Take a look at the impact of our work Finding solutions to maths anxiety – Research impact – University of Derby

Dr. Thomas Hunt

Tom Hunt is an associate professor in psychology at the University of Derby. He leads the University’s Mathematics Anxiety Research Group (MARG) and his PhD, completed in 2011, was titled “An exploration of the mechanisms underpinning the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: the relevance of event-related potentials, intrusive thoughts and eye-movement.”

Image of Dr. Tom Hunt

Since then he has continued to research this topic, including more applied work. Tom regularly acts as a consultant for organisations wishing to address maths anxiety, including National Numeracy, PiXL, the Mathematical Association, and the Dyscalculia Network. He is also a committee member of the Maths Anxiety Trust. He has published several scales to measure maths anxiety in its various forms and has conducted work in schools across the UK and abroad.

His current focus includes research and supporting attempts to understand and tackle socio-emotional-cognitive barriers to maths education in the least developed countries as defined by the United Nations. Further to this, he is leading intervention studies in the UK and continues to carry out research around attentional processes and cognitive appraisal associated with maths learning and performance.

Twitter: @dr_tom_hunt | ResearchGate | Staff Profile

Dr. Dominic Petronzi

Dominic Petronzi is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning. He is a member of the University’s Mathematics Anxiety Research Group (MARG) and his PhD focussed on exploring and understanding when mathematics anxiety develops in children and what contributes towards this. This work led to a valid and reliable assessment measure for children’s mathematics anxiety. Since then, he has continued to research this area, publish research and deliver training sessions.

His more recent work is based around a self-written children’s mathematics anxiety storybook approach as a strategy that aims to reduce this anxiety.   

Twitter: @DominicPetronzi

Dr. Katia Vione

Katia Vione is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning. She’s a member of the Mathematics Anxiety Research Group (MARG). Katia completed her PhD in 2017 in the area of social psychology at Cardiff University. Her current research focuses on different areas of social psychology and individual differences with an interest in students’ mental health and academic performance.

Image of Dr. Katia Vione

More specifically, she has been working on collaborations between the MARG and researchers in Brazil and other least developed countries to address maths anxiety and education to promote quality education in accordance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Twitter: @katiavione | Staff Profile

Dr. Ovidiu Bagdasar 

Dr. Bagdasar is Associate Professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom. He is the Program Leader for the MSc Big Data Analytics, Erasmus+ Departmental Coordinator, and an active member of the Research Centre in Data Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA), the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and holds membership of the International Society for Difference Equations (ISDE), American (AMM), European (EMS) and Romanian Mathematical Societies (SSMR), as well as of the Marie Curie Alumni Network.

Staff Profile

Prof. steve chinn

Professor Steve Chinn is a visiting professor at the University of Derby. He is an internationally renowned expert on dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.

Staff Profile

Prof. David Sheffield

I am the Associate Head of Centre for Psychological Research. I supervise PhD and Doctorate students, lead Psychology of Illness and Research Project in Health Psychology modules on the MSc Health Psychology programme, and teach on BSc Psychology.

ResearchGate | Staff Profile

Paul Staples

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. I have been teaching psychology for the past 19 years, initially at the University of Manchester, then at Staffordshire University and from 2006 here at the University of Derby.

Staff Profile


I’m currently investigating the effect of maths anxiety on human judgment and decision-making, with a specific focus on understanding the metacognitive processes involved.

Associate members

Dr Ioan-Lucian Popa, University of Alba-Iulia, Romania

Dr Michael Batashvili, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel

Dr Charles Muwonge, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, Uganda

Dr Mehmet Sari, Nevsehir Haci Bektas University, Turkey

Dr Yasu Kotera, University of Nottingham, UK

Dr Kat Ashbullby, University of Exeter, UK

Dr Julie Pepper, University of Exeter, UK

MARG publications

The following are publications by past and present members of the Mathematics Anxiety Research Group:

Petronzi, D., Schalkwyk, G., & Petronzi, R. (2023). A pilot math anxiety storybook approach to normalize math talk in children and to support emotion regulation. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2023.2214591

DiStefano, M., Retanal, F., Bureau, J.-F., Hunt, T. E., Lafay, A., Osana, H. P., Schwarchuck, S.-L., Trepiak, P., Xu, C., LeFevre, J.-A., & Maloney, E. A. (2023). Relations between math achievement, math anxiety, and the quality of parent–child interactions while solving math problems. Education Sciences, 13, 307. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030307

Hunt, T. E., & Maloney, E. A. (2022). Appraisals of previous maths experiences play an important role in maths anxiety. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14805

Batashvili, M., Cipora, K., & Hunt, T. E. (2022). Measurement of mathematics anxiety in an Israeli adult population. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 8(1), 148-165. https://doi.org/10.5964/jnc.6531

Petronzi, D., Hunt, T. E. & Sheffield, D. (2021). Interventions to address mathematics anxiety: An overview and recommendations. In S.A . Kiray & E. Tomevska-Ilievska (Eds), Current Studies in Educational Disciplines (pp. 169–194). ISRES Publishing. Interventions to Address Mathematics Anxiety: An Overview and Recommendations | ISRES – International Society for Research in Education and Science

