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Mathematical mindsets increase student motivation: Evidence from the EEG

Daly, Ian and Bourgaize, Jake and Vernitski, Alexei (2019) 'Mathematical mindsets increase student motivation: Evidence from the EEG.' Trends in Neuroscience and Education. ISSN 2211-9493

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Abstract

Mathematical mindset theory suggests learner motivation in mathematics may be increased by opening problems using a set of recommended ideas. However, very little evidence supports this theory. We explore motivation through self-reports while learners attempt problems formulated according to mindset theory and standard problems. We also explore neural correlates of motivation and felt-affect while participants attempt the problems. Notably, we do not tell participants what mindset theory is and instead simply investigate whether mindset problems affect reported motivation levels and neural correlates of motivation in learners. We find significant increases in motivation for mindset problems compared to standard problems. We also find significant differences in brain activity in prefrontal EEG asymmetry between problems. This provides some of the first evidence that mathematical mindset theory increases motivation (even when participants are not aware of mindset theory), and that this change is reflected in brain activity of learners attempting mathematical problems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mathematical mindsets, EEG, Motivation, Prefrontal asymmetry
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2019 09:36
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24277

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