Psychological needs and the prediction of exercise‐related cognitions and affect among an ethnically diverse cohort of adult women

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Previous research has highlighted a need for identifying the psychological strategies which best maximize the affective responses to exercise (e.g., Blanchard, Rodgers, & Gauvin, 2004). The present study compared the effects on affective responses of using different imagery types while exercising. Participants (N = 75, mean age = 20.2 years, SD = 1.33) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 imagery conditions (i.e., enjoyment imagery, energy imagery, or technique imagery). Affect was recorded before and after 20 min of moderate intensity cycle ergometry (50% Heart Rate Reserve) using the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory (EFI; Gauvin & Rejeski, 1993) and the Feeling Scale (Hardy & Rejeski, 1989). Controlling for affect reported before the exercise bout, the enjoyment imagery group reported significantly higher levels of postexercise valence than the energy and technique imagery groups and higher revitalization than the technique imagery group. These findings indicate that enjoyment imagery could be used to further improve the affective benefits associated with exercise.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-463
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • exercise, imagery, affect, exercise psychology