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CHAPTER 4: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESES

DEVELOPMENT

This chapter covers the background for the development of the proposed
framework. The literature review presented in Chapters 2 and 3 has set the scene for the
model and hypotheses development. Some theoretical view points will be reiterated in
the present chapter to provide a more coherent flow of discussion. Based on the literature
review, an integrative model of exercise behaviour is established. This is followed by the
hypotheses that are formulated in line with the research objectives of the current study.

4.1 Introduction
Theory plays a crucial role in producing any solid empirical research outcome
regardless of the discipline, be it economic, sociology, psychology and marketing. In the
study of HIV prevention, Fishbein (2000) demonstrates the importance of established
theory-based approaches and principles in building successful health interventions.
Specifically, Biddle and Nigg (2000, p. 290) argue that an important starting point for
the understanding and promotion of health-related exercise and physical activity (PA) is
the study of its theory. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, theory refers to
a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to
explain phenomena (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory). In deductive
analysis, hypotheses are established based on the existing theories and research in the
literature before being tested with empirical outcome (Zikmund 2003). The outcomes
from the empirical analysis are then used to enrich and/or modify the theory in inductive
research (Cooper and Schindler 2003). This simply means that theory and empirical
research are interrelated whereby theory guides empirical analysis, and consequently,
empirical data further enhances theory. Over time, the interactions between theory and

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empirical analysis contribute to better understanding of the phenomenon in question


(Sekaran 2000).

According to Biddle and Nigg (2000), theoretical models allow for the study of
complex networks of variables, clear tests of hypotheses, and possible explanatory
mechanisms for exercise behaviour (p. 292). Therefore, a sound theoretical foundation
is needed in integrating diverse research findings and to provide a solid framework for
the prediction and explanation of a given behaviour. Although the nature of each
behaviour under study may be different, Fishbein (2000) argues that there is only limited
number of theoretical variables that could possibly influence a particular behaviour. A
clear understanding of these variables and how they predict the target behaviour that
based on established behavioural principles can enhance the effectiveness of behavioural
change programme (Ajzen 1991). The present study seeks to meet this need in the
context of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB, Ajzen 1991) and Five-Factor Model
(FFM) of Personality (Tupes and Christal 1961; Norman 1963).

A variety of consumer behaviour theories derived from the social sciences - psychology,
sociology, social psychology or economics - have been put forward over the years
(Kalafatis et al. 1999). Among these disciplines, a social psychology model frequently
used to explain a variety of behaviour is the TPB, a well-researched model that has been
shown to predict behaviour across a variety of settings including exercise domain. As a
general model, TPB is designed to understand and predict human behaviours (Ajzen
1991). Hence, it is reasonable to expect that TPB-based model could effectively explain
exercise behaviour. The current study attempts to contribute to the development of a
conceptual framework that integrates the five dimensions of personality into the TPB
model and to test the ability of these social cognitive and personality constructs in
predicting exercise behaviour.
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4.2 Rationale for Choosing the TPB Model

The TPB is an extension of the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Fishbein and
Ajzen 1975). The TPB extended the TRA by the addition of perceived behavioural
control (PBC) because the TRA has difficulty explaining behaviours over which one
does not have volitional control. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), the TRA is
suitable for analysing rational and systematic behaviours over which the individual has
control. However, there are many types of behaviour which are not under ones complete
volitional control. For instance, an individual may not be able to participate in exercise
activities due to some barriers and obstacles such as time pressures, poor weather, and
security concern (Norman, Conner and Bell 2000). Among these constraints, Mohd
Nordin, Shamsuddin, Jamaludin, Zulkafli (2003) found time factor to be the main
problem for not exercising among sedentary women. Sheppard, Hartwick and Warshaw
(1988, p. 326) believe that actions that are at least in part determined by factors beyond
individuals volitional control fall outside the boundary conditions established for the
model. This shortcoming has been overcome by incorporating PBC into the TPB model
(Ajzen 1991).

Numerous research studies provide empirical evidence that the TPB is a more superior
model compared with the theory of reasoned action (TRA). For instance, in a study of
food choice behaviour (Armitage and Conner 1999a) and gift giving behaviour
(Netemeyer, Andrews and Durvasula 1993), TPB performed better than did TRA. The
research findings by Ajzen and Driver (1992a) in leisure context also support the
superiority of the TPB over the TRA model. In the exercise domain, many researchers
(e.g., Mummery, Spence and Hudec 2000; Norman, Conner and Bell 2000; Sheeran,
Trafimow and Armitage 2003; Symons Downs et al. 2006) found PBC to be a useful
addition and they highlight the importance of the PBC construct in predicting exercise
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intention and behaviour. In addition, several meta-analyses (see Ajzen 1991; Godin and
Kok 1996; Hausenblas, Carron and Mack 1997; Conner and Armitage 1998; Armitage
and Conner 2001) also support the inclusion of PBC as an additional predictor within the
TPB framework. For instance, in a review of 185 studies published up to the end of 1997,
Armitage and Conner (2001) found that the TPB accounted for 39% and 27% of the
variance in intention and behaviour, respectively.

There exist many other health-related models such as Transtheoretical Model, Health
Belief Model, Social Cognitive Theory, Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, and SelfDetermination Theory that have been reviewed in the previous chapter. However,
Ajzens (1991) TPB forms the theoretical framework of this study due to a number a
reasons. Firstly, many researchers agree that TPB represents the most compelling and
well-established model for the prediction of intentional behaviour (Biddle and Nigg,
2000; Courneya and Bobick 2000; Armitage and Christian 2003; Rivis and Sheeran
2003). For instance, in their meta-analysis, Rivis and Sheeran (2003) advocate that the
TPB is the most influential theory for the prediction of social and health behaviour. More
specifically, in the exercise domain, Rhodes, Jones and Courneya (2002) point out that
the TPB is the most validated and prominent social cognitive theories for understanding
and explaining exercise behaviour. Besides, in an extensive review of the theories of
exercise behaviour, Biddle and Nigg (2000) conclude that TPB is one of the most
comprehensive and validated theory for explaining and predicting exercise behaviour.

Second, one of the main indicators of the validity of a theory is that it needs to be
demonstrated that the particular theory works under a variety of context (Bamberg,
Ajzen and Schmidt 2003). Sheppard, Hartwick and Warshaw (1988, p.338) conclude in
their meta-analysis that the TPB model has strong predictive utility, even when utilized
to investigate situations and activities that do not fall within the boundary conditions
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originally specified for the model. In line with Sheppard, Hartwick and Warshaws
(1988) argument, it is evident that this theory has received good empirical supports in
predicting a wide range of behaviours (for other meta-analyses, see Godin and Kok 1996;
Armitage and Conner 2001). Its strength in terms of broad applicability was also found
spanning across the areas of social psychology, sports science, nursing, health medicine,
information technology, etc (Notani 1998; Armitage and Conner 1999b). For instance,
Godin and Koks (1996) review of the Ajzens TPB in the health domain indicates that
the theory performs very well for the explanation of both intention (with average R
of .41) and behaviour (with average R of .34). More specifically, the TPB model has
been used successfully to examine behaviour and decisions closely related to this study,
i.e., exercise behaviour. Further, in their meta-analysis reviews of the TPB and exercise
literature, Hausenblas, Carron, and Mack (1997) and Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005)
support the utility of the TPB for understanding and predicting exercise behaviour.

Third, the TPB is a parsimonious model (Abraham and Sheeran 2003) and hence
relatively small number of variables is sufficient to ensure accurate prediction of
behaviour. This theory is deemed appropriate as it covers major factors that are
important in the present study such as attitude, normative influences, perception of
control over exercising, and behavioural intention. Next, a theoretical model that can
explain multidimensional determinants of exercise behaviour is needed. In this instance,
the TPB allows the investigation of personal, social and psychological influence on
individual exercise behaviour more comprehensively (Godin and Kok 1996;
Hausenblaus, Carron and Mack 1997). Many theories and models have been used to
examine various factors that affect individual exercise behaviour over the years (Symons
Downs and Hausenblas 2003). While all of these models have shown some utility in
understanding exercise behaviour, Biddle and Nigg (2000) argue that the TPB is still the
most comprehensive and validated theories to be used for examining exercise behaviour.
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Fourth,

the

TPB

provides

systematic

guidelines

and

clearly

defined

structure/framework that could guide researchers on how to measure social cognitive


constructs specified by the model in achieving greater predictive accuracy (Ajzen and
Fishbein 1980). For example, Ajzen (1991) highlights the importance of adhering to the
boundary condition of correspondence within the TPB to ensure that measures of TPB
constructs are compatible (i.e., all refer to the same action, target, context, and time). The
guidelines on TPB questionnaire construction as well as sample questionnaires are easily
accessible online. Lastly, the model is useful for the explanation and prediction of
consumer behaviour utilising behavioural intentions as a mediator (Ryan and Bonfield
1975).

Indeed, there is no general consensus among researchers exists regarding which is the
best theoretical framework to study exercise behaviour (Wood 2008). Since the TPB
contains social cognitive factors that are common to most of the other behavioural
theories and models, it is deemed to be a promising framework basis from which a more
integrative model of exercise behaviour may be developed. Abraham and Sheeran (2003,
p. 265) argue that as a model of the cognitive antecedents of behaviour, the TPB is
parsimonious, empirically supported and can be operationalised easily, according to
available guidelines. This quotation summarises the above rationales for using the TPB
as a framework for the present study.

4.3 The Addition of Personality into TPB Model


As stated by Ajzen's (1991, p. 199): ... the theory of planned behaviour is, in
principle, open to the inclusion of additional predictors if it can be shown that they
capture a significant proportion of the variance in intention or behaviour after the

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theory's current variables have been taken into account. This quotation suggests that the
original TPB should be viewed as a flexible model that could be added with more
variables if one wishes to increase the predictive validity of the theory and generalise it
to other research context. In their meta-analysis, Rivis and Sheeran (2003) cast doubts
about the sufficiency of the TPB constructs in predicting intentions and behaviour. They
suggest that additional variables should be taken into consideration in improving the
predictive ability of the model. Similarly, Armitage and Conner (2001) and Perugini and
Bagozzi (2001) also question about the sufficiency of TPB and suggest that additional
variables should be included to improve the model.

Empirical reviews have supported the applicability of the TPB in a wide variety of
context (see Armitage and Conner 2001 for meta-analysis). In all these studies, the
researchers have introduced a modified version of the TPB model in their study and
yielded results that are different from those of the original TPB model. Most researchers
have modified their model by adding variables in the TPB (see Conner and Armitage
1998). For instance, researchers try to improve the predictive ability of TPB by adding
variables such as moral norms (e.g., Ajzen and Driver 1992b); attitudinal ambivalence
(e.g., Conner et al. 2003); social support (e.g., Courneya and McAuley 1995; Courneya
et al. 2001; Rhodes, Jones and Courneya 2002); and past behaviour (e.g., Bamberg,
Ajzen and Schmidt 2003; Cunningham and Kwon 2003; Rhodes and Courneya 2003c;
Chuchinprakarn 2005) with varying success (see Conner and Armitage 1998). However,
most of these predictors are derived in an intuitive and arbitrary manner (Bakker et al.
2006) while a more integrative model is needed. Ajzen (2001) comments that the
improvement of the predictive ability of TPB for most studies conducted thus far is
relatively small and hence could not generalise it to other research context.

