Personality is index to math skills; study

RESEARCH led by Ellen Peters, Ph.D., a professor of science communication at the University of Oregon and released on Monday could show that maths paired with a person’s perception of his ability lead to certain benefits in life. Their research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has shown that real benefits of maths in both financial security and health has a correlation with an individual’s level of confidence.

Research determined how skills in math and also the level of confidence in these skills affected some self-reported metrics such as personal finance and data that is hard to exaggerate during the self-reporting process such as the progression of lupus. Two studies were carried out in total and in both cases, it was determined that math level and confidence had serious consequences concerning outcomes in both scenarios.

Good at math indicates high financial responsibility

Ellen Peters noted that those who had higher confidence in their skills compared to their ability ended up being on the worse side of the spectrum. This showed that when it came to financial matters, they were more likely to make bad decisions for their financial situation and therefore getting into massive debts, payday loans, and inability to manage their funds in the long run. Those who had a high understanding of math ended up being more financially responsible in the long run.

Math skills canceled out by a low level of confidence

The study also noted that those people who had the same level of knowledge in math were separated by their confidence in their skills. The benefit of being skillfully talented with math was automatically canceled out by a low level of confidence, making the lesser confident group vulnerable to the same problems that affected those with a lower understanding of maths. This may also lead this group to become shy of making their financial decisions on their own and delegating to other members of the household.

The study on personal finance, math ability and confidence was carried done by surveying 4572 individuals who provided the data used in the study.

Math confidence linked to autoimmune disease

Although there was no concrete evidence in the second study about the relationship between maths ability and progression of lupus, the study noted that based on the data got from 91 individuals who took part in the study, being good at maths can matter with someone suffering from an autoimmune disease.

The study concludes by showing that math is not the only determinant for personal financial security. Better perception of your abilities is also as important as understanding how to solve mathematical problems.

The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) or Nation’s Report Card was thought to be pivotal in testing eighth and fourth US graders’ comprehension of math and reading after every two years. Yet,  most of the states were not so receptive to the assessment. Perhaps, a merging of tests can be done for better results. A better assessment of math and reading proficiencies could perhaps be formed.

The research by the center illustrated that states had implemented the strategy of presenting higher standards in math and reading proficiencies in the last ten years. Moreover, it acknowledged the narrowing gap in US states with the highest and lowest proficiency bars.