The goal of the present paper is to propose a model for the study of automatic cognition and affect in exercise. We have chosen a dual-system approach to social information processing to investigate the hypothesis that situated decisions between behavioral alternatives form a functional link between automatic and reflective evaluations and the time spent on exercise. A new questionnaire is introduced to operationalize this link. A reaction-time–based evaluative priming task was used to test participants’ automatic evaluations. Affective and cognitive reflective evaluations, as well as exercising time, were requested via self-report. Path analyses suggest that the affective reflective (beta = .71) and the automatic evaluation (beta = .15) independently explain situated decisions, which, in turn (beta = .60) explain time spent on exercise. Our findings highlight the concept of contextualized decisions. They can serve as a starting point from which the so far seldom investigations of automatic cognition and affect in exercise can be integrated with multitudinous results from studies on reflective psychological determinants of health behavior.
Carlos Ayán, Paulo Carvalho, Silvia Varela and José María Cancela
Background: Research regarding the impact of aquatic exercise on cognition is scarce. This study aimed at identifying the effects of water-based exercise training on the cognitive function and quality of life of healthy adult women. Methods: Fifty-one healthy women [mean age: 46.5 (12.3) y] were assigned to group A or B and followed a water-based exercise program for 6 months. During the first 3 months, the sessions performed by group A were focused on stimulating cognitive function. For the next 3 months, the sessions were mainly aimed at improving physical fitness. Participants in group B followed the same program in reverse order. The trail making and symbol digit modality tests were used to assess the impact of the program on cognition. The effects of the intervention on the participants’ physical and mental health were measured by means of the medical outcomes study 36-item short-form health survey. Results: Once the intervention ended, significant improvements were observed in the participants’ cognitive function and mental health domain, regardless of the group in which they were initially included. Conclusion: Water-based exercise is a training modality capable of enhancing cognitive function and quality of life through improvements in mental health in healthy adult women.
Kenneth E. Powell and Steven N. Blair
of the bladder, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach. Regular MVPA reduces the risk of dementia, and both regular and single bouts of MVPA improve cognition across the age spectrum, including improvements in executive function, a set of cognitive operations enabling the self
Chun-Hao Wang and Chia-Liang Tsai
The study aimed to investigate the effects of regular physical activity on visuospatial cognition in elderly adults, and to further understand the potential neural mechanisms underpinning such effects. We assessed 24 physically active elderly adults and 24 sedentary counterparts using behavioral and neuroelectric measures during a visuospatial cognitive task with different levels of cognitive load. The results showed that the active group had higher behavioral accuracy along with greater P3 amplitudes, regardless of the level of cognitive load. Moreover, the correlation results revealed that physical activity levels were positively associated with accuracy performance in both conditions, while being correlated with frontal P3 amplitudes in the high cognitively demanding condition. However, no significant effects were observed in terms of P3 latency and contingent negative variation. These findings suggest that regular physical activity might be part of an effective lifestyle to attenuate the trajectory of age-related cognitive declines, thus increasing the likelihood of individuals becoming high-functioning older adults.
Sirinun Boripuntakul and Somporn Sungkarat
The objective of this study was to examine the association between cognitive ability and gait initiation performance in older adults. Global and specific cognitive functions and spatiotemporal gait parameters during gait initiation were assessed in 60 older adults. Multivariate linear regression was conducted to determine the association between cognitive functions and gait initiation parameters. Results showed that global cognitive function was not associated with any of the spatiotemporal parameters. Poorer performance on measures of executive function and language ability were associated with shorter step length, narrower step width, and longer step time. In addition, poorer performance on test of visuospatial ability was associated with longer step time. In conclusion, specific but not global cognitive functions were associated with gait initiation performance. Clinical gait examination should incorporate gait initiation and cognitive assessments. Rehabilitation strategies aimed at improving cognition and gait initiation performance may be beneficial for preventing falls.