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Many researchers have examined whether the TPB incorporates all the major predictors
of intention and behaviour. One of the limitations of TRA/TPB model is that factors such
as personality and demographics variables are not being emphasised (Brown 1999). In
agreement with this, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) comment that external
variables like demographic and personality are often neglected in the investigation of
exercise behaviour. The link between personality and health-related outcomes has long
been an important aspect of personality research (Bogg et al. 2007). Courneya and
Hellsten (1998) observe that initial works on the relationship between personality and
exercise behaviour tend to focus on personality as an outcome of exercise and fitness;
later studies investigate personality factors as predictors of exercise behaviour.

More recently, Hagger et al. (2007) observe that some researchers modify the TPB
model with the inclusion of personality in an attempt to form a more comprehensive
model of intentional behaviour. The research findings of Courneya and Hellsten (1998)
are encouraging and they urge future research to test FFM of Personality in the exercise
domain. There are numerous research evidences that human behaviour is determined by
an individuals personality traits (McCrae and John 1992). The decision as to whether to
participate in exercise or not may be a matter of personality preferences (Szabo 1992).
Hence, it is likely that individuals personality traits will predict his or her own
behaviour relative to exercise participation. Other than the social cognitive constructs
contained in the TPB, the role of personality as determinant of exercise behaviour is an
important area for research. If the influence of personality on exercise behaviour can be
determined and supported, it would then provide useful insights for public policy makers
and marketers in the health-related industries for their planning and executing tasks.

While some researchers have focused on more specific personality traits such as selfesteem (e.g., Iannos and Tiggemann 1997; Pretty et al. 2007), locus of control (e.g.,
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Furlong 1994; Iannos and Tiggemann 1997), and self-motivation (e.g., Goldberg 1983;
Zamparo 1998; Annesi 2005) in examining the antecedents and consequences of exercise
behaviour, there have been very few efforts to examine more comprehensive dimensions
of personality. Also, the researcher observes in the literature that very few studies have
linked personality factors to other social cognitive models such as Health Belief Model,
Social Learning Theory, and the TPB in examining various health-related behaviours.
One such exception is Changs (2003) study to examine the mediating role of personality
(based on FFM) in the link between fat-reducing dietary behaviour and psychosocial
factors which they derived from the Health Belief Model, TPB and Social Cognitive
Theory. While most past research has focused on social cognition models in examining
the determinant of exercise behaviour; the inclusion of personality factors as determinant
of exercise participation would certainly add theoretical value to the research.

4.4 The Proposed Integrative Model of Exercise Behaviour

The TPB model is a flexible model that opens to the inclusion of additional
variables with the aim to increase the proportion of the variance in intention or behaviour
and generalise it to other research context. Although there is a general support for the
TPB, several researchers (e.g., Armitage and Conner 2001; Perugini and Bagozzi 2001;
Rivis and Sheeran 2003) are concerned about the sufficiency of the TPB and suggest
adding predictors to improve the amount of explained variance. Demographic and
personality factors are postulated as background variable in the TPB or TRA (Ajzen and
Fishbein 1980; Ajzen 1991). Ajzen and Fishbein (2004) note that such background
variables can provide further insights into the understanding of a given target behaviour.
It is evident in the literature that the social cognitive constructs in the TPB have been
extensively studied in the exercise domain.

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The majority of exercise studies focus on only the social cognitive constructs but
neglected personality influences on exercise behaviour. Most of the research regarding
personality and the TPB in the exercise domain has been conducted independently
(Courneya, Bobick and Schinke 1999), instead of looking into the combine effects of
personality and social cognitive influence on exercise behaviour. Hence, the present
study aims to develop a conceptual framework that integrates personality factors (derived
from the FFM of Personality; Tupes and Christal 1961; Norman 1963) into a modified
TPB model and to examine the relationships among social cognitive, personality factors
and exercise behaviour as well as testing for the efficacy of the proposed integrative
framework in predicting exercise behaviour.

The TPB postulates personality as background information and the social cognitive
constructs contained in the TPB will mediate the relationship between personality
variables and actual behaviour (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980; Ajzen 1991). As postulated by
the original TPB model, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) and Rhodes and
Courneya (2003a) examine the mediating role of the three social cognitive constructs
(i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and PBC) between personality and exercise behaviour.
Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) report that the relationship between personality
and exercise behaviour was partially mediated by the social cognitive constructs using
hierarchical regression analysis. Whereas the latter study (i.e., Rhodes and Courneya
2003a) using structural equation modelling (SEM) results in poor model fit.

The researcher would like to reiterate several research issues regarding the
abovementioned exercise studies. First, the studies conducted by Courneya, Bobick and
Schinke (1999) and Rhodes and Courneya (2003a) focus merely on three personality
factors (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness) while agreeableness and
openness to experience factors are neglected. Second, their studies adopt undergraduate
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students as sample with relatively small sample size. Third, the possible mediating role
of behavioural intention that links personality to behaviour was neglected. Overall, there
are still limited research attempt to answer whether the relationships between social
cognitive constructs, personality factors and exercise behaviour are direct or possibly
indirect through exercise intention. This research gap will be addressed in the present
study.

The social cognitive predictors of TPB (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and PBC) are
originally and traditionally measured as aggregated single concepts (Ajzen 1991). Later,
Ajzen (2002b) suggests that each social cognitive constructs should comprise of two
specific components (for example, attitude should consist of affective attitude and
instrumental attitude components) and acknowledges the conceptual distinction between
these components. Several recent empirical studies (i.e., Rhodes and Courneya 2003b;
Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005; Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson 2006) support the
discriminant validity of these components. As mentioned in the earlier chapter, the
present study attempts to identify the specific social cognitive components that can
predict exercise behaviour. Therefore, a disaggregated structure of multiple components
(based on Rhodes and Blanchards (2006) recommendation) is deemed to be more
appropriate for the present study.

Courneya and Hellstens (1998) study on examining the relationship between personality
and exercise behaviour, motives, barriers and preferences yields good results and they
urge future research to test FFM of Personality in the exercise domain. With the growing
and relatively consistent body of literature supporting the use of FFM, it seems logical to
include personality construct within the TPB in examining exercise behaviour. However,
personality is only one component of a variety of environmental and lifestyle variables

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that affect health behaviour (Bogg et al. 2007). Social cognitive constructs as depicted in
the TPB model also plays a crucial role in behavioural study.

The present study attempts to integrate the FFM with an extended TPB model including
concepts of affective and instrumental attitude, injunctive and descriptive norm,
perceived control and perceived self-efficacy in examining exercise behaviour (See
Figure 4.1). The five personality factors derived from the FFM model are known as:
Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Openness to experience (O), Agreeableness (A), and
Conscientiousness (C). The personality and social cognitions of individual might
simultaneously affect their exercise intention and, consequently, influence their exercise
behaviour. This integrative approach in examining various attitudinal, cognitive, social
and personal constructs as well as demographic variables that may influence exercise
behaviour is expected to contribute significantly to the research community.

Independent Variables
TPB Model
Attitude Components
Instrumental Attitude
Affective Attitude
Subjective Norm Components
Injunctive Norm
Descriptive Norm
Perceived Behavioural Control
Perceived Self-efficacy
Perceived Control

Mediator
Exercise
Intention

Dependent
Variable

Exercise
Behaviour

FFM Model
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Neuroticism
Openness to Experience

Figure 4.1: The Proposed Integrative Research Framework


Note: This framework is adapted from various sources (i.e., Ajzen 1991; Rhodes and
Courneya 2003a; Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005)

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4.5 Comparison of Original TPB and the Proposed Integrative Model

The original derivation of the TPB differs in several major aspects from the
present model. First, it is recognised that the original TPB model postulated interactions
effects among the three social cognitive constructs (Ajzen 1991) as depicted in Figure
3.6 (see page 46). This would simply mean that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived
behavioural control predict intention to perform a given behaviour also influence one
another. For example, if exercise behaviour is thought to yield health outcomes, people
may develop favourable attitude toward exercising, and they may also infer that those
who are important to them would want them to exercise. Also, people who believe they
have the necessary resources and skills to participate in exercising may ultimately form
positive attitude toward exercising (Ajzen and Fishbein 2004). However, the main
objective of this study is not to examine the interrelationship among these three
predictors, hence, how these three variables interact with each other are not the focus of
the present study. Second, the present study extends the TPB model by adding the five
personality dimensions based on considerable empirical findings. The justifications for
the inclusion of personality variables have been discussed earlier in this chapter.

Thirdly, the original TPB model includes the antecedents (i.e., behavioural, normative
and control beliefs) of each social cognitive constructs. However, the present model does
not focus on examining the determinants of attitudes, subjective norm and PBC. Thus,
like in other exercise / physical activity studies (e.g., Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty
2006; De Bruijn et al. 2006; Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson 2006; Rhodes, Macdonald
and McKay 2006; Everson, Daley and Ussher 2007; Hagger et al. 2007), the salient
beliefs for the social cognitive constructs are not included in the present study. In fact,
most TPB studies are conducted without elicitation studies (Symons Downs and
Hausenblas 2005). Further, elicitation studies are not necessary for predicting exercise
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intention and behaviour (Symons Downs and Hausenblas 2005). Ajzen and Fishbein
(1980, p. 98) state that from a practical point of view, it is not always necessary to
measure all of these variables to answer certain questions. Ajzen and Fishbein (1980)
further explain that the direct measure of intention may be sufficient if the researcher
aims to predict behaviour. If the objective is to predict intention, then the direct measures
of attitude and subjective norm are deemed appropriate. However, if one aims to
understand intention and behaviour, it is necessary to examine the salient beliefs and
their association with the direct measures of social cognitive constructs.

The social cognitive constructs (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and PBC) are traditionally
measured as aggregated single concepts (Ajzen 1991). For instance, although Ajzen
(2002b) suggests that each social cognitive construct consists of two specific components
and acknowledges the conceptual distinction between these components, he still
combines them to form a singular attitude construct. It has been a common practice to
aggregate these social cognitive components to form higher order attitude, subjective
norm and PBC constructs (Armitage and Conner 2001; Ajzen 2002b; Hagger,
Chatzisarantis and Biddle 2002) as proposed by Ajzen (2002a). However, Rhodes,
Blanchard and Matheson (2006) argue that this higher order structure may overlook the
variation in the predictive ability of the differentiated components of attitude, subjective
norm, and PBC, and hence defeat the purpose of differentiating them in the first place.

