Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Craig Hall


It has been determined that exercise identity (EI) is a key component of the self-concept and is a strong determinant of exercise behaviours. The primary purpose of study 1 was to examine EI’s relationship with three key self-presentational variables: self-presentational efficacy (SPE), social physique anxiety (SPA), and impression motivation (IM). Specifically, we looked at how EI contributed uniquely to predicting exercise behaviour over and above these self-presentational concerns. The analyses demonstrated that EI is positively correlated with SPE and unrelated to SPA in both genders. Further analyses revealed that EI contributes a significant amount of variance towards exercise behaviour over and above what is accounted for by SPE, SPA, and IM. Lastly, EI did not moderate the SPA-exercise relationship in either gender. In study 2 an implicit measure of exercise identity was developed and tested using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) procedure on 60 individuals (60% males, 40% females) ranging from 18 to 61 years of age. Findings showed that (explicit) exercise identity (EI) and implicit identity (II) were distinct concepts, yet each was moderately correlated with vigorous forms of exercise. Individuals who ranked EI among their top three identities (high-salient group) scored significantly higher in both EI and II measures than those who ranked exercise identity among their top bottom three identities (low-salient group). Implications are discussed for the future utility of this objective measure of II. The aim of study 3 was to determine if two distinct imagery foci would differentially impact the following six outcomes: exercise identity (EI), self-presentational efficacy (SPE), social physique anxiety (SPA), upper body endurance, core endurance, and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Follow-up exercise data was also collected. The two different forms of imagery implemented were exercise identity imagery (EII) and self-presentational efficacy imagery (SPEI). 19 females and 5 males completed the intervention. Results indicated that both EII and SPEI groups significantly improved in all but one outcome (SPA), relative to baseline assessment. Yet, no significant differences were discovered between imagery conditions EII and SPEI. Follow-up exercise data indicated that both groups exercised at statistically similar rates post-intervention.