Using Brief Guided Imagery to Reduce Math Anxiety and Improve Math Performance: A Pilot Study

Amber M Henslee, Brandi A Klein


The objective of this study was to investigate whether brief guided imagery could reduce math anxiety and improve math performance. Undergraduates (N = 581) were screened for math anxiety, and the highest and lowest quartiles were recruited to participate in a lab-based study. Participants were assigned to a brief guided imagery or control condition, and math performance, visual working memory, and math anxiety were assessed. Math anxiety decreased from pre to post across both conditions, but not specifically as an effect of the brief guided imagery. There was no increase in math performance as a result of the intervention. Brief guided imagery does not appear to reduce math anxiety and improve math performance when compared to a control condition.


anxiety; mathematics; performance; working memory; guided imagery

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284