In addition, the findings of Rhodes and Blanchards (2006) study do not support the
aggregation of TPB components to form general scale of attitude and subjective norm. In
an attempt to compare the efficacy of the higher order conceptualisation with a
disaggregated multidimensional TPB model using SEM technique, Rhodes and
Blanchards (2006) work supported the disaggregated multidimensional measure over
higher order structure. Their study further demonstrates that the disaggregated
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multidimensional model possesses better psychometric quality when compared with the
aggregation of direct social cognitive component measures.

The question to which conceptualisation or measurement (i.e., disaggregated multicomponent measure or higher order structure) is better depends on the nature of the
hypotheses, research questions and objectives of the researcher (Ajzen 2002a). The
present study attempts to identify the specific social cognitive components that account
for changes in the exercise behaviour. Hence, it is appropriate for the present study to
model the social cognitive constructs as disaggregated structure of multiple components
based on Rhodes and Blanchards (2006) recommendation. The followings are other
empirical findings that support the disaggregated multi-component structure in exercise
domain:

When comparing two populations (i.e., undergraduate students and cancer survivors),
Rhodes and Courneya (2003b) found that all three social cognitive constructs have
better significant fit when modelled as separate components. This supports the
discriminant validity of those constructs and hence suggesting measurement
distinctiveness.
The research outcome of Hagger and Chatzisarantiss (2005) study also supports the
discriminant validity of the differentiated multi-components measure.

Using SEM in their study, Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson (2006) found that all
social cognitive constructs indicated significantly better fit when modelled as
separate components. Further, average additional explained variance was found
ranging from 11% to 36% when the constructs are modelled as disaggregated multicomponents structure, supporting superior measurement when social cognitive
constructs are modelled as disaggregated multi-component measure.
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4.6 Hypotheses Development

Each of the links hypothesised in the present model is supported with empirical
and theoretical evidences. There are a total of five major hypotheses. The first hypothesis
addresses the effects of social cognitive and personality factors on exercise intention.
Hypothesis 2 looks at the direct effect of exercise intention on exercise behaviour (the
ultimate dependent variable). The influence of social cognitive and personality factors on
exercise behaviour will be tested in Hypothesis 3. Next, Hypothesis 4 examines the
mediating effects of exercise intention between social cognitive constructs, personality
factors, and exercise behaviour. Lastly, Hypothesis 5 is related to the group membership
prediction between high active exercisers and low active exercisers.

4.6.1 The Effects of Social Cognitive and Personality Factors on Exercise Intention

This section delineates the effects of the social cognitive and personality factors
on exercise intention (the mediating variable for the study). Each hypothesis will be
supported with empirical evidences and/or solid theoretical arguments.

(a) The Links between Social Cognitive Constructs and Exercise Intention

Theoretically, the three social cognitive constructs (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and
PBC) of TPB are very distinct concepts (Ajzen 1991). Numerous social and behavioural
studies have been conducted to examine their conceptual differences by showing that
these different constructs stand in predictable relations to intention and behaviour
(Armitage and Conner 2001). Based on the works of Rhodes and Blanchard (2006), the
present study follows the disaggregated multi-components structure of social cognitive
constructs. Therefore, each social cognitive construct consists of two specific subcomponents. The links between attitude components and exercise intention will first be
discussed. This is followed by discussing the relationships between subjective norm
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components and exercise intention, and lastly the effects of PBC components on exercise
intention.

i. Attitude components and its effects on exercise intention


Attitude has long been considered as a major factor influencing individual decisionmaking (Fishbein and Ajzen 1972). Attitude has been regarded as a core construct in the
TPB studies in that the theory will be rejected if attitude does not predict intention
(Ajzen 1991). Researchers relying on the TPB must be clear about the conceptualisation
of attitude construct and be able to differentiate between general attitude (i.e., attitude
toward physical objects; racial, ethnic, or other groups; institutions; policies; events; or
other general targets) and attitudes toward performing a target behaviour (Ajzen and
Fishbein 2004). This study evaluates the attitude toward exercise behaviour as delineated
in the model.

Ajzen (1991) develops TPB as an extension of the TRA (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975). Both
theories hold that intentions to perform a particular behaviour can be predicted from
attitudes, subjective norm and PBC with respect to the behaviour (Ajzen 1991).
Generally, attitudes refer to the extent to which one views a given behaviour as
favourable or unfavourable (Doll and Ajzen 1992). Specifically, attitude was
conceptualised in this study as an individuals overall affective and instrumental
evaluations, favourable or unfavourable, towards engaging in exercise activities during
leisure time. An individuals attitude towards performing a particular behaviour is likely
to be positive if that person perceives that there are positive outcomes resulting from the
behaviour. Using a deductive logic, favourable attitude is likely to increase a persons
intention to participate in a given behaviour.

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Table 4.1 Empirical Supports for the Links between Attitude (as a Global
Construct) and Intention
Reference

Context

Results

Everson, Daley &


Ussher (2007)
De Bruijn et al.
(2006)

Physical
activity
Physical
activity

Lam & Hsu (2006)

Tourism

Mahon, Cowan &


McCarthy (2006)
Pavlou &
Fygenson (2006)

Ready meals
consumption
Online
purchase
behaviour
Exercise
behaviour

INT was significantly explained by


attitude ( =.31)
INT was most strongly and
significantly influenced by attitude
( =0.45)
The effect of attitude on INT was
not significant ( =.10)
Attitude ( =.42) was the best
predictor of INT
Attitude ( =0.61) was the best
contributor to the prediction of INT

Brickell,
Chatzisarantis &
Pretty (2006)
Tarkiainen &
Sundqvist (2005)
Saunders et al.
(2004)
Conner et al.
(2003)
Okun et al. (2003)
Conner et al.
(2003)
Symons Downs &
Hausenblas (2003)
Cunningham &
Kwon (2003)
Pavlou & Chai
(2002)
Cook, Kerr &
Moore (2002)
Hrubes, Ajzen &
Daigle (2001)
Courneya et al.
(2001)
Mummery, Spence
& Hudec (2000)
Terry, Hogg &
White (1999)

Correlation
r-value
Sig.
r=.46
p<.01
r=.58

p<.001

r=.36

p<.01

r=.467

p<.01

r=.74

p<.01

Attitude was the best contributor to


the prediction of INT

r=.56

p<.01

Organic food
purchase

Attitude positively and significantly


influence INT

r=.54

p<.01

Physical
activity
Dietary
Supplement
Leisure Time
Exercise
Healthy
Eating
Behaviour
Exercise
Behaviour
INT to attend
sports event
Online
purchase
GM food
purchase
Hunting
behaviour
Exercise

Attitude was a strong and significant


predictor of INT
Attitude emerged as the most
important factor in predicting INT
Attitude ( =.46) was the strongest
predictor of INT
Attitude significantly predicted INT

r=.567

p<.001

r=.78

p<.05

r=.64

p<.001

r=.73

p<.001

Attitude ( = .29) predicted INT


significantly
Attitude ( =0.38) was a significant
predictor of INT
Attitude ( =0.55) was a significant
predictor of INT
Attitude had the greatest influence
on INT
INT was strongly influenced by
attitude ( =.58)
Attitude predicted INT significantly

r=.54

p<.01

r=.71

p<.001

r=.67

p<.01

r=.58

p<.01

r=.91

p<.001

r=.41

p<.05

Physical
activity

Attitude ( =0.32) measures made a


reliable contribution to predicting
activity INT
Attitude ( =.23) predicted INT
significantly

r=.53

p<.001

r=.54

p<.01

Recycling
behaviour

Note: Intention (INT); Genetically Modified (GM)

108

The relationship between attitude (as a global construct) and behavioural intention has
received substantial empirical support (see Table 4.1). A review of literature showed that
attitude has been consistently correlated positively with intention and a good predictor of
intention. A large number of studies have shown positive correlation between attitude
and behavioural intention including studies related to online purchase behaviour (e.g.,
Shim et al. 2001; Pavlou and Fygneson 2006), dietary behaviour (e.g., Povey et al. 2000;
Hagger et al. 2007), green behaviour (e.g., Terry, Hogg and White 1999), and hunting
behaviour (e.g., Hrubes, Ajzen and Daigle 2001).

Specifically, in the exercise domain, Hausenblas, Carron and Mack (1997) report a mean
correlation of .52 between attitude and intention in their meta-analysis of 30 studies on
exercise behaviour. Most studies in the physical activity and / or exercise domain have
reported strong relationships between the attitude construct and behavioural intention
(e.g., Courneya, Bobick and Schinke 1999; Norman, Conner and Bell 2000; Rhodes,
Jones and Courneya 2002; Symons Downs and Hausenblas 2003; Okun et al. 2003;
Saunders et al. 2004; Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty 2006; Symons Downs et al.
2006; Rhodes, Macdonald and McKay 2006; Everson, Daley and Ussher 2007).

Considering the prediction of behavioural intentions, attitude has been demonstrated to


be a significant predictor of various behavioural intentions. For example, in a study of
ready meals consumption and takeaways purchase behaviour using British sample,
Mahon, Cowan and McCarthy (2006) found attitude to be the best contributor to the
prediction of intention. Conner et al. (2003) also found attitude significantly predicts
intention and emerged as the most important factor in the decision to consume dietary
supplement. Besides, numerous empirical evidences also support attitude to be the
predictor of intention in a variety of context including dietary behaviour (e.g., Hagger et
al. 2007), online purchase and information search behaviour (e.g., Shim et al. 2001;

109

Pavlou and Fygneson 2006), organic food purchase (e.g., Tarkiainen and Sundqvist
2005), e-learning adoption (e.g., Ndubisi 2004), healthy eating (e.g., Conner et al. 2003),
and genetically modified food purchase (e.g., Cook, Kerr and Moore 2002).

Specifically, it is evident in the exercise literature that exercise intention typically is


influenced by attitude toward exercise behaviour. For instance, Hagger et al. (2007)
demonstrate that attitude significantly predicts intentions in all the three types of
behaviour studied (i.e., exercise, dieting and binge drinking behaviour). Many other
studies in the exercise domain found attitude to be a significant predictor of exercise
intention and emerged as the stronger predictor compared to subjective norm and PBC
(e.g., Okun et al. 2003; Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty 2006; De Bruijn et al. 2006;
Everson, Daley and Ussher 2007).

To be more specific, there are also strong evidence of positive correlation between the
two attitude components (i.e., affective and instrumental attitude) and exercise intention
(see Table 4.2). Kraft et al. (2005) support the conceptual distinction between
instrumental and affective attitude by using confirmatory factor analysis. They also
found instrumental attitude and affective attitude to be positively correlated with exercise
intention whereby affective attitude was a stronger predictor of exercise intention than
was instrumental attitude. Similarly, Rhodes and Courneya (2003a) found that affective
attitude had a significant effect (=.21, p<.05) upon exercise intention for cancer
survivors sample (n=272), whereas instrumental attitude had a significant effect (=.17,
p<.05) upon exercise intention for undergraduates sample (n=300). Further, Rhodes and
Courneya (2003c) found significant standardised effects for affective attitude (=0.22)
and instrumental attitude (=0.20) on exercise intention.

