chapter  11
‘Maths doesn’t like me anymore’: Role of attitudes and emotions
Pages 18

For many generations, arithmetic has aroused strong emotions: too often, highly negative ones. It is not possible fully to understand arithmetical difficulties without taking into account fear of arithmetic; not possible to understand individual differences in arithmetical ability and performance without taking into account individual differences in attitudes to arithmetic. As pointed out by Krutetskii (1968, p. 345): ‘Without an inclination for mathematics there can be no real capacity for it. If a pupil feels no inclination for mathematics, even good abilities would scarcely provide an entirely successful mastery of it.’ More negatively, some of the people in my study of adults with mild arithmetical difficulties spontaneously rephrased the description of the study in more emotional terms: ‘I would like to take part in your study of people who are terrified of maths!’