What is the Impact of Social Category Diversity on Motivation Gains in Exercise Groups?

Research Paper Title

The Impact of Social Category Diversity on Motivation Gains in Exercise Groups.

Background

Exercising with a virtual partner can increase motivation by 208%, but may be moderated by partner characteristics. We tested the impact of social category diversity (ingroup/outgroup membership) on motivation with a virtual exercise partner.

Methods

Participants (N = 96) were randomised in a 3 (CONDITION: individual, partner-ingroup, partner-outgroup) x 2 (sex) x 2 (performance block: Block 1 & Block 2) design. Participants performed 2 sets of 5 abdominal plank exercises. Partnered conditions completed the second set of exercises with a virtual partner from either an ingroup (‘Us’) or outgroup (‘Them’). Motivation was measured as fatigue-corrected exercise persistence (s).

Results

Partnered conditions exercised longer (M = 67.31s, SD = 63.53s) than the individual condition. The ‘Us’ condition persisted longer (M = 79.61s, SD = 61.92s) than the ‘Them’ condition (M = 55.02s, SD = 65.14s), although this difference only approached significance (p = .127).

Conclusions

Social category diversity is unlikely to undermine motivating effects of a moderately superior virtual partner. Group leaders and algorithms for group-based online interventions should consider partnering those who struggle to meet recommended levels of intensity and duration of physical activity with a moderately superior partner.

Reference

Irwin, B.C. & Thompson, N.S. (2016) The Impact of Social Category Diversity on Motivation Gains in Exercise Groups. American Journal of Health Behavior. 40(3), pp.332-340. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.40.3.5.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.