This study examined (1) the relationships between self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation and impression construction) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among breast cancer survivors, and (2) whether social cognitive constructs (i.e., self-presentational efficacy expectancy [SPEE]; self-presentational outcome expectancy [SPOE]; self-presentational outcome value [SPOV]) moderate these relationships. Breast cancer survivors (N = 169; M age = 55.06, SD = 10.67 years) completed self-report measures. Hierarchical regression analysis, controlling for age and body mass index, indicated that impression motivation was a significant correlate of MVPA (β = .25). Furthermore, SPEE (β = .21) and SPOV (β = .27) were moderators of this relationship. The final models accounted for 12–24% of the variance in MVPA. The findings of this study suggest that self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation) may indeed relate to breast cancer survivors’ MVPA. In addition, social cognitive constructs (i.e., SPEE, SPOV) moderated the relationship between impression motivation and MVPA. It may be effective to target impression motivation, SPEE, and SPOV in interventions aimed at increasing MVPA among breast cancer survivors.
Jennifer Brunet and Catherine M. Sabiston
Timothy C. Howle, James A. Dimmock, Peter R. Whipp and Ben Jackson
With the aim of advancing the literature on impression management in physical activity settings, we developed a theoretically derived 2 by 2 instrument that was designed to measure different types of context-specific selfpresentation motives. Following item generation and expert review (Study 1), the instrument was completed by 206 group exercise class attendees (Study 2) and 463 high school physical education students (Study 3). Our analyses supported the intended factor structure (i.e., reflecting acquisitive-agentic, acquisitive-communal, protective-agentic, and protective-communal motives). We found some support for construct validity, and the self-presentation motives were associated with variables of theoretical and applied interest (e.g., impression motivation and construction, social anxiety, social and achievement goals, efficacy beliefs, engagement). Taken together, the results indicate that the Self-presentation Motives for Physical Activity Questionnaire (SMPAQ) may be useful for measuring various types of self-presentation motives in physical activity settings.
Timothy C. Howle, James A. Dimmock, Peter R. Whipp and Ben Jackson
Two studies involving high school physical education students were conducted to investigate associations between 2 x 2 self-presentation motives and theorized antecedents. In Study 1 (n = 445), using path analysis, we found that positive predictive pathways emerged from fear of negative evaluation, trait agency and communion, self-presentational efficacy, and social self-efficacy to 2 x 2 motives. In Study 2 (n = 301), using cluster analysis, we found that approximately half the cohort was classified into a high motive endorsement cluster and half into a low motive endorsement cluster. The high cluster had significantly higher 2 x 2 motive, fear of negative evaluation, trait agency and communion, and self-efficacy scores. This work represents the first concerted effort to empirically examine proposed antecedents of 2 x 2 motives and serves to inform theorists and practitioners about dispositional and context-specific factors that may align with these motives.
Katharina Geukes, Christopher Mesagno, Stephanie J. Hanrahan and Michael Kellmann
Trait activation theorists suggest that situational demands activate traits in (pressure) situations. In a comparison of situational demands of private (monetary incentive, cover story), mixed (monetary incentive, small audience), and public (large audience, video taping) high-pressure situations, we hypothesized that situational demands of private and mixed high-pressure conditions would activate self-focus traits and those of a public high-pressure condition would activate self-presentation traits. Female handball players (N = 120) completed personality questionnaires and then performed a throwing task in a low-pressure condition and one of three high-pressure conditions (n = 40). Increased anxiety levels from low to high pressure indicated successful pressure manipulations. A self-focus trait negatively predicted performance in private and mixed high-pressure conditions, and self-presentation traits positively predicted performance in the public high-pressure condition. Thus, pressure situations differed in their trait-activating situational demands. Experimental research investigating the trait–performance relationship should therefore use simulations of real competitions over laboratory-based scenarios.
