Exercise and the TPB

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TPB: Looking at Norms and Attitudes as Predictors of Exercise Intentions and Behaviors Lisa Reyna
University of Colorado Boulder Colorado

Abstract
This study examined the Theory of Planned Behavior constructs of norms, attitudes, and intentions in relation to exercise behavior. This study investigated the relationship between norms of perceived exercise and an individual’s attitude toward exercise, and whether or not attitudes and norms significantly predicted exercise intentions. The participants in the study consisted of students between the ages of 20 and 21, who were enrolled in a mandatory upper division psychology class at the University of Colorado Boulder. This study was conducted using a passive observational design consisting of a survey administered to the students during class. The results of this study showed that a significant relationship between norms and attitudes existed. In addition, both attitudes and norms significantly predicted exercise intentions, with attitudes being larger predictor of exercise intentions than norms. Limitations of this study included small and limited sample size.

Keywords: exercise, TPB, norms, attitudes, inetetnions

TPB: Looking at Norms and Attitudes as Predictors of Exercise Intentions and Behaviors The benefits of both aerobic and resistance exercise have been made clear and include reduced risk for coronary disease, decreased risk of developing diabetes, colon cancer, and other major diseases as well as psychological benefits including improved sleep, enhanced mood, and increased overall energy levels. Due to the fact that exercise demonstrates a wide range of positive benefits it is worthwhile to study the reasons behind which people exercise to find the predictors to which relate to how often individuals will engage in exercise activity. By finding out the motivators behind people’s reasons to exercise using the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior, researchers can target these areas to increase further exercise behaviors, which will in turn increase overall population health. In using research based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) done by Bryan and Rocheleau (2002) it was found that the TPB suggests that intentions to carry out exercise are the most proximal predictor of engaging in the behavior. Intentions in turn may be determined by individual’s attitude towards the behavior and perceptions of subjective normative support for the behavior. In general, attitudes appear to be more strongly associated with intentions to exercise than are subjective norms supporting exercise. Meta-analyses of TPB studies showed that attitude was “over two times more useful in predicting intentions to exercise than were subjective norms” (Hausenblas et el, 1997) Due to this statistical finding it can be concluded that exercise behavior can likely be increased by changing people’s attitudes in how they feel about exercise, including perceptions of positive feeling and how much enjoyment they receive. In looking at changing exercise through targeting affective attitudes (attitudes based off emotions) or cognitive attitudes (attitudes based off thoughts, beliefs, or ideas), an implementation study done by Connor, et al. (2011) had a group of participants complete questionnaire measures regarding components of the Theory of Planned Behavior in relation to exercise. Two studies investigated the impact of affective and cognitive messages and found results, which showed that affective messages consistently produced greater increases in self-reported level of exercise than did cognitive messages. This was mediated by affective attitude change, which sourced from the affective messages received by the participants in the experimental group. These findings indicate the value of affective messages in targeting attitude in influencing exercise behavior. In an article published by Rivis and Sheeran (2002) descriptive norms were looked...
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