between emotions and attitudes is that emotions occur without our awareness. So even if we feel a certain way about a situation, it will depend on the person's emotion dissonance. Attitude on the other hand happens with our own conscious logical reasoning. In the case study "Bust Up", Wendy is no happy about the new manager, Tracy,as she assumed that the position would have been given to her. Both Tracy and Wendy go though certain emotions and attitudes. Wendy has already gone though some parts of the EVLN model. The first one that was Wendy used would be "Neglect". When she found out that Tanya was becoming the manager, she lost her temper as she walked past Tanya's office and took one month of work to "reconsider her position at the clinic". Wendy's future plan with her job is very un-stable at that moment. It doesn't feel like she needs to discuss her situation with anyone as she probably knows that all the nurses in the clinic know her story. This being the case, the "Loyalty" stage of the EVLN model has been skipped. If there are no plans to deal with Wendy's situation, I would predict that Wendy choose the......

Words: 573 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Emotions and Attitudes

...Emotions and attitudes play a big role in the organisation in terms of productivity and employee motivation. Emotions are the physiological, behavioural, and psychological episodes experienced towards an object, person or event. Attitudes represent the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings and behavioural intentions towards a person, object or event. The difference between emotions and attitudes is that emotions occur without our awareness. So even if we feel a certain way about a situation, it will depend on the person's emotion dissonance. Attitude on the other hand happens with our own conscious logical reasoning. In the case study "Bust Up", Wendy is no happy about the new manager, Tracy,as she assumed that the position would have been given to her. Both Tracy and Wendy go though certain emotions and attitudes. Wendy has already gone though some parts of the EVLN model. The first one that was Wendy used would be "Neglect". When she found out that Tanya was becoming the manager, she lost her temper as she walked past Tanya's office and took one month of work to "reconsider her position at the clinic". Wendy's future plan with her job is very un-stable at that moment. It doesn't feel like she needs to discuss her situation with anyone as she probably knows that all the nurses in the clinic know her story. This being the case, the "Loyalty" stage of the EVLN model has been skipped. If there are no plans to deal with Wendy's situation, I would predict that Wendy choose the...

Words: 326 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Attitudes Toward Green Marketing

... Attitudes Towards Green Marketing Joslyn Roth Olha Shchadylo May 20, 2015 Introduction Lately, society has become more aware about the worsening environment and it has become a persistent public concern. The term green marketing came across in the late 1970s when the American Marketing Association held the first workshop on "Ecological Marketing” in 1975. Green marketing emerged as “marketing of products that are assumed to be environmentally safe". Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, sustainable packaging, as well as modifying advertising. As broad as green marketing is, it's very important to understand its benefits and challenges. The increased importance of green marketing is very simple and relies on the basic definition of economics. Economics is a study of how people use limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants and needs. Unfortunately we do have limited resources, thus we need to find alternative ways in order to satisfy our needs and save the environment. Ultimately, green marketing looks at how marketing activities utilizes this limited resources, while satisfying consumer wants, both individuals and industry, as well as achieving selling objectives. These environmental concerns have gotten businesses attention and to show support, companies started to modify their products for preservation of the environment. Businesses have been quick to accept concepts......

Words: 4030 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Political Attitudes Towards Moral Values

...Appendix 2 Rights or Wrongs? Public attitudes towards moral values. Stephen Rule Are South Africans apathetic about their beliefs or highly tolerant of diverse opinions and behaviour? South Africa is renowned for having one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, but an HSRC representative national survey of 4 980 adults (aged 16 and older) during September and October 2003, indicates that Government policy on “moral” issues is more “progressive” than the attitudes of the electorate. Since the 1994 change of Government, the Termination of Pregnancy Act has been passed to permit abortion. Similarly, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and capital punishment for persons found guilty of murder, have been made unconstitutional. But according to the survey, most South Africans oppose abortion, same-sex adult sexual relationships and support capital punishment. All three issues are, however, hotly contested in civil society. Pro-life activists are objecting strongly to the termination of 300 000 pregnancies since 1996. Divisions exist within the Christian community with respect to consensual sex between adults of the same gender. The re-introduction of the death penalty is policy for several political parties. Public opinion gauged by the HSRC’s 2003 South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) reflects this contestation. More than half (56%) of South African adults think that abortion is “always wrong” in the event of it being discovered that there is a......

Words: 1473 - Pages: 6