Thursday, December 20, 2012

Motivation, Study Habits -- Not IQ -- Determine Growth in Math Achievement

I came across this on Science Daily today....  A recent study published today in the journal of Child Development shows that it's not how smart students are but how motivated they are and how they study that determines their growth in math achievement.  The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Munich and the University of Bielefeld.

"While intelligence as assessed by IQ tests in important in the early stages of developing mathematical competence, motivation and study skills play a more important role in students' subsequent growth," according to Kou Murayama, postdoctoral researcher of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (who was at the University of Munich when he led the study).

Intelligence was strongly linked to students' match achievement, but only in the initial development of competence in the subject.  Motivation and study skills turned out to be more important factors in terms of students' growth (their learning curve or ability to learn) in math.


  1. This seems not remotely surprising. It also explains why cultures that emphasize study and focus (Asian cultures) do so well, despite socioeconomic status.

  2. People tend to think income is key, but poor Asians do better than upper middle class whites in math. It is a matter of focus and from a young age. When your children are little, give them math quizzes, teach them years ahead. Buy them the math books at Barnes and Noble, work with them. It will last a lifetime and help their self-esteem. This article is great to show parents, it can help our children a lot.