Staff profile

Dr Thomas Hunt

Associate Professor in Psychology


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an Associate Professor in Psychology at the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care. I lead the Mathematics Anxiety Research Group ( and I am Chair of the College Research Committee (research environment).

Teaching responsibilities

I contribute to the teaching of a range of modules, including Quantitative Methods and Individual Differences (year two) and Psychology in Education (year three).

In addition, I supervise research projects across a range of programmes.

Professional interests

My professional interests are connected to my research interests. I work with various schools to teach and discuss strategies to reduce maths anxiety in the classroom. I have a particular interest in reducing the achievement gap observed among disadvantaged children. My work also extends to professional areas in which maths anxiety is a key consideration, such as anxiety when carrying out drug dosage calculations.

I am a chartered psychologist and senior fellow of Advance HE. I am also a committee member of the Maths Anxiety Trust and regularly work with organisations such as Learnus UK and National Numeracy.

Research interests

I have a broad range of interests across psychology, but the main focus of my work is within maths education and professional occupations that require number processing (such as drug dosage calculations in nurses and healthcare professionals). I research the interplay between emotion and mathematical processing. This encompasses factors such as maths anxiety, maths resilience, maths confidence, maths self-efficacy, and maths attitudes.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Hunt, T. E. (2023, March). Maths anxiety: A psychological perspective [Invited presentation]. Centres for Excellence in Maths Motivation and Engagement Conference, London, U.K.

Sharifi, S., & Hunt, T. E. (2022, December). Students’ feelings of anxiety in online teaching and learning [Paper presentation]. Singapore Conference on Applied Psychology, Singapore.

Hunt, T. E. (2022, Nov.). Understanding and tackling maths anxiety [Invited presentation]. Compassion and Wellbeing in Education Conference, University of Derby, Derby, U.K.

Hunt, T. E. (2022, Oct.). Maths anxiety [Invited presentation]. PiXL Network annual maths conference, London, UK.

Hunt, T. E., Napiorkowska, A., Popa, I-L., & Bagdasar, O. (2022, July). Mathematics teaching anxiety in Romanian pre-service elementary teachers [Presentation]. 3rd International Conference on Developing Mathematical Resilience (online)

Retanal, F., Di Lonardo Burr, S., Xu, C., Bureau, J-F., DiStefano, M., Douglas, H., Hunt, T. E., Lafay, A., LeFevre, J-A., Osana, H. P., Simms, V., Shujie Song, C., Skwarchuk, S-L., Trepiak, P., Wylie, J., & Maloney, E. A. (2022, June). Exploring parent-child interactions around math homework of 8–12-year-old Canadian children. In J. E. Salminen (Chair), Development of math skills - the role of parents and home environment [Symposium]. Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society Conference, Antwerp, Belgium

Hunt, T. E., Napiorkowska, A., Popa, I-L., & Bagdasar, O. (2022, June). Mathematics teaching anxiety in Romanian pre-service elementary teachers. In N. Burrell (Chair), Math and teaching anxiety experienced by preservice and practising elementary school teachers [Symposium]. Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society Conference, Antwerp, Belgium

Hunt, T. E. (2021, Oct.). Measuring mathematics anxiety [Presentation]. British Dyslexia Association Dyscalculia Conference (online)

Sharifi, S., & Hunt, T. E. (2021, June). Students’ feelings of anxiety in online teaching and learning [Poster presentation]. The University of Edinburgh Learning and Teaching Conference (online)

Marshall, E. M., Rowlett, P., Verrier, D., & Hunt, T. E. (2021, June). Can pre-course anxiety & attitudes predict grades? [Paper presentation]. Materials and Engineering Research Institute Conference (online)

Hunt, T. E., & Maloney, E. (2021, May). Understanding the relation between maths anxiety, resilience, and attitudes: Appraisals of previous experiences of maths. In S. Johnston-Wilder (Chair), Understanding cognitive and emotional barriers to learning maths: becoming part of the solution [Symposium]. British Dyslexia Association International Conference (online)

