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EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 41
EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY
Theories of Exercise Behavior
Psychological models of human behavior have been applied to the exercise-setting in an attempt to explain
why people don't exercise, why they start to exercise, and why they do or do not continue to exercise, and
why they start exercising again if they stop. These models include:
The Theory of Reasoned Action
The Theory of Planned Behavior
The Transtheoretical Model
Social Cognitive Theory
The Theory of Reasoned Action
The theory of reasoned action proposes that the main precursor of a behavior such as exercise is the
individual's intention to perform the behavior. The intention to perform the behavior is determined by the
individual's attitude towards the behavior as well as social norms or social pressure to perform the behavior.
Research by Estabrooks and Courneya (1997) has demonstrated the effectiveness of the theory of reasoned
action in exercise settings. While the theory of reasoned action is a viable model for predicting exercise
behavior, research has demonstrated that its predictive power is increased when personal control is added to
the model. This observation led to the development of the theory of planned behavior.
The Theory of Planned Behavior
The theory of planned behavior is an extension of the theory of reasoned action. The intention to perform a
behavior is fundamental to the theory. Intention is determined by the individual's attitude towards the
behavior and social norms. The difference between the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned
behavior is the addition of behavioral control to the latter model. An individual will maintain or initiate an
exercise program if his intention is firm and he feels in control. Intention is in turn a function of his attitude
towards exercise and perceived social support. Several researches have demonstrated general support for the
theory of planned behavior in predicting exercise behavior. Strong support for the theory of planned
behavior is also provided through meta-analysis reported by Hausenblas, Carron, and Mack (1997).
The Transtheoretical Model
According to the transtheoretical model, individuals pass through five dynamic stages in adopting healthy
long-term exercise behavior. The stages are dynamic, because individuals may move in and out of the
several stages before reaching the final stage, which is also dynamic.
The five stages are:
(5)
1.
Precontemplation
2.
Contemplation
3.
Preparation
4.
Action
5.
Maintenance
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Other factors that interact include self-efficacy, perception of gains and losses, and a set of psychological
obstacles that may need to be addressed (e.g., personal or family conflicts).
Social Cognitive Theory
Social cognitive theory provides a viable way to explain exercise behavior. Individuals who are dissatisfied
with their current exercise behavior who exhibit high levels of exercise self-efficacy, and who set exercise
goals are generally able to achieve their goals. Exercise self-efficacy is a powerful predictor of exercise
behavior. Individuals who believe in themselves and believe that they can be successful at maintaining an
exercise program generally are successful.
Fitness as a Moderator of Life Stress
Given the positive relationship between exercise and improved mental health, it follows that physical fitness
should serve as a buffer against life stress. The ability of individuals to insulate, protect, or inoculate
themselves against the stresses of life through regular exercise is called stress inoculation. Research shows
that the psychological benefits associated with regular exercise do not normally require an increase in
physical fitness. Aerobics fitness, however, does appear to be a necessary precursor to the stress inoculation
effect. Aerobically fit individuals appear to be inoculated against stress, illness, and the general hassles of life
to a greater extent than less aerobically fit individuals. Children and adults who engage in healthy behavior
that leads to physical fitness can insulate themselves from various physical and psychological health
problems throughout their lives.
Life stress represents an accumulation of the daily hassles and challenges of living out our lives. Individuals
who exercise regularly and maintain a high level of physical fitness are less susceptible to the negative effects
of life stress. Evidence of this hypothesis has been provided by a number of researchers. Research results of
an investigation show an interactive relationship between life stress, physical fitness, and number of visits
the the health center (illness). Being physically fit serves to inoculate the individual against illness during
periods of high stress. Conversely, physically unfit individuals appear to be unprotected against high stress.
References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York:
McGraw-Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants