The paper deals with ‘attitude toward mathematics’, a construct which plays an important role in mathematics education. Our interest in research on attitude dates back to several years ago. In previous work (Di Martino & Zan, 2001, 2002, 2003; Zan & Di Martino, 2003) we underlined the lack of theoretical clarity that characterizes research on attitude and the inadequacy of most measurement instruments; we analyzed the definitions of attitude that either explicitly or implicitly researchers most frequently refer to; we discussed the ‘negative’ / ‘positive’ dichotomy; we found a relationship between the risk of circularity in research on attitude and the researcher’s implicit beliefs. In the following we will briefly summarize some results of these studies, in order to introduce recent findings from an Italian Project about attitude, aimed at investigating the phenomenon of ‘negative attitude towards mathematics’.
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