Using implicit attitudes of exercise importance to predict explicit exercise dependence symptoms and exercise behaviors

Lauren N. Forrest, April R. Smith, Lauren M. Fussner, Dorian R. Dodd, Elise M. Clerkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: "Fast" (i.e., implicit) processing is relatively automatic; "slow" (i.e., explicit) processing is relatively controlled and can override automatic processing. These different processing types often produce different responses that uniquely predict behaviors. In the present study, we tested if explicit, self-reported symptoms of exercise dependence and an implicit association of exercise as important predicted exercise behaviors and change in problematic exercise attitudes. Design: We assessed implicit attitudes of exercise importance and self-reported symptoms of exercise dependence at Time 1. Participants reported daily exercise behaviors for approximately one month, and then completed a Time 2 assessment of self-reported exercise dependence symptoms. Method: Undergraduate males and females (Time 1, N = 93; Time 2, N = 74) tracked daily exercise behaviors for one month and completed an Implicit Association Test assessing implicit exercise importance and subscales of the Exercise Dependence Questionnaire (EDQ) assessing exercise dependence symptoms. Results: Implicit attitudes of exercise importance and Time 1 EDQ scores predicted Time 2 EDQ scores. Further, implicit exercise importance and Time 1 EDQ scores predicted daily exercise intensity while Time 1 EDQ scores predicted the amount of days exercised. Conclusion: Implicit and explicit processing appear to uniquely predict exercise behaviors and attitudes. Given that different implicit and explicit processes may drive certain exercise factors (e.g., intensity and frequency, respectively), these behaviors may contribute to different aspects of exercise dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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