Hunt, T. E, Muwonge, C. M., Ashraf, F., Ansanjarani, F., Kotera, Y., Vione, K., Sheffield, D., Mir, R., & Waldron, M. (2021). Psychological barriers in maths education: Insights from Iran, Pakistan, and Uganda. University of Derby. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.36106.59844/1 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353294094_Psychological_barriers_in_maths_education_Insights_from_Iran_Pakistan_and_Uganda?utm_source=twitter&rgutm_meta1=eHNsLUtLUis5UHBoMFFoQnI3eGpBZWxRSEVrUE5kZVdxbzNDV3laL0ROa3lBZ3ZnTkJRblpobVpadktYWnl2eHVBbVRRNWxka3ZuSlBWbnRXQnpGQjNnUw%3D%3D

Dove, J., Montague, J., & Hunt, T. E. (2021). An exploration of primary school teachers’ maths anxiety using interpretative phenomenological analysis. International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE), 10, 32-49. AN EXPLORATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ MATHS ANXIETY USING INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS | DOVE | International Online Journal of Primary Education (IOJPE) ISSN: 1300-915X (ijge.info)

Hunt, T. E., Simms, V., Cahoon, A., & Muwonge, C. M. (2021). Socio-cognitive-affective barriers to mathematics education in developing nations. In W. Leal Filho., P. Gökçin Özuyar., A. Lange Salvia., A. Marisa Azul., L. Londero Brandli., & T. Wall (Eds), Encyclopaedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education. Springer.

Sari, M., & Hunt, T. E. (2020). Parent-child mathematics affect as predictors of children’s mathematics achievement. International Online Journal of Primary Education, 9, 85-96. http://www.ijge.info/ojs/index.php/IOJPE/article/view/1027/935

Batashvili, M., Staples, P. A., Baker, I. S., & Sheffield, D. (2020). The neurophysiological relationship between number anxiety and the EEG gamma-band. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 32 (5-6), 580-585. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2020.1778006 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20445911.2020.1778006?journalCode=pecp21

Batashvili, M., Staples, P. A., Baker, I. S., & Sheffield, D. (2019). Exploring the relationship between gamma-band activity and maths anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 33, 1616 –1626doi:10.1080/02699931.2019.1590317 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2019.1590317?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Hunt, T. E., & Sari, M. (2019). An English version of the Mathematics Teaching Anxiety Scale. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 9, 85-96. doi: 10.21449/ijate.615640 https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1246252.pdf

Hunt, T. E., Bagdasar, O., Sheffield, D., & Schofield, M. (2019). Assessing domain specificity in the measurement of mathematics calculation anxiety. Education Research International. doi: 10.1155/2019/7412193 http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2019/7412193.pdf

Petronzi, D., Staples, P., Sheffield, D., & Hunt, T.E. (2019). Acquisition, development and maintenance of maths anxiety in young children. In I. Mammarella., S. Caviola., & A. Dowker (Eds), Mathematics Anxiety. London: Routledge. 

Petronzi, D., Staples, P., Sheffield, D., Hunt, T.E., & Fitton-Wilde, S. (2018). Further development of the children’s mathematics anxiety scale UK (CMAS-UK) for ages 4-7 years. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 100, 231-249. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10649-018-9860-1

Petronzi, D., Staples, P., Sheffield, D., Hunt, T. E., & Fitton-Wilde, S. (2017). Numeracy apprehension in young children: Insights from children aged 4-7 years and primary care providers. Psychology and Education, 54, 1-26. https://www.psychologyandeducation.net/pae/numeracy-apprehension-young-children-insights-children-aged-4-7-years-primary-care-providers-dominic-petronzi-bsc-hons-mres-phd-paul-staples-david-sheffield-thomas-hunt/

Hunt, T. E., Bhardwa, J., & Sheffield, D. (2017). Mental arithmetic performance, physiological reactivity and mathematics anxiety amongst U.K primary school children. Learning and Individual Differences, 57, 129-132. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2017.03.016 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1041608017300778

Hunt, T. E., & Sandhu, K. (2017). Endogenous and exogenous time pressure: Interactions with mathematics anxiety in explaining arithmetic performance. International Journal of Educational Research, 82, 91-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.01.005 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883035516310977

Hunt, T. E., Clark-Carter, D., & Sheffield, D. (2014). Exploring the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: The role of intrusive thoughts. Journal of Education, Psychology and Social Sciences, 2, 69-75. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264905347_Exploring_the_relationship_between_mathematics_anxiety_and_performance_The_role_of_intrusive_thoughts

Hunt, T. E., Sheffield, D., & Clark-Carter, D. (2014). Exploring the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: An eye-tracking approach. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29, 2, 226-231. doi: 10.1002/acp.3099 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/acp.3099

Richardson, M., Hunt, T. E., & Richardson, C. (2014). Children’s construction task performance and spatial ability: Controlling task complexity and predicting mathematics performance. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 119, 741-757. doi: 10.2466/22.24.PMS.119c28z8 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.2466/22.24.PMS.119c28z8

Hunt, T. E., Clark-Carter-D., & Sheffield, D (2011). The development and part validation of a U.K. scale for mathematics anxiety. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 29, 455-466. doi: 10.1177/0734282910392892 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0734282910392892

Sheffield, D., & Hunt, T.E. (2007). How does anxiety influence maths performance and what can we do about it? Mathematics Statistics and Operations Research Connections, 6 (4), 19-23. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258927649_How_Does_Anxiety_Influence_Maths_Performance_and_What_Can_We_do_About_It