How do I feel about the behavior? The interplay of affective associations with behaviors and cognitive beliefs as influences on physical activity behavior

Marc T. Kiviniemi, Amy M. Voss-Humke, April L. Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals have affective associations with health behaviors. In other domains such associations have been shown to influence behavior, but affective associations with health behaviors are not included in current health decision-making models. The authors examined whether affective associations with exercise predicted individuals' activity behavior and, if so, how they interfaced with other decision-making constructs to influence behavior. Adult participants (N = 433) reported their current physical activity behavior and affective associations with physical activity. Health belief model and theory of planned behavior constructs were also assessed. More positive affective associations with activity significantly predicted greater activity behavior. Moreover, the influence of the health belief model and theory of planned behavior constructs on activity behavior was mediated through affective associations. Affective associations were shown to play a central role in individuals' activity behavior, both as a mediator of the effects of cognitively based decision-making factors and as an independent predictor of activity behavior. The results suggest the need to include affective influences on behavior in formal models of health decision making and, potentially, to explore affectively based intervention routes to change behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Affective associations
  • Cognitive beliefs
  • Health decision making
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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