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Automatic Affective Evaluations of Physical Activity

Conroy, David E.1,2; Berry, Tanya R.3

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: October 2017 - Volume 45 - Issue 4 - p 230–237
doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000120

People do not seem to be willing or able to sustain effortful self-regulation for behaviors such as physical activity. Affective processes can account for why some behaviors are more intrinsically rewarding than others. In this article, we hypothesize that automatic affective evaluations are instrumental to the regulation of physical activity in everyday life.

People at rest tend to stay at rest unless they expend effort or are compelled to move by affective impulses.

1The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; 2Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; and 3University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Address for correspondence: David E. Conroy, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 266 Rec Hall, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (E-mail:

Accepted for publication: May 3, 2017.

Editor: Ryan E. Rhodes, Ph.D.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine