This article introduces a new theory, the Affective–Reflective Theory (ART) of physical inactivity and exercise. ART aims to explain and predict behavior in situations in which people either remain in a state of physical inactivity or initiate action (exercise). It is a dual-process model and assumes that exercise-related stimuli trigger automatic associations and a resulting automatic affective valuation of exercise (type-1 process). The automatic affective valuation forms the basis for the reflective evaluation (type-2 process), which can follow if self-control resources are available. The automatic affective valuation is connected with an action impulse, whereas the reflective evaluation can result in action plans. The two processes, in constant interaction, direct the individual towards or away from changing behavior. The ART of physical inactivity and exercise predicts that, when there is an affective–reflective discrepancy and self-control resources are low, behavior is more likely to be governed by the affective type-1 process. This introductory article explains the underlying concepts and main theoretical roots from which the ART of physical inactivity and exercise was developed (field theory, affective responses to exercise, automatic evaluation, evaluation-behavior link, dual-process theorizing). We also summarize the empirical tests that have been conducted to refine the theory in its present form.
Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: a theory of planned behavior. In J. Kuhl & J. Beckman (Eds.), Action-control: from cognition to behavior (pp. 11–39). Heidelberg: Springer. CrossRef
Antoniewicz, F., & Brand, R. (2016a). Learning to like exercising: Evaluative conditioning changes automatic evaluations of exercising and influences subsequent exercising behavior. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38(2), 138–148. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2015–0125. CrossRef
Antoniewicz, F., & Brand, R. (2016b). Dropping out or keeping up? Early-dropouts, late-dropouts, and maintainers differ in their automatic evaluations of exercise already before a 14-week exercise course. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 838. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00838. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentral
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191–215. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.84.2.191. CrossRefPubMed
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Baumeister, R. F., & Heatherton, T. F. (1996). Self-regulation failure: an overview. Psychological Inquiry, 7(1), 1–15. CrossRef
Bickel, W. K., Miller, M. L., Yi, R., Kowal, B. P., Lindquist, D. M., & Pitcock, J. A. (2007). Behavioral and neuroeconomics of drug addiction: competing neural systems and temporal discounting processes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 90(Suppl. 1), S85–S91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.09.016. CrossRefPubMed
Biddle, S. J. H., & Gorely, T. (2014). Sitting psychology: towards a psychology of sedentary behaviour. In A. G. Papaioannou & D. Hackfort (Eds.), Routledge companion to sport and exercise psychology: global perspectives and fundamental concepts (pp. 720–740). London: Routledge.
Bluemke, M., Brand, R., Schweizer, G., & Kahlert, D. (2010). Exercise might be good for me, but I don’t feel good about it: do automatic associations predict exercise behavior? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 32(2), 137–153. CrossRef
Brand, R., & Schweizer, G. (2015). Going to the gym or to the movies? Situated decisions as a functional link connecting reflective and automatic evaluations of exercise with exercising behavior. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 37(1), 63–73. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2014–0018. CrossRef
Briñol, P., & Petty, R. E. (2012). The history of attitudes and persuasion research. In A. Kruglanski & W. Stroebe (Eds.), Handbook of the history of social psychology (pp. 285–320). New York: Psychology Press.
Buckworth, J., & Dishman, R. K. (2002). Exercise psychology. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Chen, M., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). Consequences of automatic evaluation: immediate behavioral predispositions to approach or avoid the stimulus. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24(2), 215–224. CrossRef
Chevance, G., Caudroit, J., Romain, A. J., & Boiché, J. (2017). The adoption of physical activity and eating behaviors among persons with obesity and in the general population: the role of implicit attitudes within the Theory of Planned Behavior. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 22(3), 319–324. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2016.1159705. CrossRefPubMed
De Houwer, J., & Hermans, D. (2001). Automatic affective processing. Cognition and Emotion, 15(2), 113–114. CrossRef
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Publishing Co. CrossRef
Deutsch, R., Gawronski, B., & Hofmann, W. (Eds.). (2017). Reflective and impulsive determinants of human behavior. New York, NY: Routledge Psychology Press.
Ekkekakis, P. (2013). The measurement of affect, mood, and emotion. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
Ekkekakis, P. (2017). People have feelings! Exercise psychology in paradigmatic transition. Current Opinion in Psychology, 16, 84–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.03.018. CrossRefPubMed
Ekkekakis, P., & Dafermos, M. (2012). Exercise is a many-splendored thing but for some it does not feel so splendid: staging a resurgence of hedonistic ideas in the quest to understand exercise behavior. In E. O. Acevedo (Ed.), Oxford handbook of exercise psychology (pp. 295–333). New York: Oxford University Press.
