To Run or Not to Run? Automatic Evaluations and Reflective Attitudes Toward Exercise

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Kassel
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Using an evaluative priming procedure, this study tested whether automatic evaluations of running differ among groups based on their amount of exercise and whether they were runners or not. Ninety-five participants (26 ± 5.06 years; 46% female) were divided into five groups: an inactive group, active exercisers, highly active exercisers, active runners, and highly active runners. A priming effect score was calculated based on the concept of response facilitation or inhibition: the reaction is faster when the target and prime are valence congruent and becomes slower if they are incongruent. The highly active runner group differed significantly from the inactive group (p < .01) and from the active exerciser group (p < .05). Furthermore, reflective evaluations were measured via questionnaires. The results show that priming effect scores can detect automatic evaluations of running, and they differ not only because of the amounts of physical exercise but also because of their preferred type of exercise.

The authors are with the Institute of Sports and Sports Science, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany.

Limmeroth (j.limmeroth@uni-kassel.de) is corresponding author.

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