Background: Emotional perception of math-related information can affect an individual’s attitude and professional choices, especially in the area of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions. Method: The study compared the processing of math-related words, words with negative emotional valence, and words with neutral valence, using the physiological measure of pupil dilation on a random sample of 30 adults. Pupil responses were examined during a lexical decision task (LDT). We sought to show that exposure to math-related stimuli would cause arousal of the sympathetic system leading to an increase in pupil dilation, similar to that caused by exposure to negative stimuli. Results: pupillary responses were sensitive to words with emotional valence; exposure to math-related words led to increased pupil dilation compared to neutral words; exposure to words with negative valence led to increased pupil dilation compared to neutral words; exposure to math-related words and words with negative valence led to similar pupil dilation. The study concludes math-related textual stimuli lead to increased pupil dilation, similar to negative affective valence textual stimuli. Conclusion: These findings create new possibilities for studying the cognitive and emotional effort required to process math-related information using pupillary response, with implications for researchers, educators, and leaders in the field.
|Journal||Journal of Intelligence|
|State||Published - 3 Oct 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, grant number 733/19. The work of Adi Shechter was supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Isreal.
© 2022 by the authors.
- cognitive effort
- emotional valence
- pupil dilation
- semantical processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience