The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

Examining Sex Differences in Physical Activity Motivation


The purpose of this experiment was to examine the influence of emphasizing either the health benefits or social benefits of physical activity and the influence of the participant’s biological sex on their completion of a physical activity related goal. Male and female participants were given a half-page, written cue to guide them towards focusing on either health or social motivations behind physical activity. All participants were assigned the goal of losing two pounds in two weeks. Screening procedures took place to eliminate any participants who possibly had an eating disorder. It was hypothesized that participants of different genders who had the same motivation cues would show a smaller biological sex difference than those with different motivational cues. After two weeks had passed, the participants were asked to indicate whether they had or had not achieved the assigned goal. When comparing the four participant groups of Male-Health, Male-Social, Female-Health, and Female-Social, there were no significant differences in the amount of participants who achieved the assigned goal. The results were examined in terms of comparing males and females, and health emphasis and social emphasis.

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