Katie Lebel and Karen Danylchuk
The innovations of social media have altered the traditional methods of fan–athlete interaction while redefining how celebrity athletes practice their roles as celebrities. This study explored gender differences in professional athletes’ self-presentation on Twitter. Content analyses were used to compare male and female athletes’ tweets relayed by all professional tennis players with a verified Twitter account. Profile details and messages were scoured for themes and patterns of use during the time surrounding the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Goffman’s seminal 1959 theory of self-presentation guided the analysis. While athlete image construction was found to be largely similar between genders, male athletes were found to spend more time in the role of sport fan while female athletes spent more time in the role of brand manager.
Kimberley L. Gammage, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis and Craig R. Hall
The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of self-presentational efficacy on social anxiety in an exercise context. Participants for this study were 68 female exercisers. Self-presentational efficacy was manipulated in two groups, high and low efficacy. Individuals in the low efficacy group showed higher levels of three measures of social anxiety (social anxiety in exercise classes M = 17.69, physical appearance anxiety M = 17.69, and social physique anxiety M = 30.89) than those in the high efficacy group (social anxiety in exercise classes M = 12.34, p < .001, physical appearance anxiety M = 12.71, p < .013, and social physique anxiety M = 25.87, p < .003). Furthermore, participants in the low efficacy group (M = 3.47) indicated that they were looking less forward to the upcoming aerobics class compared to those in the high efficacy group (M = 6.68, p < .001). Thus it appears that self-presentational efficacy has a potent influence on social anxiety in exercise contexts. Potential applications to exercise settings and future research are discussed.
Megan B. Shreffler, Meg G. Hancock and Samuel H. Schmidt
Unlike traditional media, which frames female athletes in sexualized manners and in socially accepted roles such as mothers and girlfriends, user-controlled social-media Web sites allow female athletes to control the image and brand they wish to portray to the public. Using Goffman’s theory of self-presentation, the current study aimed to investigate how female athletes were portraying themselves via their Twitter avatar pictures. A total of 207 verified Twitter avatars of female athletes from 6 sports were examined through a content analysis. The avatars from each player were coded using the following themes: athlete as social being, athlete as promotional figure, “selfie,” athletic competence, ambivalence, “girl next door,” and “sexy babe.” The results revealed that athletic competence was the most common theme, followed by selfie and athlete as social being. Thus, when women have the opportunity to control their image through social media they choose to focus on their athletic identities.
Andrea N. Geurin
Internet-based communication tools serve as a unique platform for self-presentation and impression management for both individuals and organizations ( Rui & Stefanone, 2013 ) and can also be used to achieve marketing communication goals ( Eagleman, 2013 ). Today’s elite athletes face increasing
Kathleen A. Martin, Adrienne R. Sinden and Julie C. Fleming
This study examined whether information about an individual’s exercise habits influences the impressions that others form of the individual. Using a 2 (target’s gender) × 3 (target’s exercise status) design, 627 men and women participants read a description of a young man or woman who was described as an exerciser, nonexerciser, or control. Participants then rated the target on 12 personality and 8 appearance dimensions. Analyses revealed significant main effects for both independent variables (p < .05). Nonexercisers received lower ratings than the exercisers and/or controls did on virtually all the dimensions (p < .05), and female targets were rated more favorably than male targets were on several dimensions (p < .05). The interaction between a target’s exercise status and gender was not significant. The results suggest that for women, as well as men, there are self-presentational benefits associated with being an exerciser and self-presentational liabilities for those who are nonexercisers.
Katie Lebel and Karen Danylchuk
This study investigated how professional athletes present themselves in their Twitter profile pictures and how athlete self-presentation is interpreted by a Generation Y audience (N = 206). Goffman’s theory of self-presentation guided the analysis with a specific focus on the notions of front- and backstage performances as they relate to impression-management strategies. Participants assessed a sample of profile photos of the most followed male and female athletes on Twitter by providing their first impressions of each athlete’s image and then evaluating photo favorability and effectiveness. This research provides evidence to suggest that individuals invest meaning in the social cues provided in athlete profile pictures. Athletes who highlighted a sport context were consistently ranked most favorably and effectively and were linked with positive word associations. These findings underscore the importance of a strategic alignment between social-media profile content, profile photos, and the brand established by athletes.