110

Table 4.2 Empirical Supports for the Links between Attitude Components and
Exercise Intention
Reference
Rhodes, Blanchard & Matheson
(2006)
Kraft et al. (2005)
Rhodes, Courneya & Jones (2005)
Hagger & Chatzisarantis (2005)
Rhodes & Courneya (2005)
Payne, Jones & Harris (2004)
Blanchard et al. (2003)

Correlation (AAINT)
r-value
Sig.
r=.59
p<.01
r=.58
r=.48
r=.733
r=.41
r=.32
r=.32

Correlation (IAINT)
r-value
Sig.
r=.37
p<.01

p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.001

r=.30
r=.39
r=.795
r=.33
r=.31
r=.38

p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.01
p<.001

Note: Affective Attitude (AA); Instrumental Attitude (IA); Intention (INT)

Therefore, a positive relationship between affective and instrumental attitude and


intentions to exercise is thus expected. The affective attitude and instrumental attitude
are both expected to have positive effect on exercise intention. Hence, the following
hypotheses are posited:

H1 (a): Instrumental Attitude will positively influence Exercise Intention


H1 (b): Affective Attitude will positively influence Exercise Intention
ii. Subjective norm components and its effects on exercise intention
The second social cognitive determinant is the subjective norm or perceived social
pressure. In the present study, subjective norm is defined as the injunctive and
descriptive aspects of individuals perceived social pressure in relation to exercise
participation, arising from influential persons in the consumers social life (Hagger and
Chatzisarantis 2005; Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson 2006). Applied to exercise
behaviour, subjective norm reflects individual perceptions of whether participating in
exercise activities are approved, encouraged, and implemented by ones circle of
influence. As mentioned earlier, the TPB holds that subjective norms predict a persons
intention to perform a particular behaviour (Ajzen 1991).

111

A review of the literature showed mixed results regarding the link between subjective
norm and behavioural intention. Some empirical studies reveal a positive relationship
between subjective norm and intended behaviour. For example, Hrubes, Ajzen and
Daigle (2001) found a strong positive and significant correlation (r=.89, p<.01) between
subjective norm and intention in examining hunting behaviour. In another study of
dietary supplement consumption behaviour using UK Womens Cohort Study, Conner et
al. (2003) found a positive and significant correlation (r=.69) between subjective norm
and intention. Table 4.3 presents a summary of empirical studies that found positive
association between subjective norm and behavioural intentions in a variety of contexts.

Table 4.3 Empirical Supports for the Links between Subjective Norm (as a Global
Construct) and Intention
Reference

Context

Everson, Daley & Ussher (2007)


De Bruijn et al. (2006)
Saunders et al. (2004)
Mummery, Spence & Hudec
(2000)
Brickell, Chatzisarantis & Pretty
(2006)
Kraft et al. (2005)
Rhodes, Courneya & Jones
(2005)
Symons Downs & Hausenblas
(2003)
Courneya et al. (2001)
Courneya, Bobick & Schinke
(1999)
McCaul et al. (1993)
Mahon, Cowan & McCarthy
(2006)
Pavlou & Fygenson (2006)

Physical activity
Physical activity
Physical activity
Physical activity

r=.42,
r=.29
r=.404
r=.50

p<.01
p<.001
p<.001
p<.01

Exercise

r=.19

p<.05

Exercise
Exercise

r=.23
r=.33

p<.01
p<.01

Exercise

r=.43

p<.01

Exercise
Exercise

r=.09 Time1; r=.17 Time2


r=.40

p<.05
p<.01

Health behaviour
Ready Meals and
Takeaways
Online purchase &
information search
Lam & Hsu (2006)
Tourism
Conner et al. (2003)
Healthy eating
Cunningham & Kwon (2003)
Sports event
Povey et al. (2000)
Dietary behaviour
Terry, Hogg & White (1999)
Recycling
Note: Breast self-exam (BSE); Testicular self-exam
vegetables intake (FVI)

Correlation
r-value

Sig.

r=.38 (BSE); r=.31(TSE)


p<.05
r=.296 (ready meal) r=.215 p<.01
(takeaways)
r=.24 (Getting information) p<.01
r=.38 (Purchasing)
r=.28
p<.01
r=.49
p<.001
r=.72
p<.001
r=.398 (FVI); r=.34 (FI)
p<.001
r=.42
p<.01
(TSE); Fat intake (FI); Fruits and

112

Despite the aforementioned significant positive correlation results between subjective


norm and behavioural intention, there are evidence of weak and insignificant relationship
between subjective norm and intention. For instance, Armitage and Conners (2001)
meta-analyses based on 185 databases reveal that subjective norm-intention correlation is
significantly weaker than the correlation between attitude and PBC with intention.
Similarly, Hausenblas, Carron and Mack (1997) report a mean correlation of only .27
between subjective norm and intention in their meta-analysis of 30 studies on exercise
behaviour. Further, in exercise domain, Courneya et al. (2001) also report weak (though
significant) association between subjective norm and intention.

There are also mixed results produced in the literature regarding the predictive ability of
subjective norm. Empirically, subjective norm had predicted intention in various
contexts, including green behaviour (e.g., Onghununtakul 2004), education decision (e.g.,
Chen and Zimitat 2006), tourism (e.g., Lam and Hsu 2006), reduced-fat milk
consumption (e.g., Kassem and Lee 2005), dietary supplement consumption (e.g.,
Conner et al. 2001, 2003), healthy eating (e.g., Conner et al. 2003), genetically modified
food purchase (e.g., Cook, Kerr and Moore 2002), hunting behaviour (e.g., Hrubes,
Ajzen and Daigle 2001), and health-protective behaviours (e.g., McCaul et al. 1993).
Specifically, several studies support that subjective norm predicts intention in the
exercise domain (e.g., Courneya, Bobick and Schinke 1999; Mummery, Spence and
Hudec 2000; Rhodes, Courneya and Jones 2004; Saunders et al. 2004).

However, there are also studies that found subjective norms to be an insignificant
contributor to the prediction of behavioural intentions. For instance, in examining
exercise behaviour among undergraduate students, Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson
(2006) found that both injunctive norm and descriptive norm did not predict exercise
intention significantly. Several other studies (e.g., Rhodes, Jones and Courneya 2002;
113

Blanchard et al. 2003; Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty 2006) also found subjective
norm failed to make significant contribution to the prediction of exercise intention.
Similar findings were also found in other contexts such as healthy eating behaviour (e.g.,
Povey et al. 2000), online behaviour (e.g., Shim et al. 2001; Pavlou and Fygenson 2006),
and recycling behaviour (e.g., Terry, Hogg and White 1999).

Nevertheless, in the exercise domain, there are at least three studies that support the
predictive ability of subjective norm in determining exercise intention. For instance, a
study conducted by Symons Downs et al. (2006) showed that subjective norm is a
stronger determinant of intention than attitude, a finding contrary to most of the
published research on the TPB (e.g., Hagger, Chatzisarantis and Biddle 2002;
Hausenblas, Carron and Mack 1997). In comparing physical activity between Asian and
Caucasian children between 9 to 11 years old, Rhodes, Macdonald and McKay (2006)
found only subjective norm and PBC as significant predictors of intention, but not
attitude. Further, Everson, Daley and Ussher (2007) demonstrate that subjective norm is
at least as important as attitude in predicting physical activity intention. These empirical
evidences contradict previous studies that often found subjective norm to have a small or
no contribution in predicting intention. Hence, further research is needed to confirm
these contradicting findings.

Several TPB researchers (e.g., Hausenblas, Carron and Mack 1997; Armitage and
Conner 2001; Symons Downs and Hausenblas 2003; Saunders et al. 2004) have
explained that the weak relationship was partly due to poor measurement and future
research is warranted to examine subjective norm before conclusions can be drawn.
Furthermore, given the importance of peer influence and family support, exercise
participation is also a matter of socialisation and social support. Hence, the influence
significant others have on exercise intention is important and should not be overlooked.
114

Besides, Table 4.4 presents the correlation between injunctive norm, descriptive norm
and intentional construct taken from different behavioural context including exercise and
physical activity behaviour. Specifically, parts of these empirical studies have also
shown positive and significant correlation between subjective norm and behavioural
intentions towards participating in exercise and / or physical activities. Based on the
above theoretical and empirical justifications, it is proposed that the more one perceives
that significant others favour ones participation in exercise activities (the greater the
influence of injunctive norm) and the exercise participation typically performed by
significant others (the greater the influence of descriptive norm), the more likely one will
intend to exercise. Thus, the following hypotheses are posed:

H1 (c): Injunctive Norm will positively influence Exercise Intention


H1 (d): Descriptive Norm will positively influence Exercise Intention

Table 4.4 Empirical Supports for the Links between Subjective Norm Components
and Intention
Reference
Rhodes, Blanchard &
Matheson (2006)
Hagger &
Chatzisarantis (2005)
Okun et al. (2003)
Rivis & Sheeran
(2003)
Terry & Hogg (1996,
Study 1)

Context

Correlation (IN INT)

Correlation (DN INT)

r-value

Sig.

r-value

Sig.

Exercise

r=.21

p<.05

r=.15

p<.05

Exercise &
dieting
Exercise
Social
behaviour
Physical
exercise

r=.527

p<.01

r=.411

p<.01

r=.28
p<.001
Not studied
Not studied

r=.25
p<.001
Medium to strong correlation
between DN and INT
r=.23
p<.05

Note: Injunctive Norm (IN); Descriptive Norm (DN); Intention (INT)

iii. PBC components and its effects on exercise intention


PBC is the third social cognitive determinant to be discussed here. PBC is conceptualised
in the present study as an individuals perception of the amount of control (i.e., perceived
control) one has in terms of the anticipated impediments and obstacles as well as ones
perceived capabilities and confidence (i.e., perceived self-efficacy) to participate in
115

exercise activities during leisure time (Rhodes and Courneya 2003a; Hagger and
Chatzisarantis 2005). The model without PBC component is the widely used TRA; the
PBC construct was added to take account of non-volitional behaviours (Doll and Ajzen
1992). Ajzen (1991) predicts that PBC influences a persons intention to perform a given
behaviour. Using a deductive logic, an individuals behavioural intention tend to increase
when there is increase in that persons confidence level and perceptions of the amount of
control he or she has over that particular behaviour.

A good deal of evidence supports that PBC has an association with behavioural intention
and was found to improve the prediction of intention in a variety of contexts (see Table
4.5). In addition, several meta-analyses found support for strong association between
PBC and behavioural intention as listed below:

o Godin and Kok (1996) review 56 applications of the TPB in health domain and
conclude that PBC predicts behavioural intentions in 86% of the cases even after
controlling for attitude and subjective norm.
o Meta-analysis by Armitage and Conner (2001) found that PBC contribute increments
of 6% in the explained variance in predicting intentions after taking attitudes and
subjective norms into account.
o In a meta-analysis examining 23 psychosocial predictors of intentions to use
condoms based on 67 independent samples; Sheeran and Taylor (1999) found PBC to
contribute increments of 5% in the variance in intentions over and above the effects
of attitudes and subjective norms.

