Webster, Kathleen

Advisor Department





Psychology; Research; Quantitative Psychology; Statistics; Higher Education


The American Psychological Association (APA) emphasizes the importance of learning about research within a student’s undergraduate career. According to the APA’s psychology undergraduate guidelines, one of the key learning objectives is to have a strong basis in scientific inquiry and critical thinking. This includes learning completing foundation-level courses should basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, consuming research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena (APA, 2013). Previous research has examined a positive and linear relationship between math anxiety and self-esteem (Wang et al, 2015). These variables play an important role in regards to learning about and conducting research. The present study examined the role that student perceptions of research plays within self-esteem and math anxiety in introductory research courses. A sample of 164 individuals were administered a series of self-report measures to assess math anxiety, self-esteem, and perceptions of research. A mediation analysis will be conducted to explore the potential underlying role of student perceptions of research in the self-esteem-math anxiety association. I have been unable to clean and analyze the results thus far, but these findings will be presented within the poster. This study implicates the need for interventions that focus on improving perceptions of research among psychology students as a means of reducing math anxiety and increasing self-esteem. Future studies are needed to examine these associations using longitudinal data and a larger sample size. Further, a pre-post study would be beneficial in understanding how perceptions of research, math anxiety, and self-esteem may influence success in introductory research courses.