Affective responses to exercise: Understanding changes in perceptual and cognitive processes

Slawinska, Malgorzata (2017) Affective responses to exercise: Understanding changes in perceptual and cognitive processes. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The severe health implications associated with physical inactivity highlight the need for research aiming to elucidate mechanisms underlying individuals’ experience of exercise. Affective responses to exercise have been identified as a central factor shaping exercise behaviour (Ekkekakis, 2003; Kwan & Bryan, 2010; Williams, et al., 2008). Research identifies that external and internal factors influence affective evaluations of exercise. One external factor influencing the evaluation of affective responses is the environmental stimuli comprising the exercise setting (Antoniewicz & Brand, 2014; DaSilva, et al., 2011). Therefore, study one examined the influence of environmental cues on affective and cognitive responses to exercise in an ecologically valid setting. Results revealed significant interactions between environmental cues and affect, and motivation; this suggests that intra-individual processes may influence exercise behaviour. The thesis subsequently investigated internal processes that influence affective evaluations of exercise; in particular, processes underlying the recall of affective experience (Kahneman, et al., 1993). Study two examined individuals’ recall of exercise related affect over a period of two weeks using a randomised control crossover design. Results indicated that exercise related affect fluctuated over the two-week period with a significant drop at 24 hours post low-to-moderate and high intensity exercise trials. Additionally, recalled affect better predicted anticipatory feelings than affect recorded during exercise. The study also found partial support for the peak and end rule particularly for the high intensity exercise. Extending study two’s findings, study three explored the recall of exercise related affect and anticipatory feelings using an experimental design with a self-paced exercise protocol. The study revealed significant changes across postexercise recall with follow-up measures at 8 and 24 hours indicating a substantial decline in affect. Overall findings revealed that contextual factors promote positive affect when aligned with one’s goals; however discordant contextual cues and goals can thwart positive affective responses. Further, recall of affective experiences of exercise dynamically change over time and recalled affect can predict anticipatory feelings of exercise. Lastly, all studies’ findings emphasise on the imperative role of idiographic analysis in research on affective responses to exercise.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2018 13:43
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:37

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