Date: December 1986
Creator: Morton, Anne Aldredge
Description: This investigation examined the effects of aerobic fitness and the Type A behavior pattern on cognitive functioning in the split-attention (dual task) paradigm. Sixty-four adults were classified as Type A or B by means of the Jenkins Activity Survey, and as Runner or Sedentary using self-reports of physical activity. Under challenging instructions, subjects performed a primary task (Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices) and secondary task (Backward Digit Span) alternatively under single and dual task conditions. There was a significant interaction between aerobic fitness and task condition such that Runners outperformed Sedentary subjects under dual, but not single, task conditions on the secondary task. No differences were found on the primary task. Backward Digit Span performance under dual, but not single, task conditions, was also found to be positively related to the subjects eating a low cholesterol diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Contrary to predictions, there were no significant effects of the Type A behavior pattern, either main or interaction, on any of the cognitive measures. Type A Runners exceeded Type B Runners in aerobic points, races per year, runs per week, Personal Record attempts, and level of dissatisfaction with performance. There were no differences in the tendency to run while ...
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