Hunt, T. E. (2021, May). Mathematics anxiety at a global level: Investigating socio-cognitive-affective barriers to maths education [Presentation]. University of Derby Global Challenges Week Conference, Derbyshire, UK (online)

Retanal, F., Di Lonardo Burr, S., Xu, C., Bureau, J.-F., DiStefano, M., Douglas, H., Hunt, T. E., Lafay, A., LeFevre, J.-A., Osana, H. P., Simms, V., Song, S. C., Skwarchuk, S.-L, Trepiak, P., Wylie, J., Maloney, E. A. (2021, May). Children’s math anxiety predicts the overall negativity of the math homework interaction, but parents’ math anxiety does not [Poster presentation]. Association for Psychological Science (APS) Conference (online)

Hunt, T. E. (2021, March). Maths anxiety: How can we measure it and what can we do about it? [Invited workshop presentation]. Derbyshire Educational Psychology Service Annual Conference, Derbyshire, UK (online)

Hunt, T. E. (2019, Nov.). Theoretical and applied approaches to understanding and tackling mathematics anxiety [Presentation]. Derbyshire Primary Maths Conference, Nottingham, U.K

Marshall, E., Hunt, T. E., & Haigney, D. (2019, Sept.). Statistics anxiety: Impact on the study of undergraduate Psychology [Paper presentation]. BPS Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference, Manchester, U.K

Marshall, E., Hunt, T. E., & Haigney, D. (2019, Sept.). The problem with learning statistics [Paper presentation]. Mathematics and Statistics Operations Research Conference, Dublin, Ireland

Hunt, T. E., & Harris, P. (2019, June). Evaluation of maths anxiety in health professional students: a multi-institution sample [Paper presentation]. Singapore Conference on Applied Psychology, Singapore


Experience in industry

I have carried out various consultancy activities, mostly involving working with schools in the UK and abroad, on the topic of maths anxiety. I regularly give talks and workshops on understanding and overcoming maths anxiety and test anxiety.

International experience

I have visited other countries (including Turkey, Uganda, and Romania) to meet with academic colleagues and teachers in local schools to discuss the issue of maths anxiety and ways to tackle it.

I have also presented at several international conferences and audiences.

In the media

I have published various blogs via different organisations, e.g. National Numeracy and Pearson Education. I have given radio interviews in which I talk about maths anxiety, and appeared in an episode of BBC Radio 4's Bringing up Britain: BBC Radio 4 - Bringing Up Britain, Series 15, Why Does Maths Make Me Anxious?

I have also appeared in various local and national newspapers.

Recent publications

Sharifi, S., & Hunt, T. E. (in press). Students’ feelings of anxiety in online teaching and learning. In Macaulay, P. (Ed.), Applied psychology readings: Selected papers from the Singapore conference on applied psychology 2022. Springer Nature.

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.

