Do feelings during exercise influence the automatic evaluation of exercise?

Beck, J., Utesch, T., & Brand, R.



To date, several psychological antecedents (e.g., psychological well-being, motivation, intention) explain behaviortowards leisure-time physical (in-)activity nearly completely. However, the role of automaticity within the decisionprocess is not yet fully understood. Within the affective-reflective theory of physical inactivity and exercise, automaticaffective valuation of exercise (AAVE), comparable to a positive or negative gut reaction towards the concept of"exercise" is regarded as determining physical (in-)activity behavior. However, studies are lacking investigating thealteration of AAVE via repeated reflective evaluations of exercise (REE; i.e., repeated conscious thoughts or feelingsconcerning "exercise"). In a longitudinal design, participants (N = 39, Mage = 23.97, SDage = 5.21) were acquired fromvoluntary university exercise courses. Besides assessment of exercise behavior and demographic information,baseline (T0) and post-test (T1) included a Recoding-Free Single-Target Implicit Association Test to assess AAVE. Between T0 and T1, individuals participated in ongoing exercise courses (Mdays = 50.93, SDdays = 4.39) whererepeated REE were assessed with the Feeling Scale. Patterns of REE were explored and a comparison betweenimplicitly and explicitly measured AAVE was drawn. Multilevel models revealed positive REE while exercising andrevealed stability of those over the course of 51 days. AAVE appeared stable both between and within individualsover the exercise courses, therefore, REE seemed not to exert influence on AAVE. Similar results occurred whenmeasuring AAVE explicitly. Findings of the present study highlight the importance of refining AAVE and distinguishingconstructs within the automatic process as well as more valid and reliable measures of those.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2020
Language in which the publication is writtenGerman