Being faced with a complex maths problem can seem like a fun puzzle or a dreaded task accompanied by a quickening pulse and tightness in the chest.
But for children, it can be a real problem in schools that are exacerbated by teachers and even their own parents.
A team of researchers from Cambridge University studied the problem by looking at 1,700 British pupils aged eight to 13 alongside another 1,000 Italian pupils. They found that children tended to expect maths to be a more difficult subject which in turn led to a loss of confidence. The two factors together created a vicious cycle that can affect children approaching STEM careers in later life.
The researchers also found that girls are more prone to maths anxiety than boys. Read more