There is often a divide between the experience of positive emotions toward math on the part of mathematical educators and negative emotions toward math on the part of students. This paper utilizes psychologist Richard Lazarus's work on the effects of positive emotions in order to highlight their benefits for mathematical pedagogy, to explain the author's experiment applying Lazarus's theory, and to suggest ways this application might support and foster positive emotions in students.


This paper was prepared for the panel on "Mathematics as Humanistic Discipline" at the Joint Meetings of the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society in San Antonio, Texas, January 1987.




© 1987 Frances A. Rosamond