Evaluative Threat Increases Effort Expenditure in a Cycling Exercise: An Exploratory Study

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Leila SelimbegovićUniversité de Poitiers
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

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Olivier DupuyUniversité de Poitiers

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Julie TeracheUniversité Catholique de Louvain

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Yannick BlandinUniversité de Poitiers
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

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Laurent BosquetUniversité de Poitiers

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Armand ChatardUniversité de Poitiers
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

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Research shows that negative or threatening emotional stimuli can foster movement velocity and force. However, less is known about how evaluative threat may influence movement parameters in endurance exercise. Based on social self-preservation theory, the authors predicted that evaluative threat would facilitate effort expenditure in physical exercise. In an exploratory study, 27 young men completed a bogus intelligence test and received either low-intelligence-quotient feedback (evaluative threat) or no feedback (control). Next, they were asked to pedal on a stationary bicycle for 30 min at a constant cadence. After 10 min (calibration period), the cadence display was hidden. Findings show that participants under evaluative threat increased cadence more than control participants during the subsequent 20-min critical period. These findings underline the potential importance of unrelated evaluative threat on physical performance.

Selimbegović, Dupuy, Blandin, Bosquet, and Chatard are with the Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France. Selimbegović, Blandin, and Chatard are also with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France. Selimbegović, Blandin, and Chatard are also with the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition et l'Apprentissage, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France. Terache is with the Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Selimbegović (leila.selimbegovic@univ-poitiers.fr) is corresponding author.
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