116

Table 4.5 Empirical Supports for the Link between PBC (as a Global Construct)
and Intention
Reference

Context

Results

Correlation
r-value
Sig.

Kassem & Lee


(2005)
Rhodes &
Courneya (2005)
Conner et al.
(2003)
Cook, Kerr &
Moore (2002)
Conner et al.
(2001)
Hagger et al.
(2007)
Everson, Daley &
Ussher (2007)
Rhodes,
Macdonald &
McKay (2006)
De Bruijn et al.
(2006)
Brickell,
Chatzisarantis &
Pretty (2006)
Lam & Hsu (2006)

Reduced-fat
milk
Exercise
behaviour
Dietary
supplement
GM food
purchase
Supplement
consumption
Health
behaviour
Physical
activity
Physical
activity

PBC was a significant predictor of


INT
Positive and significant correlation

r=.47

p<.01

r=.23

p<.01

PBC significantly predicting INT

r=.49

p<.05

PBC was significant in determining


INT
PBC was a significant determinant
of INT
PBC significantly predicted INT in
all 3 behaviours.
INT was significantly explained by
PBC ( =.25)
SEM: PBC (0.41) were significant
predictors of INT

Positive

Yes

r=.49

p<.05

Positive

Yes

r=.42

p<.01

Positive

p<.05

Physical
activity
Exercise
behaviour

SEM: PBC-INT path was not


significant (p=0.11)
PBC made significant contribution
to the prediction of INT

r=.34

p<.001

r=.35

p<.01

Tourism

r=.21

p<.01

Rhodes, Courneya
& Jones (2005)
Chao & Lee
(2005)

Exercise
behaviour
Exercise
behaviour

r=.21

p<.01

Positive

Yes

Payne, Jones &


Harris (2004)
Saunders, et al.
(2004)
Symons Downs &
Hausenblas (2003)
Conner, et al.
(2003)
Hrubes, Ajzen &
Daigle (2001)
Norman, Conner
& Bell (2000)

Exercise

PBC (b=0.19; p<0.05) predicted


the INT
PBC was a significant predictor of
exercise INT
PBC directly influenced INT and
was the most influential variable
toward INT
PBC was the main predictor of
exercise INT
PBC was a strong predictor of INT

r=.43

p<.01

r=.58

p<.001

PBC was a strong predictor of INT

r=.54

p<.01

r=.72

p<.001

r=.75

p<.01

r=.74

p<.001

Mummery, Spence
& Hudec (2000)
Courneya, Bobick
& Schinke (1999)

Physical
activity
Exercise
behaviour

INT was consistently predicted by


PBC
PBC was a significant predictor of
INT
PBC emerging as the sole
independent predictor of INT &
Behaviour.
PBC was found to make the largest
contribution to predicting INT
PBC was a significant predictor of
INT

r=.55

p<.001

r=.48

p<.01

Physical
activity
Exercise
behaviour
Healthy eating
Hunting
behaviour
Exercise
behaviour

Note: Intention (INT); Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC); Genetically Modified (GM);
Structural Equation Modelling (SEM)

117

o Hausenblas, Carron and Macks (1997) meta-analysis of 30 studies on exercise


behaviour reports a mean correlation of 0.43 between PBC and intention.
o In their meta-analysis, Hagger, Chatzisarantis and Biddle (2002) found PBC to hold a
considerable strong correlation with intentions to exercise.

As mentioned in the earlier chapter, most TPB researchers generally aggregate the social
cognitive components to reflect the global construct despite recognising their conceptual
differences (Bagozzi, Lee and Van Loo 2001). However, Rhodes, Blanchard and
Matheson (2006) argue that this aggregation approach does not place emphasis on the
predictive ability of the differentiated social cognitive components and hence it defeats
the purpose of differentiating them in the first place. In the context of dietary behaviour,
Poveys et al. (2000) examination of the PBC determinant beliefs reports self-efficacy
and perceived control to have different bases. They conclude that self-efficacy
contributes more to the prediction of dietary behavioural intention compared to perceived
control. In examining two different health-protective behaviours (i.e., breast or testicular
self-exam and dental regime), McCaul et al. (1993) report positive correlations between
perceived self-efficacy, perceived control, and health behavioural intention.

Specifically, in the exercise domain, Kraft et al. (2005) demonstrate perceived


confidence to be a strong predictor of exercise intention. From Nahas, Goldfine and
Collinss (2003, p. 47) definition of perceived self-efficacy: perceptions of personal
efficacy or confidence regarding ones ability to be active on a regular basis, the
perceived confidence does capture the essence of self-efficacy. Hence, it can be said that
perceived self-efficacy is an important factor in influencing exercise intention. In the
same study, Kraft et al. (2005) also found perceived control to be significantly correlated

118

with exercise intention (r=.57). Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005) also found perceived
control (r=.397, p<.01) and perceived self-efficacy (r=.424, p<.01) to be positively
related to exercise intention. Among all social cognitive constructs, Rhodes and
Courneya (2003a) found that self-efficacy (=.77, p<.05) had the largest significant
effect upon exercise intention for both undergraduate students and cancer survivors
sample. Table 4.6 presents a summary of empirical evidences for the links between the
PBC components and exercise intention.

Table 4.6 Empirical Supports for the Link between PBC Components and Intention
Reference

Context

Results

Pavlou &
Fygenson
(2006)

Online
behaviour

PBC-aggregate was a significant


predictor of INT

McCaul et al.
(1993)

Healthprotective
behaviour

Hagger &
Chatzisarantis
(2005)
Rhodes &
Courneya
(2003a)
Povey, et al.
(2000)

PC was a significant predictor of


BSE & TSE. But, SE failed to
add to the equation predicting
INT for either BSE or TSE after
all variables from the TPB had
been entered
Exercise & INT is a function of the first
dieting
order PC & SE
Exercise
behaviour
Dietary
behaviour

SE (=.77) had the largest


significant effect upon INT for
both samples.
PC is not significantly correlated
with INT for both behaviours.
SE predicted INT better than PC

Correlation
r-value
Sig.
SE-INT: r=.27
p<.01
& .34
PC-INT: r=.24, &
r=.29
SE-INT: r=.38
p<.05
(BSE); r=.46 (TSE)
PC-INT: r=.63
(BSE); r=.89 (TSE)
SE-INT: r=.424

p<.01

PC-INT: r=.397
SE-INT: r=.82

p<.001

PC-INT: r=.58
SE-INT: r=.679
(FVI); r=.596 (FI)
PC-INT: r=.15
(FVI); r=.116 (FI)

p<.001
NS

Note: Perceived Control (PC); Self-efficacy (SE); Intention (INT); Perceived Behavioural
Control (PBC); Breast self-exam (BSE); Testicular self-exam (TSE); Structural Equation
Modelling (SEM); NS (Not significant); Fat Intake (FI); Fruits and Vegetables Intake (FVI)

The influences of PBC on intention have been well researched and documented. As
delineated in the original TPB model, people will intend to engage in a given behaviour
when they perceive it to be under their control (Ajzen 1991). It is expected that greater
PBC (i.e., greater self-confidence, fewer obstacles one anticipates and more resources
119

and opportunities one believe they possess) will lead to greater intention to exercise.
Based on the theoretical and empirical supports, it is thus expected that perceived control
and perceived self-efficacy over participating in exercise activities will positively
influence intention to exercise, leading to the following hypotheses:

H1 (e): Perceived Self-efficacy will positively influence Exercise Intention


H1 (f): Perceived Control will positively influence Exercise Intention

(b) The Links between Personality Factors and Exercise Intention

Yeung and Hemsley (1997b) conclude in an attempt to predict exercise adherence that
though most studies tend to focus merely on social cognitive constructs in examining
exercise behaviour, however, the role of personality factors in predicting exercise
behaviour should not be neglected. In fact, several studies have considered personality
traits in addition to the social cognitive predictors derived from health behavioural
change models such as health belief model, protection motivation theory, transtheoretical
model, etc (these models have been discussed at length in Chapter 3). For instance, in a
recent study examining organic food choice in Taiwan, Chen (2007) examines
moderating effects of personality traits within the TPB framework. Specifically,
Cuaderes, Parker and Burgin (2004) examine the influence of selected personality trait
(i.e., self-motivation) on leisure time physical activity based on Penders (1987) Health
Promotion Model. Further, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) investigate the
influence of a more comprehensive range of personality traits together with several
social cognitive constructs on exercise behaviour.

There exists a body of evidence that those who exercise tend to be different from those
who do not in terms of their personality traits (Yeung and Hemsley 1997a). It is observed
from the literature that personality factors like conscientiousness, extraversion and

120

neuroticism are most widely linked to exercise and/or physical activity compared to
agreeableness and openness to experience. Marshall et al. (1994) support this view and
conclude that openness and agreeableness are substantially neglected in the health
psychology research. Another important point to be highlighted here is that those
exercise studies (e.g., Rhodes and Courneya 2003a; Rhodes, Courneya and Jones 2004)
using the TPB framework focus merely on the relationships between personality and
actual exercise behaviour, however, the links between personality factors and exercise
intention are largely neglected.

Research have generally shown that exercisers tend to have higher score on extraversion
and lower score on neuroticism than less active and non-exercisers (Schnurr, Vaillant
and Vaillant 1990; Szabo 1992). This seems to make sense because people who score
high on extraversion are more sociable and energetic; they tend to seek for activity that is
adventurous and exciting as might be offered by leisure activities such as exercise and
sports. Contrary, people who score high on neuroticism are always feeling tense, nervous,
and emotionally unstable; it is not surprise that they most likely prefer to avoid too
stimulating situations and social activities like sports and exercise.

In an attempt to examine exercise behaviour, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999)


found somewhat mixed results in the two different samples. For female undergraduate
students sample, it was found that only extraversion (r= .27) and conscientiousness (r=
0.20) were significantly and positively correlated with exercise intention whereas
neuroticism (r= -0.17) was significantly and negatively correlated with exercise intention.
As for female aerobics class sample, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) found
openness to experience (r= -0.21) and agreeableness (r= -0.225) to be significantly and
negatively correlated with exercise intention.

121

Consistent with this finding, Adams and Mowen (2005) also found exercise to be
positively related to extraversion and negatively related to agreeableness. However, in
contrary to Courneya, Bobick and Schinkes (1999) findings, Adams and Mowen (2005)
report exercise participation to be positively associated with openness. Schnurr, Vaillant
and Vaillant (1990) found a number of personality variables to be positively related to
frequent exercise (including affective vitality, integration, and lack of anxiety and lack of
shyness) in late middle-aged adults. As expected, this study implies positive relation
between extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and exercise participation; but
exercise participation is negatively related to neuroticism.

