The Effects of the Type A Behavior Pattern and Aerobic Exercise on the Allocation of Attention

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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 ... continued below

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vii, 147 leaves

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Morton, Anne Aldredge December 1986.

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  • Morton, Anne Aldredge

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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 injured, use of a stopwatch during training, or effort exerted in races. Overall, these findings suggest that an ability to perform under split-attention (dual task) conditions is positively related to aerobic fitness, a low-fat diet, and maintenance of a healthy weight. In addition, Type A Runners differ from B Runners in some, but not all, aspects related to the Type A pattern, suggesting that aerobic exercise may modify to a limited extent the Type A behavior pattern. The failure to find A-B differences in attentional style consistent with prior research (Matthews & Brunson, 1979) or interaction of type and exercise may reflect the nature of the sample and tasks in this particular investigation, compared with previous studies.

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vii, 147 leaves

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  • December 1986

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • April 5, 2016, 11:49 a.m.

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Morton, Anne Aldredge. The Effects of the Type A Behavior Pattern and Aerobic Exercise on the Allocation of Attention, dissertation, December 1986; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332262/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .