Date: August 2010
Creator: Smith, Lauren Marie
Description: Deciding to exercise requires trade-offs between immediate and delayed benefits. These momentary decisions may be moderated by personality such that patterns of individual behavior emerge. The aim of the current study was to determine if higher levels of optimism and lower levels of delay discounting were related to exercise frequency. A sample of 360 undergraduate students completed a survey study related to understanding the choices made by undergraduates and how other factors relate to their decision-making. The survey included measures of optimism, delayed discounting, and self-reported exercise frequency in four domains: cardiovascular, resistance, sports, active lifestyle. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine optimism and delay discounting as predictors of exercise frequency. Optimism and delay discounting were negatively correlated, but neither was related to exercise frequency. Furthermore, optimism and delay discounting were not significantly related to frequency spent in cardiovascular, resistance, or active lifestyle exercise. However, women scoring higher in delay discounting were more likely to participate in physical sports. The present study helps inform future research by showing potentially important psychosocial variables related to optimism, delay discounting, and exercise.
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