Brenda Jo Bredemeier
A structural-developmental approach was employed in the present study to investigate athletes' moral cognitions about intentionally injurious sport acts. Analyses were based on interviews with 40 female and male high school and college basketball players. Subjects reasoned about general life and sport-specific moral dilemmas and made judgments in hypothetical and engaged contexts about the legitimacy of sport behaviors presented in the Continuum of Injurious Acts (CIA). Athletes' moral reasoning levels were inversely related to the number of CIA acts they perceived as legitimate; this reasoning-judgment relationship was particularly strong for sport reasoning and judgments made in the hypothetical context. Also, differences in the perceived legitimacy of CIA acts occurred in hypothetical and engaged contexts and as a function of sex and, in the engaged condition, school level. Results were discussed in light of athletes' coordination of moral reasoning and decision-making about intentionally injurious sport acts.
Deborah Kendzierski and Wendy Johnson
Three studies investigated the reliability and construct validity of the Exercise Thoughts Questionnaire (ETQ), an instrument developed to assess the frequency with which individuals have thoughts involving reasons or excuses for not exercising at the present time. Such cognitions are hypothesized to interfere with exercise behavior. Study 1 involved 164 college women; Study 2, 209 undergraduates; and Study 3, 196 undergraduates. Analyses revealed that the ETQ has good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. ETQ scores related in theoretically meaningful ways to exercise intentions, previous exercise experience, the number of days participants considered exercising but did not actually exercise, and both concurrent and prospective self-reports of exercise behavior. Exploratory analyses revealed that women reported a higher frequency of thoughts involving reasons or excuses for not exercising than men and that students who participated in collegiate, intramural, or club sports having required practices reported a lower frequency of such thoughts.
Lawrence R. Brawley and Kathleen A. Martin
Over the past three decades, an interface has developed between sport and social psychology, characterized primarily by commonly utilized concepts and theories. The list of social psychological benefits to sport psychology is lengthy and includes theory, hypotheses, research paradigms, general independent and dependent variables, methods, and measures. In this paper, the following areas of sport research are used to illustrate the interface between sport and social psychology: (a) social facilitation and cohesion as two social influence phenomena, (b) anxiety and goal orientations as personality moderators of social behavior, and (c) self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes as social cognitions relevant to motivated behavior. Each of these areas are discussed in terms of social psychology’s impact on its development as a line of research in sport and in terms of the recent contributions each has made in return to social psychology. The general nature of the interface of social and sport psychology is also discussed.
František Man, Iva Stuchlíková and Pavel Kindlmann
Spielberger’s trait-state anxiety theory suggests that persons high in trait anxiety have a greater tendency to perceive an ego-involving situation as threatening, and hence, they are expected to respond to this situation with elevated state anxiety (A-state). To test this hypothesis measurements of A-trait (low vs. high) as a between-subjects factor, measurements of stress level (low vs. high) as a within-subjects factor, and measurements of state anxiety, cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, self-confidence, and cognitive interference as dependent variables were made on 45 top-level soccer players. Statistical analysis revealed a significant person-situation interaction only in self-confidence. The lack of sensitivity in the state anxiety scores can be ascribed to the fact that soccer players play important games regularly and so become desensitized to precompetitive anxiety responses. A subsequent multiple regression analysis showed that task irrelevant cognitions are correlated only with cognitive anxiety and not with either self-confidence or somatic anxiety.
Stephan Dutke, Thomas Jaitner, Timo Berse and Jonathan Barenberg
Research on effects of acute physical exercise on performance in a concurrent cognitive task has generated equivocal evidence. Processing efficiency theory predicts that concurrent physical exercise can increase resource requirements for sustaining cognitive performance even when the level of performance is unaffected. This hypothesis was tested in a dual-task experiment. Sixty young adults worked on a primary auditory attention task and a secondary interval production task while cycling on a bicycle ergometer. Physical load (cycling) and cognitive load of the primary task were manipulated. Neither physical nor cognitive load affected primary task performance, but both factors interacted on secondary task performance. Sustaining primary task performance under increased physical and/or cognitive load increased resource consumption as indicated by decreased secondary task performance. Results demonstrated that physical exercise effects on cognition might be underestimated when only single task performance is the focus.