If the prospect of calculating a tip on a dinner bill with family or friends looking on makes you panic, listen up: Your subpar knack for numbers might not always be the problem, suggests a new study. It may well be that your mind gets in the way of your true ability. Your fears of doing math in a pressure-filled situation cause you to worry and perform poorly.
The new report, published in the journal Emotion, looked at the reasons why some students succeed on a math test while others flounder. Scientists measured working memory capacity, a mental scratch pad that temporarily stores and processes information, in 73 college students with low and high levels of math anxiety. They also tested saliva for cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress, before and after participants solved a tough series of math problems.
Read the full story: msnbc