Ekkekakis, P., & Zenko, Z. (2016). Escape from cognitivism: exercise as hedonic experience. In M. Raab, P. Wyllemann, R. Seiler, A. M. Elbe & A. Hatzigeorgiadis (Eds.), Sport and exercise psychology research. From theory to practice (pp. 389–414). Amsterdam: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803634. CrossRef
Ekkekakis, P., Vazou, S., Bixby, W. R., & Georgiadis, E. (2016). The mysterious case of the public health guideline that is (almost) entirely ignored: call for a research agenda on the causes of the extreme avoidance of physical activity in obesity. Obesity Reviews, 17(4), 313–329. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12369. CrossRefPubMed
Evans, J. St B. T. (2008). Dual-processing accounts of reasoning, judgment, and social cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 255–278. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093629. CrossRefPubMed
Fazio, R. H. (1986). How do attitudes guide behavior? In R. M. Sorrentino & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition (Vol. 1, pp. 204–243). New York: Guilford.
Fazio, R. H. (1990). Multiple processes by which attitudes guide behavior: the MODE model as an integrative framework. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Experimental social psychology (Vol. 23, pp. 75–109). San Diego: Academic Press.
Fazio, R. H. (2001). On the automatic activation of associated evaluations: an overview. Cognition and Emotion, 15(2), 115–141. CrossRef
Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Evanston: Row & Peterson.
Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research. Reading: Addison-Wesley.
Gawronski, B., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2006). Associative and propositional processes in evaluation: an integrative review of implicit and explicit attitude change. Psychological Bulletin, 132(5), 692–731. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.5.692. CrossRefPubMed
Gawronski, B., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2011). The associative–propositional evaluation model: theory, evidence, and open questions. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 44(X), 59–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385522-0.00002-0. CrossRef
Gawronski, B., Brannon, S. M., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2017). The associative-propositional duality in the representation, formation, and expression of attitudes. In R. Deutsch, B. Gawronski & W. Hofmann (Eds.), Reflective and impulsive determinants of human behavior (pp. 103–118). New York: Routledge Psychology Press.
Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. K. L. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1464–1480. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.114. CrossRefPubMed
Hofmann, W., & Friese, M. (2017). Passion versus reason. Impulsive and reflective determinants of self-control success and failure. In R. Deutsch, B. Gawronski & W. Hofmann (Eds.), Reflective and impulsive determinants of human behavior (pp. 119–135). New York: Routledge Psychology Press.
Hughes, S., Barnes-Holmes, D., & De Houwer, J. (2011). The dominance of associative theorizing in implicit attitude research: propositional and behavioral alternatives. The Psychological Record, 61(3), 465–496. CrossRef
Lewin, K. (1943). Defining the “Field at a Given Time”. Psychological Review, 50(3), 292–310. CrossRef
Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper.
Murphy, S. T., & Zajonc, R. B. (1993). Affect, cognition and awareness: affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(5), 723–739. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1683. CrossRefPubMed
Nigg, C. (2013). ACSM’s Behavioral aspects of physical activity and exercise. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nosek, B., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2007). The Implicit Association Test at Age 7: A methodological and conceptual review. In J. A. Bargh (Ed.), Automatic processes in social thinking and behavior (pp. 265–292). New York: Psychology Press.
Payne, B. K., Cheng, C. M., Govorun, O., & Stewart, B. D. (2005). An inkblot for attitudes: affect misattribution as implicit measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(3), 277–293. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1247. CrossRefPubMed
Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1984). The transtheoretical approach: Towards a systematic eclectic framework. Homewood: Dow Jones Irwin.
Rhodes, R. E., & Yao, C. A. (2015). Models accounting for intention-behavior discordance in the physical activity domain: a user’s guide, content overview, and review of current evidence. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0168-6. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentral
Rosenberg, M. J., & Hovland, C. I. (1960). Cognitive, affective and behavioral components of attitudes. In C. I. Hovland & M. J. Rosenberg (Eds.), Attitude organization and change: an analysis of consistency among attitude components (pp. 1–14). New Haven: Yale University Press.
Rozin, P. (1999). Preadaptation and the puzzles and properties of pleasure. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well being: the foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 109–133). New York: SAGE.
Russell, J. A., & Barrett, F. L. (2009). Core affect. In D. Sander & K. R. Scherer (Eds.), The Oxford companion to emotion and the affective sciences (p. 104). New York: Oxford University Press.
Seibt, B., Neumann, R., Nussinson, R., & Strack, F. (2008). Movement direction or change in distance? Self and object related approach-avoidance movements. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(3), 713–720. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.04.013. CrossRef
Thurstone, L. L. (1946). Comment. American Journal of Sociology, 52, 39–40.
World Health Organization (2009). Global health risks. Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization Global Health Observatory (2010). Prevalence of insufficient physical activity [Global health observatory data]. http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/physical_activity/en/. Accessed 1. June 2017
Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35(2), 151–175. CrossRef
Zanna, M. P., & Rempel, J. K. (1988). Attitudes: a new look at an old concept. In D. Bar-Tal & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), The social psychology of knowledge (pp. 315–334). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Affective–Reflective Theory of physical inactivity and exercise
Foundations and preliminary evidence
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Neu im Fachgebiet Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie
Mail Icon II