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Physical Activity Participation: Social Cognitive Theory versus the Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior

David A. Dzewaltowski, John M. Noble, and Jeff M. Shaw

Social cognitive theory and the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior were examined in the prediction of 4 weeks of physical activity participation. The theories of reasoned action and planned behavior were supported. Attitude and perceived control predicted intention, and intention predicted physical activity participation. The social cognitive theory variables significantly predicted physical activity participation, with self-efficacy and self-evaluation of the behavior significantly contributing to the prediction. The greater the confidence in participating in physical activity and the greater the satisfaction with present physical activity, the more physical activity performed. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived control and intentions did not account for any unique variation in physical activity participation over self-efficacy. Therefore the social cognitive theory constructs were better predictors of physical activity than those from the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior.

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Self-Efficacy and Causal Attributions as Mediators of Perceptions of Psychological Momentum

Jeff M. Shaw, David A. Dzewaltowski, and Mary McElroy

Self-efficacy and causal attributions were examined as mediators of perceived psychological momentum. Participants were randomly assigned to either a repeated success or a repeated failure group in which success or failure was manipulated by having participants compete against a highly skilled confederate. Each participant and confederate performed three sets of 10 basketball free throws. Free throw self-efficacy, perceived psychological momentum, and causal dimensions were assessed after each set. Results indicated that the success and failure manipulations were effective in that the responses changed differently over time for both groups. Experiencing competitive success increased perceptions of momentum; experiencing competitive failure decreased perceptions of momentum. In contrast, self-efficacy only changed in response to competitive success as the participants became more confident. Both groups attributed the competitive outcome to internal, personally controllable, and unstable causes.