Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated that inducing positive expectations of exercise (e.g., that exercise can make people feel better mentally or improve mood) can lead to greater self-reported exercise intentions and behavior. We expanded upon these findings by making a distinction between affect that is experienced mentally (e.g., feel better mentally) versus physically (e.g., bodies feel better) and affect high (e.g., energized) versus low (e.g., calm) in arousal. We examined whether messages that described different types of affective benefits led to greater intentions to exercise, compared to information about health benefits (the control conditions), and further hypothesized that affect experienced mentally versus physically would lead to higher intentions. Participants were 323 adults recruited online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions in a 3 (expectation: positive affect low arousal vs. positive affect high arousal vs. health benefits) x 2 (type of benefit: mental vs. physical) design. Contrary to our hypotheses, we did not find any differences in intentions to exercise across groups. We did find that participants in the physical benefit conditions reported lower expected fatigue after exercising than the mental benefit conditions. The main effects and interactions on other outcomes of interest were nonsignificant. The null results may have occurred if our manipulation was not strong enough and participants were not sufficiently engaged due to the online nature of the study. It is also possible that these distinctions between affect do not actually influence intentions to exercise.

Modified Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated that inducing positive expectations of exercise can lead to greater self-reported exercise intentions and behavior. We expanded upon these findings by making a distinction between affect that is experienced mentally versus physically, and affect high versus low in arousal. We examined whether messages that described different types of affective benefits led to greater intentions to exercise, compared to information about health benefits. 323 adults recruited online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk were randomly assigned to one of six messages. Contrary to our hypotheses, we did not find any differences in intentions to exercise across groups. The null results may have occurred if our manipulation was not strong enough and participants were not sufficiently engaged due to the online nature of the study.

Research Category

Psychology

Primary Author's Major

Psychology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Jennifer Taber

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Health Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Promoting Exercise by Exploring Expectations of and Desire for Physical and Mental Affective Benefits

Prior research has demonstrated that inducing positive expectations of exercise (e.g., that exercise can make people feel better mentally or improve mood) can lead to greater self-reported exercise intentions and behavior. We expanded upon these findings by making a distinction between affect that is experienced mentally (e.g., feel better mentally) versus physically (e.g., bodies feel better) and affect high (e.g., energized) versus low (e.g., calm) in arousal. We examined whether messages that described different types of affective benefits led to greater intentions to exercise, compared to information about health benefits (the control conditions), and further hypothesized that affect experienced mentally versus physically would lead to higher intentions. Participants were 323 adults recruited online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions in a 3 (expectation: positive affect low arousal vs. positive affect high arousal vs. health benefits) x 2 (type of benefit: mental vs. physical) design. Contrary to our hypotheses, we did not find any differences in intentions to exercise across groups. We did find that participants in the physical benefit conditions reported lower expected fatigue after exercising than the mental benefit conditions. The main effects and interactions on other outcomes of interest were nonsignificant. The null results may have occurred if our manipulation was not strong enough and participants were not sufficiently engaged due to the online nature of the study. It is also possible that these distinctions between affect do not actually influence intentions to exercise.