Studies that investigated the influence of personality factors on exercise participation


have produced mixed results particularly regarding the relation between openness to
experience and agreeableness with exercise. Hence, there is a need to replicate the study
using different measurement and sampling. For Hypotheses 1(g) to 1(k), exercise
intention serves as a dependent variable and the five personality factors are the
independent variables. Consistent with the body of evidence regarding the links between
the three personality factors (i.e., extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism) and
exercise participation, it is hypothesised that:
H1 (g): Extraversion will positively influence Exercise Intention
H1 (h): Conscientiousness will positively influence Exercise Intention
H1 (i): Neuroticism will negatively influence Exercise Intention

The links between the other two personality factors (i.e., openness to experience and
agreeableness) and exercise intention is also expected to hold in lifestyle behaviour
context. Therefore, it is hypothesised that:

H1 (j): Openness to Experience will positively influence Exercise Intention


H1 (k): Agreeableness will positively influence Exercise Intention
122

4.6.2 The Effects of Exercise Intention on Exercise Behaviour

Behavioural intentions are motivational factors that capture how hard people are
willing to try to perform a behaviour (Ajzen 1991). The exercise intention construct has
been conceptualised in the present study as an individuals motivation to perform
exercise activities in the near future. According to Ajzen (2001), intention is the
immediate and the most influential predictors of actual behaviour. That is, the stronger
peoples intentions to engage in a particular behaviour, the more likely they will actually
perform the behaviour in question.

Many studies have reported strong positive relationships between behavioural intention
and actual behaviour in a variety of settings, including ready meals consumption and
takeaways purchase (e.g., Mahon, Cowan and McCarthy 2006), online purchase and
information search behaviour (e.g., Pavlou and Fygenson 2006), organic food purchase
(e.g., Tarkiainen and Sundqvist 2005), healthy eating (e.g., Povey et al. 2000; Conner et
al. 2003; Payne, Jones and Harris 2004), dietary supplement use (e.g., Conner et al.
2003), recycling behaviour (e.g., Terry, Hogg and White 1999), snacking behaviour
(e.g., Grogan, Bell and Conner 1997), health-protective behaviours (e.g., McCaul et al.
1993), and leisure activities (e.g., Ajzen and Driver 1992a). Specifically, exercise
intention has been demonstrated to be a strong predictor of exercise behaviour in many
TPB studies (e.g., Rhodes, Courneya and Jones 2005; Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty
2006; Symons Downs et al. 2006; Everson, Daley and Ussher 2007),

Sheppard, Hartwick and Warshaw (1988) and Hausenblas, Carron and Mack (1997)
found an average correlation of .53 and .47 between intention and behaviour in their
meta-analysis. Godin and Koks (1996) review of the Ajzens TPB in the health domain
conclude that intention remained the most important predictor of behaviour and found an

123

average correlation of .52 between exercise behaviour and intention. Further, in another
meta-analysis of 36 TPB studies, Notani (1998) found intention to have a greater impact
on behaviour compared to PBC. In addition to these meta-analyses, a review of the
literature reveals that measures of intention typically account for 20% to 40% of the
variance in various social and health related behaviours (see Armitage and Conner 2001;
Godin and Kok 1996; Sheppard, Hartwick, and Warshaw 1988). For instance, Povey et
al. (2000) found intention to be the best predictor of both low fat diet and fruits and
vegetables eating behaviours in a study of dietary behaviour among general public.

Specifically, in the exercise domain, Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson (2006) found
intention to contribute 42% of the explained variance in predicting exercise behaviour;
while Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005) found intention a strong predictor of health
behaviour in that intention accounts for 62.85% and 60.68% of the variance in dieting
and exercise behaviour respectively. Similarly, Rhodes and Courneya (2003a) found
intention to have the largest significant effect upon exercise behaviour for both samples
(i.e., undergraduate students and cancer survivors) using SEM technique. Table 4.7
provides further empirical evidences regarding the link between intention and behaviour
in the exercise domain.

There have been very extensive empirical supports for the link between exercise
intention and behaviour. Therefore, it is hypothesised that:

H2: Exercise Intention will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

124

Table 4.7 Empirical Supports for the Link between Exercise Intention and Exercise
Behaviour
Reference

Sample

Analysis
Method

Results
Significant direct effects of INT on
exercise behaviour
INT was significantly correlated with
behaviour (r=.64). Exercise behaviour was
significantly explained by INT ( =.58,
p<.001).
INT ( =.28) was a significant contributor
to the direct prediction of exercise
behaviour
INT was significantly related to behaviour
(r = .70) and had the strongest effect on
behaviour ( =.59, p<.001)
INT was significantly related to behaviour
(r=.64) and predicted exercise behaviour
( =.60, p<.05)

Hagger et al.
(2007)
Everson, Daley
& Ussher
(2007)

Undergraduates
(n = 525)
Young regular
smokers (n=124)

SEM

Rhodes,
Macdonald &
McKay (2006)
Symons Downs
et al. (2006)

Children (n=364)

SEM

School students
(n=676)

HRA
Correlation

Rhodes,
Blanchard &
Matheson
(2006)
Brickell,
Chatzisarantis
& Pretty (2006)
Hagger &
Chatzisarantis
(2005)

Undergraduate
students (n=220)

Correlation
SEM

University
students (N=162)

HRA
Correlation

University
students &
employees
(n=596)

SEM

Payne, Jones &


Harris (2004)

UK employees of
a large company
(n=331 Time 1,
n=286 Time 2)
Adolescent girls
(n=1797)

Correlation
MLR

Rhodes,
Courneya &
Jones (2004)
Symons Downs
& Hausenblas
(2003)
Okun et al.
(2003)

Undergraduate
students (n=298)

SEM

Pregnant women
(N=89)

HRA
Correlation

College students
(N=363)

HRA
Correlation

Courneya,
Bobick &
Schinke (1999)

Female students
(n=300 & 67)

HRA
Correlation

Saunders, et al.
(2004)

HRA
Correlation

Correlation
MLR

INT was significantly related to exercise


behaviour (r=.69, p<.01) and also the main
predictor of behaviour
INT was significantly related to exercise
behaviour (r=.794, p<.01) and was a strong
predictor of behaviour, accounting for
60.68% of the variance in exercise
behaviour
INT was significantly related to exercise
behaviour (r=.65, p<.01) and was the main
predictor of exercise behaviour, explaining
41% of the variance in behaviour
INT was significantly related to exercise
behaviour (r=.334, p<.001) and had a
significant direct effect on behaviour
INT had significant direct effect on
exercise behaviour ( =0.74)
INT was significantly correlated with
exercise behaviour (r=.67, p<.01) and was
a significant predictor of behaviour
INT was significantly correlated with
exercise behaviour (r=.40, p<.001) and was
a significant predictor of behaviour
INT was significantly related to exercise
behaviour (r=.60, p<.01), explaining 36%
of the variance in behaviour (R=.36,
=.44, p<.01).

Notes: Structural Equation Modelling (SEM); Multiple Linear Regression (MLR);


Hierarchical Regression Analysis (HRA); Intention (INT)

125

4.6.3 The Effects of Social Cognitive and Personality Factors on Exercise Behaviour

This section provides theoretical and empirical justifications for the support of
the hypotheses which delineate the relationships between social cognitive, personality
factors and exercise behaviour.

(a) The Links between Social Cognitive Constructs and Exercise Behaviour

It is observed that most of the TPB researchers do not focus on examining how well
attitude and subjective norm predict behaviour. The common practice in the literature is
to include only intention and PBC into stepwise or hierarchical regression analysis based
on the tenets of the TPB (Ajzen 1991). Some of these researchers also examine the
potential mediating effects of behavioural intention between attitude, subjective norm,
and PBC on behaviour. Nevertheless, there are several exceptional studies. For instance,
Davis,

Johnson,

Miller-Cribbs,

Cronen

and

Scheuler-Whitaker

(2002)

and

Onghununtakul (2004) investigate the direct influence of TPB constructs on behaviour


and found attitude significantly predicted academic performance and green behaviour,
respectively.

In the exercise domain, Rhodes, Courneya and Jones (2004, 2005) and Rhodes,
Blanchard and Matheson (2006) also found attitude components to significantly predict
exercise behaviour. Lastly, subjective norm is consistently shown to be an insignificant
predictor of exercise behaviour (Ajzen and Driver 1992a; Godin and Kok 1996). Instead,
the effect of subjective norm on exercise behaviour is mediated through behavioural
intention (Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005). Empirical evidences for the positive
relationship between the social cognitive construct (as global construct) and exercise
behaviour is presented in Table 4.8. In the next section, the links between attitude
components and exercise behaviour will first be discussed. This is followed by the
126

relationships between subjective norm components and exercise behaviour, and lastly the
effects of PBC components on exercise behaviour.

Table 4.8 Empirical Supports for the Links between Social Cognitive Factors (as
Global Construct) and Behaviour
Reference

Terry, Hogg & White


(1999)
Conner et al. (2003)
De Bruijn et al. (2006)
Everson, Daley &
Ussher (2007)
Brickell, Chatzisarantis
& Pretty (2006)
Saunders et al. (2004)
Conner et al. (2003)
Symons Downs &
Hausenblas (2003)
Norman, Conner & Bell
(2000)
Courneya, Bobick &
Schinke (1999)

Context

Recycling
Behaviour
Dietary
Supplement
Physical activity
Physical activity
Exercise
behaviour
Physical activity
Healthy Eating
Exercise
behaviour
Exercise
behaviour
Exercise
behaviour

Correlation
Att B
r
Sig.
r=.36 p<.01

Correlation
SN B
r
Sig.
r=.25
p<.01

Correlation
PBC B
r
Sig.
r=.46 p<.01

r=.66

p<.05

r=.48

p<.05

r=.39

p<.05

r=.31
r=.23

p<.001 r= -.14
p<.05 r=.16

p<.05
NS

r=.23
r=.40

p<.001
p<.01

r=.49

p<.01

NS

r=.32

p<.01

r=.25
r=.64
r=.42

p<.001 r=.14
p<.001 r=.35
p<.01 r=.41

p<.01
p<.01
p<.01

r=.28
r=.77
r=.49

p<.001
p<.001
p<.01

r=.23

p<.05

r= -.22

NS

r=.37

p<.01

r=.42

p<.01

r=.27

p<.01

r=.48

p<.01

r=.11

Note: Attitude (Att); Subjective Norm (SN); Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC); Behaviour
(B); Not Significant (NS)

i. Attitude components and its effects on exercise behaviour


The attitude construct has been consistently shown to be positively and significantly
correlated with many different types of behavioural studies such as ready meals
consumption and takeaways purchase (e.g., Mahon, Cowan and McCarthy 2006), online
purchase and information search behaviour (e.g., Pavlou and Fygenson 2006), organic
food purchase (e.g Tarkiainen and Sundqvist 2005), dietary supplement consumption
(e.g., Conner et al. 2001, 2003), dietary behaviour (e.g., Armitage and Conner 1999a;
Povey et al. 2000; Conner, et al. 2003), recycling behaviour (e.g., Terry, Hogg and White
1999) including exercise behaviour. In addition to the empirical supports (as shown in
Table 4.8) for the link between the overall attitude construct and exercise behaviour,

