Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of being prompted to focus on self-talk versus bodily sensations on exercise intensity chosen by participants and level of enjoyment. One hundred and forty-two undergraduate psychology students ran on a treadmill for 20 minutes on two separate days, one week apart. One day they were asked to focus on their bodily sensations and on another day positive self-talk. The order of these assigned focuses was counterbalanced. Participant's current level of exercise activity (Stage of Change) was used as an independent variable. The dependent variables of interest were self-selected exercise intensity and enjoyment. Results indicated there was not a significant difference in the percentage of maximum heart rate or enjoyment across trials nor did Stage of Change moderate this relationship. This could be the result of a weak adherence to the manipulation, or perhaps these two focuses (bodily sensations and self-talk) do not differentially influence the motivation to exercise at increased intensity.



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