Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Previous research has shown that people induced with a future-oriented time perspective were more likely to adhere to an exercise program because they were focused on the beneﬁts of exercise and therefore better able to overcome short-term (ST) costs. The current research aimed to extend these ﬁndings by examining time perception—how close or distant the future beneﬁts of exercise subjectively feel. Three studies examined participants’ perceptions of the ST and long-term (LT) beneﬁts of exercise on their motivation to be physically active and their subsequent exercise behaviour. Study l found that having a future time perspective was related to higher physical ﬁtness, and that focusing on ST beneﬁts was related to greater levels of exercise. In Study 2, participants were induced to feel either close to, or distant from, LT beneﬁts of exercise. We then examined participants’ rankings of ST and LT beneﬁts. It was hypothesized that people induced to feel close to the LT beneﬁts of exercise would rank them as more important, but the effect was non-signiﬁcant. Study 3 was a 4-week longitudinal study wherein participants used Palm Pilots to receive a daily time perception manipulation and then recorded a daily log of their exercise. Participants were experimentally induced to feel subjectively close to, or distant from, the beneﬁts of exercise experienced after 6 weeks of activity. The manipulation was generally successful at altering time perception, but there was little evidence that people who were induced to feel close to the ﬁtness goals exercised signiﬁcantly more than people induced to feel distant from the goals. Possible interpretations of the null effects are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.
McLellan, Lianne, "Looking forward to fitness: The effects of time perception on exercise behaviour" (2003). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 743.