Colleen Ganley

Associate Professor
Developmental Psychology Area Director

Recruiting a graduate student for Fall of 2024

Colleen Ganley

Contact Information



Boston College, 2011

Research Interests

The overarching goal of my research is to better understand factors that contribute to students’ mathematical learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career interests. I am particularly interested in the early development of math anxiety as well as other math attitudes, spatial skills, working memory, gender differences in math, and the role of parents and teachers in children’s math attitudes and learning. In my work, I develop new measures, collect and analyze longitudinal data, and use advanced statistical techniques. Most of my research has been descriptive or exploratory, aimed at informing interventions to help children learn math. More recently, we have begun to develop and test an intervention for decreasing math anxiety in children.

Lab Description

In the Math Thinking and Learning Lab, undergraduate students, graduate students, research staff, and postdoctoral researchers work together to study factors related to learning in math. We do both lab-based research with children and college students as well as field research in elementary schools. We collect data using questionnaires, assessments, and observations, and conduct intervention work with children. We also adopt open science practices such as preregistration and sharing our materials, data, and analysis code. Our lab is also affiliated with the Florida Center for Research in STEM within the Learning Systems Institute at FSU.

Barroso, C., Ganley, C. M., Schoen, R. C., & Schatschneider, C. (2023). Between a growth and a fixed mindset: Examining nuances in 3rd-grade students' mathematics intelligence mindsets. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 73, 102179.

Conlon, R. A., Barroso, C., & Ganley, C. M. (2023). Young children's career aspirations: gender differences, STEM ambitions, and expected skill use. The Career Development Quarterly, 71(1), 15-29.

Lubienski, S. T., Ganley, C. M., Makowski, M., Miller, E., & Timmer, J. (2021). "Bold problem solving": A new construct for understanding gender differences in mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 52(1), 12-61.

Barroso, C., Ganley, C. M., McGraw, A. L., Geer, E. A., Hart, S. A., & Daucourt, M. (2021). A meta-analysis of the relation between math anxiety and math achievement. Psychological Bulletin, 147(2), 134-168.

Ganley, C. M., Conlon, R. A., McGraw, A. L., Barroso, C., & Geer, E. A. (2021). The effect of brief anxiety interventions on reported anxiety and math test performance. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 7(1), 4-19.

Geer, E. A., Quinn, J. M., & Ganley, C. M. (2019). Relations between spatial skills and math performance in elementary school children: A longitudinal investigation. Developmental Psychology, 55, 637-652.

Ganley, C. M., Schoen, R. C., LaVenia, M., & Tazaz, A. M. (2019). The construct validation of the Math Anxiety Scale for Teachers. AERA Open, 5, 1-16.

Hart, S. A., & Ganley, C. M. (2019). The nature of math anxiety in adults: Prevalence and correlates. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 5, 122-139.

Ganley, C. M., & Lubienski, S. T. (2016). Mathematics confidence, interest, and performance: Examining gender patterns and reciprocal relations. Learning and Individual Differences, 47, 182-193.

Ganley, C. M., & McGraw, A. L. (2016). The development and validation of a revised version of the Math Anxiety Scale for Young Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1181.

For a full list of publications, see here:

Undergraduate Research

Explore the Directed Individual Study (DIS) opportunities below or learn more.


Olivia Cook
Postdoctoral Fellow