Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorNeumann, David L
dc.contributor.authorHannan, Thomas E
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-12T03:27:53Z
dc.date.available2019-12-12T03:27:53Z
dc.date.issued2019
dc.identifier.doi10.25904/1912/3797
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/389715
dc.description.abstractWhile the benefits of participating in regular leisure-time exercise are well known, many individuals fail to exercise regularly. Contemporary research into exercise motivation has identified automatic cognitive processes, such approach-avoidance biases, as at least partly involved in motivating exercise behaviour. Approach-avoidance biases refer to automatic and implicit dispositions to approach or avoid certain cues in the environment. These biases can be examined by measuring immediate action tendencies to approach or avoid, or by examining implicit approach-avoidance associations stored in long-term memory. Specifically, approach-avoidance associations reflect pre-existing links in memory between a target concept (e.g., exercise) and behavioural tendencies to approach or avoid. To date, existing research has not yet demonstrated a link between implicit approach-avoidance associations with exercise cues and exercise behaviour. Identifying whether participation in leisure-time exercise is associated with the strength of approach-avoidance associations may provide insight into why some individuals are automatically motivated to pursue exercise as a form of leisure and others are not. Therefore, the overarching aim of this thesis was to contribute to current understanding of exercise motivation by investigating the relationship between approach-avoidance memory associations and leisure-time exercise engagement. Study 1 used a Recoding-Free Implicit Association Test (IAT-RF) to examine the relationship between self-reported leisure-time exercise engagement and implicit approach-avoidance memory associations with exercise in a sample of healthy adults (N = 104). Results revealed stronger exercise-approach versus exercise-avoidance memory associations, indicative of an implicit approach bias for exercise cues. In addition, approach bias scores positively correlated with self-reported time spent on leisure-time exercise, and discriminated between individuals who did or did not meet global recommendations of weekly physical activity during their leisure time (i.e., >150 minutes of weekly physical activity). A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that approach bias scores explained unique variance in self-reported exercise behaviour when controlling for explicit exercise intentions and self-determined exercise motivation. The findings provided preliminary evidence that higher amounts of leisure-time exercise were associated with a stronger implicit cognitive bias to approach exercise-related cues in the environment. Study 2 utilised a Single Category Recoding-Free Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT-RF) to measure approach-avoidance associations with exercise cues using a sample of healthy undergraduate students (N = 110). Study 2 also investigated whether exercise habit strength moderated the relationship between approach-avoidance associations and self-reported exercise behaviours, operationalised as time spent on leisure-time exercise during a typical week and as average duration of exercise sessions. Consistent with the findings of Study 1, participants in Study 2 demonstrated an implicit approach bias for exercise-related cues, as measured by the SC-IAT-RF. However, when controlling for explicit exercise intentions, approach bias scores on the SC-IAT-RF were not significantly associated with self-reported exercise behaviour. Moreover, exercise habit strength did not moderate the relationship between approach-avoidance associations and self-reported behaviour. Intentions and habit were both found to independently predict time spent on leisure-time exercise, whereas only intentions significantly predicted average workout duration. While these findings did not support the role of approach-avoidance associations in exercise, they have suggested that intentions and habit may be important factors in predicting leisure-time exercise behaviour. Study 3 (N = 93) measured approach-avoidance associations using both the IAT-RF and the SC-IAT-RF and examined the relationship between approach bias for exercise, self-reported exercise behaviour, and immediate performance on a stationary cycling task. Study 3 also examined whether the relationships between approach bias, exercise intentions, and immediate exercise performance were moderated by situational demands on cognitive capacity. Results revealed that approach bias scores on the IAT-RF and the SC-IAT-RF positively correlated with self-reported time spent on leisure-time exercise. Moderated regression analyses revealed that intentions, but not approach bias, positively predicted objectively measured distance cycled irrespective of demands on cognitive capacity. Further, neither approach bias nor intentions predicted average percentage of maximum heart rate. The findings from Study 3 further supported the relationship between approach-avoidance associations and current levels of leisure-time exercise engagement, but indicated that further research is needed to identify the strength of the relationship between approach-avoidance associations and prospective exercise behaviour. In summary, this thesis has provided an original contribution to knowledge by demonstrating a relationship between self-reported leisure-time exercise behaviour and implicit approach-avoidance memory associations with exercise cues. Broadly, the current results have revealed that individuals who reported engaging in higher amounts of leisure-time exercise displayed a stronger implicit cognitive bias to approach exercise-related cues. These findings offer important theoretical insight into the factors that may influence exercise behaviour and have demonstrated that both controlled and automatic processes are linked to leisure-time exercise participation. Practically, the conclusion of this thesis that automatic processes play an important role in motivating exercise behaviour may be used to inform future public health campaigns. Alternatively, these findings may aid in the development of intervention strategies that aim to increase engagement in exercise and physical activity.
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherGriffith University
dc.publisher.placeBrisbane
dc.rights.copyrightThe author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
dc.subject.keywordsApproach-avoidance
dc.subject.keywordsbias
dc.subject.keywordsRecoding-Free Implicit Association Test
dc.subject.keywordsIAT-RF
dc.subject.keywordsleisure-time exercise
dc.subject.keywordsexercise
dc.subject.keywordsSingle Category Recoding-Free Implicit Association Test
dc.subject.keywordsSC-IAT-RF
dc.titleImplicit Approach-Avoidance Associations and Leisure-Time Exercise
dc.typeGriffith thesis
gro.facultyGriffith Health
gro.rights.copyrightThe author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
gro.hasfulltextFull Text
dc.contributor.otheradvisorMoffitt, Robyn L
dc.contributor.otheradvisorKemps, Eva B
gro.identifier.gurtID000000022274
gro.thesis.degreelevelThesis (PhD Doctorate)
gro.thesis.degreeprogramDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
gro.departmentSchool of Applied Psychology
gro.griffith.authorHannan, Thomas E.


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record