127

several exercise studies (e.g., Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005; Kraft et al. 2005; Rhodes,
Courneya and Jones 2005; Rhodes and Courneya 2005; Rhodes, Blanchard and
Matheson 2006) found both the affective attitude and instrumental attitude to be
positively correlated to exercise behaviour. Table 4.9 presents the empirical supports for
the relationships between the two attitude components and exercise behaviour. Hence,
the following hypotheses are posited:

H3 (a): Instrumental Attitude will positively influence Exercise Behaviour


H3 (b): Affective Attitude will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

Table 4.9 Empirical Supports for the Link between Attitude Components and
Exercise Behaviour
Source

Sample (N)

Results

Rhodes, Blanchard &


Matheson (2006)

Undergraduate
students (n=220)

Kraft et al. (2005)

Undergraduate
students (n=232)

AA (r=.60) and IA (r=.29) are significantly


correlated with exercise behaviour. AA (but not
IA) had significant total effect on exercise
behaviour
AA (r=.29) and IA (r=.19) are significantly
correlated with exercise behaviour

Rhodes, Courneya &


Jones (2005)
Hagger &
Chatzisarantis (2005)
Rhodes & Courneya
(2005)
Rhodes, Courneya &
Jones (2004)

Undergraduate
students (n=298)
University students
employees (n=596)
Undergraduate
students (n=585)
Undergraduate
students (n=298)

AA (r=.38) and IA (r=.26) are significantly


correlated with exericse behaviour
AA (r=.561) and IA (r=.635) are significantly
related to exercise behaviour
AA (r=.34) and IA (r=.24) are significantly
related to exercies behaviour
AA (=0.29) had significant indirect effects on
exercise behaviour through INT, but not IA

Notes: Instrumental Attitude (IA); Affective Attitude (AA); Intention (INT)

ii. Subjective Norm components and its effects on exercise behaviour


The relationship between subjective norm and exercise behaviour though significant as
demonstrated in several exercise studies (e.g., Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005; Rhodes
and Courneya 2005; Rhodes, Courneya and Jones 2005), but the correlations are
generally weaker compared to the link between attitude and exercise behaviour. In fact,
there are a number of studies that produce insignificant correlation between subjective
128

norm and exercise behaviour. For instance, Everson, Daley and Ussher (2007), Brickell,
Chatzisarantis and Pretty (2006), and Norman, Conner and Bell (2000) found
insignificant association between subjective norm and exercise behaviour.

In terms of the links between specific subjective norm components and behaviour, the
findings in the literature are somewhat mixed. For instance, Onghununtakul (2004) found
both injunctive norm and descriptive norm to be positively related to green behaviour;
however, only descriptive norm significantly predicted green behaviour. In the exercise
domain, Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson (2006) only found significant correlation for
the link between injunctive norm and exercise behaviour with relatively low coefficient
(r=.16), however, they found insignificant correlation between descriptive norm and
exercise behaviour. Nevertheless, there are at least two exercise studies that demonstrate
significant positive correlation between injunctive norm, descriptive norm and exercise
behaviour (i.e., Okun et al. 2003; Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005).

Given the importance of peer influence and social support in exercise participation, the
normative influence on exercise behaviour should not be overlooked. It is expected that
greater social pressure from ones circle of influence will lead to greater exercise
participation. Table 4.10 presents the empirical supports for the relationships between the
two subjective norm components and exercise behaviour. Thus, the following hypotheses
are posed:

H3 (c): Injunctive Norm will positively influence Exercise Behaviour


H3 (d): Descriptive Norm will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

129

Table 4.10 Empirical Supports for the Link between Subjective Norm Components
and Behaviour
Source

Sample (N)

Results

Rhodes, Blanchard
& Matheson
(2006)
Hagger &
Chatzisarantis
(2005)
Onghununtakul
(2004)

Undergraduate
students (n=220)

IN (r=.16, p<.05) is significantly correlated


with exercise behaviour; correlation between
DN and behaviour is insignificant
IN (r=.417, p<.01) and DN (r=.337, p<.01) are
significantly correlated with exercise behaviour

Okun et al. (2003)

University students &


employees (n=596)
Shoppers aged
between 20 to 60 years
old (n=471)
College students
(n=363)

DN significantly predicted green behaviour


(but not IN)
IN (r=.17) and DN (r=.25) are significantly
correlated with leisure time exercise behaviour

Notes: Injunctive Norm (IN); Descriptive Norm (DN)

iii. PBC components and its effects on exercise behaviour


As for the PBC construct, most studies found significant correlation between PBC and
exercise behaviour. In their meta-analysis related to physical activity studies, Hagger,
Chatzisarantis and Biddle (2002) found PBC to hold a strong association with exercise
behaviour. Another meta-analysis by Hausenblas, Carron and Mack (1997) reports a
mean correlation of .45 between PBC and behaviour. Besides, Godin and Koks (1996)
review of the Ajzens TPB in the health domain indicates that the average correlation
of .41 between PBC and exercise behaviour. Further empirical supports for the
correlation between PBC (as a global construct) and behaviour can be found in Table 4.8.

Kraft et al. (2005) found a significant positive correlation for the link between perceived
control, perceived difficulty, and perceived confidence with exercise behaviour, but not
for locus of control. Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson (2006) model the PBC construct
as multi-components i.e., perceived skills, perceived opportunity, and perceived
resources. Their results showed that there is significant positive association between
perceived opportunity (r=.34) and perceived resources (r = .18) with exercise behaviour,
but found insignificant correlation between perceived skills and the actual behaviour. It

130

seems that the conceptualisation and operationalisation of the PBC construct is crucial in
determining the relationship between PBC and actual behaviour. Indeed, there are ample
empirical evidences to show that PBC is a significant predictor of behaviour. Table 4.11
presents the empirical supports for the effect of PBC on health behaviour.

Table 4.11 Empirical Supports for the Link between PBC and Exercise Behaviour
Source

Sample (N)

Everson, Daley &


Ussher (2007)

Young regular smokers


between 16-19 yrs
(n=124)
Undergraduate students
(N = 525)
Children (n=364)

Results

PBC (= 0.17) was a significant (p<.05)


contributor to the prediction of physical
activity behaviour.
Hagger et al. (2007)
PBC was a significant predictor of several
health behaviours
Rhodes, Macdonald
PBC (= 0.35) was a significant (p<.05)
& McKay (2006)
predictor of exercise behaviour.
Rhodes, Courneya
Undergraduate students PBC was a significant predictor of exercise
& Jones (2005)
(n=298)
behaviour
Payne, Jones &
UK employees of a
PBC predicted exercise (= .13) and healthy
Harris (2004)
large company (n=331
eating ( =.20) behaviour but its effect on
Time 1, n=286 Time 2)
behaviour was lesser than INT
Okun et al. (2003)
College students
PBC (=.16) significantly predicted exercise
(N=363)
behaviour.
Norman, Conner &
Patients (N=87)
Only PBC (=.39) predicted exercise
Bell (2000)
behaviour
Notes: Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC); Intention (INT)

In terms of specific PBC components, Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005) found


significant positive association between both perceived control (r=.285) and self-efficacy
(r=.294) and exercise behaviour; while Kraft et al. (2005) found perceived control (=.30)
to predict recycling behaviour significantly. Meanwhile, Povey et. al. (2000) and
Armitage and Conner (1999a) found self-efficacy to be a useful predictor of fat intake
and food choice behaviour, respectively. Sylvia-Bobiak and Caldwell (2006) report selfefficacy to have the largest total effect on active leisure ( total = 0.40, p <.05),
supporting that more positive beliefs about ones ability to engage in physical activity
will lead to higher levels of engagement in physical activity. Similarly, Conn, Burks,
Pomeroy, Ulbrich and Cochran (2003) also found perceived exercise self-efficacy to
have a direct significant effect on exercise behaviour. Besides, Piazza, Conrad and
131

Wilbur (2001) also found self-efficacy to have a statistically significant positive effect on
exercise behaviour.

Based on the aforementioned literature, it is expected that perceived control and


perceived self-efficacy will be positively related to exercise behaviour. Table 4.12
summarises the empirical supports for the links between perceived control, perceived
self-efficacy and exercise behaviour. Hence, the following hypotheses are posited:

H3 (e): Perceived Self-efficacy will positively influence Exercise Behaviour


H3 (f): Perceived Control will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

Table 4.12 Empirical Supports for the Links between PBC Components and Health
Behaviour
Source

Sample (N)

Results

Sylvia-Bobiak &
Caldwell (2006)
Hagger &
Chatzisarantis
(2005)
Rhodes &
Courneya
(2003a)
Conn et al.
(2003)

SE had the largest total effect on active leisure ( =


0.40, p <.05). Note: PC not examined
PC (r=.285) and SE (r=.294) are significantly related
to exercise behaviour

Piazza, Conrad &


Wilbur (2001)

Undergraduate
students (n=874)
University students
and employees
(n=596)
Undergraduates
(n=300) & cancer
survivors (n=272)
Older communitydwelling women
(N=203)
Female occupational
health nurses (n=206)

Povey, Conner,
Sparks, James &
Shepherd (2000)
McCaul et al.
(1993)

General public: FVI


(n=144) and FI
(n=143)
College students
(n=138)

Neither SE nor PC were significant upon exercise


behaviour
SE had a direct significant effect on exercise
behaviour
Note: PC not examined
SE had a significant positive effect on exercise
behaviour; PC had a non-significant effect on
exercise behaviour.
PC is significantly related to FVI (r=.191) and FI (r=
- 0.193); SE is significantly related to FVI (r=.488)
and FI (r= - 0.366).
PC is significantly related to BSE (r=.27) and TSE
(r=.41); SE is significantly related to BSE (r=.30)
and TSE (r=.24)

Notes: Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC); Self-efficacy (SE); Perceived Control (PC); Locus
of Control (LOC); Fat intake (FI); Fruits and vegetables intake (FVI); Breast self-exam (BSE);
Testicular self-exam (TSE)

132

(b) The Links between Personality Factors Exercise Behaviour


In a more general healthy lifestyle context, Arad (1998) examines the relationships
between personality-related traits (i.e., the Big Five and gender-related traits) and health
behaviours such as measures of nutrition and dietary habits, drinking, drug use,
participation in high-risk hobbies including exercise behaviour. In the same study, the
Pearson Correlation analyses showed a number of significant relationships between
personality measures and health behaviours; the Regression analyses also reveal three
Big Five traits (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, and openness) to be significant predictors
of life stressors, nutrition and dietary habits, and alcohol and cigarette use. This is
consistent with the findings of Steptoe et al. (1994), who report that several lifestyle
behaviours including smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, sleep time and a variety
of dietary and preventive practices to be positively associated with extraversion, and
negatively related with neuroticism.

Lemos-Giraldez and Fidalgo-Aliste (1997) investigate the relationships between


personality factors and several health behaviours like smoking, drinking, exercise and
diet. Their research found agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and
neuroticism to be significant predictor of health behaviour for women; whereas only
conscientiousness was significant in predicting health behaviour for men. In another
health behavioural study, Marks and Lutgendorf (1999) found that conscientiousness and
neuroticism predicted relaxation behaviour significantly whereby higher levels of
conscientiousness and lower levels of neuroticism lead to a greater likelihood of
relaxation behaviour engagement.

