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I would like to ask if, in the research field of mathematical education, some work has been done to investigate the relationship between 1) and 2):

1) mathematical education and student motivation

2) the great quantity of "folkloristic" writing (so to say) on trivia and anectotes about the mathematical community (e.g. the ones collected in Mathematical Apocrypha Redux by Steven Krantz).

To be clear, I want to know if there are links between cultural stories of mathematics (which may have reached "aprocyphal" status), and with student performance and/or motivation in mathematics in those cultures.

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    $\begingroup$ This question seems vague and unfocused. It doesn't seem like a question that has an answer. It might be better suited to some other type of online forum rather than stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Dec 22 '14 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell I see that you're right: I rephrased the question converting it to a "reference-reaquest-type question". $\endgroup$ – Dal Dec 22 '14 at 23:31
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    $\begingroup$ I've wondered if tales of absent-minded or single-minded or literal-minded mathematicians attracts the quirky (present company excepted!). $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Dec 22 '14 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ You might see this (paywalled) and some of its sources. The citation is: Picker, S. H., & Berry, J. S. (2000). *Investigating pupils' images of mathematicians. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 43*(1), 65-94. (Also: You might check other studies that cite it.) $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Dec 23 '14 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ Another place you might look would be in Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews to see how different mathematicians talk about their early inspiration. $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Dec 25 '14 at 0:25

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