Isn't it obvious that the fear of something will have an impact even on the simplest things where something relative to that fear is involved ?
I don't think it's math anxiety that caused these results. I think it's anxiety in general.
I took part in a psych study about a decade ago (conveniently at the U of Waterloo) for a similar thing. I was asked to count arcs -- line-drawn half-circles, pointed in an upwards or downwards direction placed randomly on a screen. There would be somewhere between 5 to 15 of these on the screen, and instructions were to count all the "upward arcs" or "downward arcs" as fast as possible. After a few trials, I thought myself so good at this counting that after just a flash of the screen I would hit spacebar indicating I had counted them, then count them in my head and answer. I'm pretty sure I got almost all of them right. Half way through the experiment, I got really bad at this for some reason and even had to count one arc at a time or take a wild guess if I had hit spacebar too early.
After the experiment I was told that many of the arcs were positioned to make faces. The first half of the experiment had smiling faces -- 2 arcs down for happy eyebrows and an upward arc for a smiling mouth. The second half had angry/sad faces, 2 ups for eyebrows and a down for the mouth.
Turns out, the angry faces significantly affected my ability to count.
more intrusive != better paying.. more intrusive simply means more intrusive.
When you "buy" Windows, you don't purchase the software. You purchase a license to run the software, on a particular number of machines (1 for the typical home user). Included is the installation media for your convenience.
If you have a license for a product, and are running it, I don't see how Microsoft could have a problem with this. They could have an opinion, but no legal basis and certainly no way to enforce their opinion.
They would have to say the "license" is simply a suggestion, and that they are selling you a specific product like a chair, such that when it becomes broken it is no longer functional, or up to you to repair. They will never do this, for many reasons. Selling a physical product means you can disassemble or alter in any way you see fit, like evening up a table's legs, which they don't want you to do to Windows. Re-selling your license (validly, e.g. by wiping your drive and switching to linux first) means they have to activate the OS on a different machine, which adds support costs, so they'd prefer you not be able to re-sell, or at least think you can't. So many reasons, but they will never sell you a physical product.
As long as you have a license, and are following it by not installing on more machines than is allowed, I don't see any loophole. It has to be legal. Of course, this depends on what you did to pirate it, so you have to be within the bounds of DMCA laws if applicable, or if your locality recognizes EULAs you might have to follow an "original media" clause, but if that's the case you just call Microsoft and say you can't use your product because the disc went bad, and they refuse while trying to get you to buy a reduced-cost license to ensure you're legit, and you have a good old-fashioned lawsuit.
Since a lawsuit involves court costs at a minimum and lawyer's time most likely, it seems biased against the average user that they would have to go through the legal system to properly obtain what they paid for. That is the key to this whole WGA mess in the first place, when WGA called you a thief even when you aren't. And you are denied usage of something you purchased. It's cheaper to buy the compliance license than fighting in court individually, so I don't get why this wasn't certified class action instantly. Probably just a poorly thought out argument, which the judge shot holes though.