Monday, February 7, 2022

Examined whether math ability was significant mediator of relation between gender and math anxiety; math ability accounted for a significant amount of the variance between gender and math anxiety, mostly due to manipulation ability

Delage, V., Trudel, G., Retanal, F., & Maloney, E. A. (2021). Spatial anxiety and spatial ability: Mediators of gender differences in math anxiety. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Feb 2022.

Abstract: Females tend to be more anxious than males while engaging in mathematics, which has been linked to lower math performance and higher math avoidance. A possible repercussion of this gender difference is the underrepresentation of females in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), as math competencies are an essential part of succeeding in such fields. A related, but distinct, area of research suggests that males tend to outperform females in tasks that require spatial processing (i.e., the ability to mentally visualize, rotate, and transform spatial and visual information). Interestingly, factors from the spatial processing domain (spatial ability and spatial anxiety) are important in explaining gender differences in math anxiety. Here, we examined three types of spatial anxiety and ability (imagery, navigation, and manipulation), as well as math ability, as mediators of gender differences in math anxiety. Undergraduate students (125 male; 286 female) completed assessments of their general level of anxiety, their math anxiety, and their spatial anxiety. They also completed a series of tasks measuring their mathematical skill, their spatial skills, and basic demographics. Results suggest that manipulation anxiety and ability, navigation anxiety, and math ability explained the gender difference in math anxiety, but manipulation anxiety was the strongest mediator of this relation. Conversely, all other measures did not explain the gender difference in math anxiety. These findings help us better understand the gender difference in mathematics, and this is important in reducing the gender gap in STEM fields.

Watching Videos on a Smartphone: Do Small Screens Lead To A Shallower Narrative Experience?

Watching Videos on a Smartphone: Do Small Screens Impair Narrative Transportation. Markus Appel & Christoph Mengelkamp. Media Psychology, Feb 6 2022.

Abstract: Smartphones are a preferred platform to access audiovisual stories. Prior theory and research suggest that using smaller screens could lead to a shallower narrative experience. In three experiments we examined the influence of screen size (smartphone vs. computer screen) on the experience of being transported into the world of the story (narrative transportation). We further examined interaction effects with manipulations meant to change transportation by means of reviews (Experiment 1, N = 120), consistency of main character information (Experiment 2, N = 139), and prior information meant to facilitate comprehension (Experiment 3, N = 129). Because our series of studies involved theoretically and practically relevant null hypotheses (i.e., screen size does not influence transportation), we added Bayes factor analyses to standard frequentist statistics. A mini meta-analysis was conducted to summarize the results. Taken together, the three experiments indicate that smaller screen size does not impair narrative transportation. Implications and future research are discussed.

After the Yellow Vests movement, the French people would largely reject a tax and dividend policy (a carbon tax whose revenues are redistributed uniformly to each adult): overestimate their net monetary losses, wrongly think that the policy is regressive

Yellow Vests, Pessimistic Beliefs, and Carbon Tax Aversion. Thomas Douenne and Adrien Fabre. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Feb 2022, Vol. 14, No. 1: Pages 81-110.

Abstract: Using a representative survey, we find that after the Yellow Vests movement, French people would largely reject a tax and dividend policy, i.e., a carbon tax whose revenues are redistributed uniformly to each adult. They overestimate their net monetary losses, wrongly think that the policy is regressive, and do not perceive it as environmentally effective. We show that changing people’s beliefs can substantially increase support. Although significant, the effects of our informational treatments on beliefs are small. Indeed, the respondents that oppose the tax tend to discard positive information about it, which is consistent with distrust, uncertainty, or motivated reasoning. (JEL D83, H23, H31, Q54, Q58)