Terry, J., Ross, R. M., Nagy, T., Salgado, M., Garrido-Vásquez, P., Sarfo, J. O., Cooper, S., Buttner, A. C., Lima, T. J. S., Öztürk, İ., Akay, N., Santos, F. H., Artemenko, C. A., Copping, L., Elsherif, M. M., Milovanović, I., Cribbie, R. A., Drushlak, M. G., Swainston, K., Shou, Y., Leongómez, J. D., Palena, N., Abidin, F. A., Reyes-Rodríguez, M. F., Yunfeng, H., Abraham, J., Vatakis, A., Jankowsky, K., Schmidt, S. N. L., Grimm, E., González, D., Schmid, P., Ferreira, R. A., Rozgonjuk, D., Özhan, N., O’Connor, P. A., Zsido, A. N., Stiglic, G., Rhodes, D., Rodríguez, C., Ropovik, I., Enea, V., Nurwanti, R., Estudillo, A., Beribisky, Himawan, K. K., Geven, L. M., van Hoogmoed, A. H., Bret, A., Chapman, J. E., Alyer, U., Flack, T., Hanna, D., Soltanou, M., Banik, G., Adamkovič, M., van der Ven, S. H. G., Mosbacher, J. A., Şen, H. H., Anderson, J. R., Batashvili, M., de Groot, K., Parker, M. O., Helmy, M., Ostroha, M. M., Gilligan-Lee, K. A., Egara, F. O., Barwood, M., Thomas, K., McMahon, G., Griffin, S. M., Nuerk, H.C., Counsell, A., Lindermann, O., Van Rooy, D., Wege, T. E., Lewis, J. E., Aczel, B., Mohoghan, C., Al-Hoorie, A. H., Huber, J. F., Yapan, S., Garrido- Vásquez, M. E., Callea, A., Ergiyen, T., Clay, J., Mertens, G., Topçu, F., Tutlu, M., Täht, K., Mikkor, K., Caso, L., Karner, A., Storm, M. M. C., Daroczy, G., Zein, R. A, Greco, A., Buchanan, E. M., Schmid, K., Hunt, T. E., De keersmaecker, Branney, P. E., Randell, J., Clark, O. J., Steltenpohl, C. N., Malu, B., Tekeş, B., Ramis, T., Agrigoroaei, S., Badcock, N., McAloney-Kocaman, K., Semenikhina, O. V., Graf, E. W., Lea, C., Guppy, F. M., Warhurst, A. C., Lindsay, S., Al Khateeb, A., Scharnowski, F., de Kwaadsteniet, L., Francis, K. B., Lecompte, M., Webster, L. A. D., Morsanyi, K., Forwood, S. E., Walters, E. R., Tip, L. K., Wagge, J. R., Lai, H. Y., Crossland, D. S., Darda, K. M., Flack, Z. M., Leviston, Z., Brolly, M., Hills, S. P., Collins, E., Roberts, A. J., Cheung, W., Leonard, S., Verschuere, B., Stanley, S. K., Xenidou-Dervou, I., Ghasemi, O., Liew, T., Ansari, D., Guilaran, J., Penny, S. G., Bahnmueller, J., Hand, C. J., Rahajeng U. W., Peterburg, D., Takacs, Z. K., Platow, M. J., Field, A. P. (in press). Data from an International Multi-Centre Study of Statistics and Mathematics Anxieties and Related Variables in University Students (the SMARVUS Dataset). Journal of Open Psychology Data.

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,

Hunt, T. E. & Skyrme, S. (2022). A guide for teachers with maths anxiety (and/or anxiety about teaching maths). The Maths Anxiety Trust, U.K.

Hunt, T. E., & Tan, M. L. (Eds.). (2022). Applied psychology readings: Selected papers from the Singapore conference on applied psychology 2021. Springer Singapore.   

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.

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(1), 32-49.

Hunt, T. E. (2021). Maths anxiety: An overview, thoughts and suggestions. Scottish Mathematical Council Journal, 51, 44-45.

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.

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.

Hunt, T. E. (2020). What is maths anxiety? Equals, 25(3), 20-24.

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.

Hunt, T. E., & Sari, M. (2019). An English version of the Mathematics Teaching Anxiety Scale. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 6, 436-443.

Hunt, T. E., Bagdasar, O., Sheffield, D., & Schofield, M. (2019). Assessing domain specificity in the measurement of mathematics calculation anxiety. Education Research International.

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: What we know and what is still to be understood. 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.

Stupple, E., J. N., Pitchford, M., Ball, L. J., Hunt, T. E., & Steel, R. (2018). PLoS ONE. Slower is not always better: Response times challenge a cognitive miserliness account of the cognitive reflection test.


A hand holding an pocket-watch style analogue stopwatch

Dr Tom Hunt, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Steve Chinn, Visiting Professor, both at the University of Derby, explore  'quick maths' and its role in the world of mathematics.

Maths symbols on a blackboard

Dr Tom Hunt, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, is researching why children experience maths anxiety, and strategies for reducing it.