According to a recent study, attitude toward math is as important as IQ to predict the level of performance of a child. For a long time, experts observed that children who are more interested in mathematics and believe they are good at it get better scores, but it was not clear if this could be the consequence of other factors, like higher intelligence. Now, researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine discovered that a positive attitude about math has an impact on the function of the hippocampus, a key memory center in the brain.

The Stanford research has shown that, even in taking into account all the elements that may be involved, students’ attitude toward math alone is a good predictor of their future capacities in this field. “Based on our data, the unique contribution of positive attitude to math achievement is as large as the contribution from IQ,” said Lang Chen, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and lead author of the study, stating that “Having a positive attitude acts directly on your memory and learning system.”


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