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为什么人们对于数学感到如此焦虑 – 译学馆
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为什么人们对于数学感到如此焦虑

Why do people get so anxious about math? - Orly Rubinsten

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法国数学家洛朗·施瓦茨在高中时
When French mathematician Laurent Schwartz was in high school,
他就开始担心在解决数学问题方面他还不够聪明
he started to worry that he wasn’t smart enough to solve math problems.
也许你有类似的感受
Maybe you know a similar feeling.
你坐下参加一场数学考试
You sit down to take a math test,
然后感觉心跳加速
and you feel your heart beat faster
掌心出汗
and your palms start to sweat.
你紧张不安 无法集中精力
You get butterflies in your stomach, and you can’t concentrate.
这种现象被称为数学焦虑症
This phenomenon is called math anxiety,
如果数学焦虑发生在你身上 你不是孤单一人
and if it happens to you, you’re not alone.
研究人员表明 20%的人都患有数学焦虑症
Researchers think about 20% of the population suffers from it.
一些心理学家甚至认为这是一个可诊断疾病
Some psychologists even consider it a diagnosable condition.
但是 患有数学焦虑症并不一定意味着你不擅长数学
But having mathematical anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bad at math –
或者数学不太好
not even close.
洛朗·施瓦茨赢得了菲尔兹奖
Laurent Schwartz went on to win the Fields Medal,
菲尔兹奖是数学领域的最高奖项
the highest award in mathematics.
人们可能认为他们不擅长数学所以才感到焦虑
People might think that they’re anxious about math because they’re bad at it,
但事实往往是相反的
but it’s often the other way around.
他们对数学的焦虑才会导致数学不好
They’re doing poorly in math because they’re anxious about it.
一些心理学家认为
Some psychologists think that’s because
数学焦虑降低了一种称为
math anxiety decreases a cognitive resource
工作记忆的认知资源
called working memory.
工作记忆是短期记忆系统
That’s the short-term memory system
可帮助你组织完成任务所需的信息
that helps you organize the information you need to complete a task.
担心不能得出数学问题的答案
Worrying about being able to solve math problems,
或者不能取得好成绩
or not doing well on a test,
会消耗工作记忆
eats up working memory,
进而 剩下的工作记忆不能充分解决数学问题
leaving less of it available to tackle the math itself.
人们甚至会突然对基本的数学算数能力感到举步维艰
People can suddenly struggle with even basic math skills,
比如他们早就掌握的四则运算
like arithmetic, that they’ve otherwise mastered.
当然 学习焦虑症不只限于数学
Academic anxiety certainly isn’t limited to math,
但是它似乎更频繁地发生在数学上
but it does seem to happen much more frequently,
并且给数学招致了很多麻烦
and cause more harm in that subject.
为什么会这样呢
So why would that be?
研究人员对此还不是很明确
Researchers aren’t yet sure,
但是 一些研究表明
but some studies suggest
孩子看待数学的方式
that the way children are exposed to math by their parents and teachers
很大程度上受到家长和老师的影响
play a large part.
如果家长言语中透露出数学是困难又陌生的
If parents talk about math like something challenging and unfamiliar,
孩子们会形成潜意识
children can internalize that.
有数学焦虑症的老师也会将这种焦虑传递给学生
Teachers with math anxiety are also likely to spread it to their students.
快速解题的压力甚至会加重焦虑
Pressure to solve problems quickly dials up stress even more.
在一些文化中 数学好代表着聪明
And in some cultures, being good at math is a sign of being smart in general.
当期望值那么高时
When the stakes are that high,
学生们变的那么焦虑也就不奇怪了
it’s not surprising that students are anxious.
玛丽娅姆是一位极具影响力的数学家
Even Maryam Mirzakhani, an influential mathematician
也是第一位获得菲尔兹奖的女性
who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal,
甚至连她都不自信 从而失去对数学的兴趣
felt unconfident and lost interest in mathematics
因为她中学数学老师认为她没有数学天赋
because her math teacher in middle school didn’t think she was talented.
所以 如果你正在经历数学焦虑
So if you experience mathematical anxiety,
你该做些什么呢
what can you do?
像呼吸练习这种放松技巧
Relaxation techniques, like short breathing exercises,
能够提高患有数学焦虑症学生的成绩
have improved test performance in students with math anxiety.
写下你的担忧也可以缓解焦虑
Writing down your worries can also help.
这种方法可能会给你一次重新评价焦虑的机会
This strategy may give you a chance to reevaluate a stressful experience,
释放工作记忆
freeing up working memory.
如果你有机会
And if you have the chance,
参加像快走和深呼吸这样的体育活动
physical activity, like a brisk walk, deepens breathing
这样能够帮助肌肉松弛
and helps relieve muscle tension,
避免焦虑的产生
preventing anxiety from building.
你也可以运用对大脑的了解
You can also use your knowledge about the brain
来改变你的思维方式
to change your mindset.
大脑容量是有弹性的
The brain is flexible,
储存数学知识的区域能够扩大加深
and the areas involved in math skills can always grow and develop.
这是一种称为成长心态的心理学原理
This is a psychological principle called the growth mindset.
把自己想象成一个你想成为的人
Thinking of yourself as someone who can grow and improve
真的可以帮助你成长和提高
can actually help you grow and improve.
如果你是小孩子的老师或家长
If you’re a teacher or parent of young children,
试着寓教于乐 注重创造性
try being playful with math and focusing on the creative aspects.
这会帮助培养数学能力
That can build the numerical skills
帮助他们日后对待数学更有信心
that help students approach math with confidence later on.
重要的是 你应该给予孩子
Importantly, you should give children the time and space
自己得到答案的时间和空间
to work through their answers.
如果你是一名管理人员
And if you’re an administrator,
你要确保你的老师们态度都很积极
make sure your teachers have the positive attitudes
和对数学很有信心
and mathematical confidence necessary
这对于激发学生的信心是很必要的
to inspire confidence in all of their students.
同时 不要让任何人传播
Also, don’t let anyone spread the myth
男生天生数学就比女生好 这样的谣言
that boys are innately better than girls at math.
这是大错特错的
That is completely false.
如果你正在经历数学焦虑
If you experience math anxiety,
仅仅知道它的存在是不够的
it may not help to just know that math anxiety exists.
也许 给这种症状起了个名字会使人感到安心
Or perhaps it’s reassuring to put a name to the problem.
不管怎样 如果你环顾四周
Regardless, if you take a look around yourself,
你很可能会看到跟你同病相怜的人
the odds are good that you’ll see someone experiencing the same thing as you.
只要记住 焦虑并不是你能力的直接反应
Just remember that the anxiety is not a reflection of your ability,
而是你可以通过时间和意识克服的东西
but it is something you can conquer with time and awareness.

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视频概述

每次数学考试之前,你是不是都暗下决心:这次一定好好考,不紧张。然而坐在考场里的时候,你都自我暗示没事儿的没事儿的,我肯定能做对。演草纸用了一张又一张,手心冒汗心里发慌……这些都是数学焦虑症的表现。这是为什么呢,那我们该如何克服呢……快看视频吧!

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