The role of personality in predicting exercise behaviour has been gaining greater
attention among researchers (Hagan 2004). Individual personality does play an important
role in discriminating the level of exercise motivation and behaviour (Rhodes, Courneya
133

and

Bobick

2001).

Specifically,

neuroticism

is

negatively

related

whereas

conscientiousness and extraversion are positively related to exercise participation and


adherence (Szabo 1992; Potgieter and Venter 1995; Yeung and Hemsley 1997a). The
hypotheses developed in the present study are established based on previous personality
and exercise research that is available (see Table 4.13).

Table 4.13 Empirical Supports for the Link between Personality Factors and
Health Behaviour
References

Context
E

Adams & Mowen


(2005)
Hagan (2004)
Marks & Lutgendorf
(1999)
Courneya, Bobick &
Schinke (1999)
undergraduate
sample
Courneya, Bobick &
Schinke (1999)
female aerobics class
sample
Courneya & Hellsten
(1998)
Arad (1998)
Yeung & Hemsley
(1997a)
Potgieter & Venter
(1995)
Steptoe et al. (1994)
Booth-Kewley &
Vickers (1994)
Szabo (1992)
Schnurr, Vaillant &
Vaillant (1990)

Sign and Significance of Relationship


C
N
O
A

Dieting &
Exercise
Exercise
Behaviour
Exercise
Relaxation
Exercise
Behaviour

No

+ve Yes

-ve Yes

+ve Yes

-ve Yes

+ve Yes

+ve Yes

-ve Yes

Not
studied
+ve Yes

+ve Yes
+ve Yes
+ve Yes

No
-ve Yes
-ve Yes

Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied

Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied

Exercise
Behaviour

+ve Yes

+ve Yes

Not
studied

Not
studied

Not
studied

Exercise
Behaviour
Healthy
Lifestyle
Exercise
Behaviour
Exercise
Behaviour
Lifestyle
Behaviour
Health
Behaviour
Exercise
Behaviour
Exercise
Behaviour

+ve Yes

+ve Yes

-ve Yes

+ve Yes

+ve Yes

Not
studied
+ve Yes

-ve Yes

+ve Yes

-ve Yes

Not
studied
Not
studied
+ve Yes

-ve Yes

Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied
No

Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied
Not
studied
+ve Yes

Not
studied
+ve Yes

-ve Yes

+ve Yes
No
+ve Yes
+ve Yes
+ve Yes
+ve Yes

-ve Yes
-ve Yes

-ve Yes

Not
studied
Not
studied

Not
studied
+ve Yes

Notes:
1. Extraversion (E); Conscientiousness (C); Neuroticism (N); Openness (O); Agreeableness (A)
2. Yes denotes significant link / No denotes insignificant link

134

Generally, there are consistent research findings for the association between exercise
behaviour and neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness. Previous research has
demonstrated that conscientiousness and extraversion would be the best Big Five
predictors of exercise behaviour (Bogg and Roberts 2004; Courneya and Hellsten 1998).
For instance, Booth-Kewley and Vickers (1994) investigate these five personality factors
and its relationship to several wellness behaviours and found conscientiousness to
contribute to the prediction of exercise and healthy eating behaviour. Consistent with this
finding, Marks and Lutgendorf (1999) also found individuals with greater
conscientiousness demonstrated significantly higher level of exercise participation.

Courneya and associates have investigated the relationships between these personality
factors and exercise behaviour and found exercise participation to be negatively related
to neuroticism, and positively related to both extraversion and conscientiousness (i.e.,
Courneya and Hellsten, 1998; Courneya, Bobick, and Schinke, 1999; Rhodes, Courneya,
and Bobick, 2001). For instance, using the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (Costa and
McCrae 1992a) and the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (Godin and
Shephard

1985),

Courneya

and

Hellsten

(1998)

found

extraversion

and

conscientiousness to be positively related whereas neuroticism is negatively related to


exercise behaviour. The other unexpected significant positive correlation was found
between openness to experience and moderate exercise behaviour. Similarly, Hagan
(2004) also examines the relationship between exercise behaviour and personality factors
using the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire and the NEO-PI-R (i.e., a revised version
of personality inventory). Again, the research findings demonstrate that exercise
behaviour is positively associated with extraversion and conscientiousness, and
negatively related to neuroticism.

135

Consistent with the body of research, Courneya, Bobick and Schinke (1999) found only
extraversion and conscientiousness to be significantly and positively correlated with
exercise behaviour whereas neuroticism was significantly and negatively correlated with
exercise behaviour using undergraduate students as sample. However, when the female
aerobics class samples were examined, only extraversion (r= 0.29) and conscientiousness
(r= 0.21) were significantly and positively correlated with exercise behaviour. In terms
of predictive ability, only extraversion was found to be predictive of exercise behaviour
for both samples in Courneya, Bobick and Schinkes (1999) study. This is consistent
with the findings of Rhodes and Courneya (2003a) that only extraversion was able to
predict exercise behaviour.

Additionally, Rhodes, Courneya and Jones (2005) also found that all the facets of
extraversion (i.e., sociability, assertiveness, and activity) are positively correlated with
exercise frequency. Further, the findings of Yeung and Hemsley (1997b) indicate that
extraversion accounted for approximately 16% of the variance in predicting exercise
behaviour. The body of evidences again indicate that extraversion has relatively stronger
correlation with exercise behaviour as compared to other personality factors. It can be
seen from the above discussion that there are sufficient empirical evidences to support
the links between extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism and exercise behaviour,
however, the literature regarding the links between openness to experience,
agreeableness, and exercise participation is limited (Marshall et al. 1994).

i. Extraversion and its effect on exercise behaviour


The traits frequently related with extraversion dimension are sociable, assertive, talkative,
and active (Digman 1990). Extraverts tend to be full of energy and enthusiasm, outgoing,
and have a higher need for stimulation (John and Srivastava 1999). Extraversion is
associated with sociability and it reflects the participative nature of some health practices.
136

For instance, a number of studies have previously shown healthy lifestyle adoption
among individual with wide social networks (Steptoe et al. 1994). Hence, it is logical to
speculate that extraverts are more likely to take part in group activities compared to
introverts (Potgieter and Venter 1995) and that extraverts would be more attracted to
exercise participation because exercise can satisfy the social and relatedness need
(Ingledew, Markland and Sheppard 2004). While Szabo (1992) found that habitually
exercising individual score higher on the extraversion scale than non-exercising
individual, Rhodes, Courneya and Bobick (2001) assert that high extraversion
individuals are not only likely to adopt active behaviours such as regular exercise, but
also are more likely to adhere and maintain regular exercise. Hence, it is hypothesised
that:

H3 (g): Extraversion will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

ii. Conscientiousness and its effect on exercise behaviour


People high on the conscientiousness scale tend to be reliable, thorough, responsible,
organised, strong-willed, task-focused, achievement-oriented and persevering (Digman
1990; McCrae and John 1992). The conceptual definition of conscientiousness suggests
that this personality factor may have influence on consumer health practices as stated by
Steptoe et al. (1994, p.340) that people with consistently positive health practices tend
to be responsible and conscientious, with a lack of impulsiveness and an orderly
approach to life. Therefore, conscientiousness can be expected to have positive
relationship with healthy-promoting behaviour (Marks and Lutgendorf 1999).
Presumably, this expectation applies to exercise behaviour, the following hypothesis is
established:

H3 (h): Conscientiousness will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

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iii. Neuroticism and its effect on exercise behaviour


Neuroticism is associated with undesirable characteristics including being anxious,
depressed, emotional, worried, moody, nervous, sad, tense, and insecure (John and
Srivastava 1999). People scoring high on the neuroticism scale are more anxious,
emotionally unstable, and tend to get stress up very easily (Digman 1990). The
dimension of neuroticism is strongly associated with healthy lifestyle behaviour (Marks
and Lutgendorf 1999). Several studies have examined the links between neuroticism and
health practices, such as nutrition and dietary habits, smoking, alcohol consumption,
drug use, and exercise behaviour (e.g., Steptoe et al. 1994; Lemos-Giraldez and FidalgoAliste 1997; Arad 1998; Marks and Lutgendorf 1999). These studies consistently found
neuroticism to be negatively related to health behaviours. Based on the aforementioned
literature review regarding the relationships between neuroticism and exercise, it is
hypothesised that the predisposition to emotional instability associated with neuroticism
serves to inhibit ones exercise participation. The following hypothesis is posited:

H3 (i): Neuroticism will negatively influence Exercise Behaviour

iv. The effects of openness to experience and agreeableness on exercise behaviour


Detwiler (1996) found that agreeableness is relatively weaker compared to the other four
personality factor. There were not much evidence to support the correlation between
openness to experience, agreeableness, and exercise participation (see Table 4.13).
Nevertheless, an examination of the openness to experience and agreeableness factors in
the present model is deemed to be more compatible with comprehensive model of
personality-exercise behaviour link (Marshall et al. 1994). Besides, Courneya and
Hellsten (1998) suggest future research to look further into the link between personality
and exercise behaviour especially the openness factor as the findings indicated that

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openness may be linked to exercise behaviour. Based on the aforementioned literature, it


is hypothesised that:

H3 (j): Openness to Experience will positively influence Exercise Behaviour


H3 (k): Agreeableness will positively influence Exercise Behaviour

4.6.4 Exercise Intention as the Mediating Variable between Social Cognitive


Constructs, Personality Factors and Exercise Behaviour
In this section, the mediating role of exercise intention between social cognitive
components and exercise behaviour will first be explored. This is followed by discussing
the exercise intention as the mediating effect between personality factors and exercise
behaviour.

(a) Exercise Intention as the Mediating Variable between Social Cognitive Constructs
and Exercise Behaviour

As originally formulated by Ajzen (1991), attitude and subjective norm are hypothesised
to influence the target behaviour through effects mediated by behavioural intention.
Several empirical studies have indicated supports for the mediating role of intention. For
example, in examining exercise and dieting behaviour, Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005)
found intention to mediate the influence of affective attitude and instrumental attitude on
both behaviours studied. Similarly, Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson (2006) also found
the two attitude components to have significant effects on exercise behaviour through
exercise intention. Thus, the following hypotheses are posed:

H4 (a): The influence of Instrumental Attitude on Exercise Behaviour will be mediated


through Exercise Intention
H4 (b): The influence of Affective Attitude on Exercise Behaviour will be mediated
through Exercise Intention
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Besides attitude components-intention-behaviour path, Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005)


also found the effects of injunctive norm and descriptive norm on both exercise and
dieting behaviour to be mediated by behavioural intention. Rhodes, Courneya and Jones
(2004) also found subjective norm to have significant indirect effects on exercise
behaviour through exercise intention using SEM technique. Another study investigating
supplement taking behaviour among women population by Conner et al. (2001) also
supports that the effects of both attitude and subjective norm on behaviour are mediated
by behavioural intention. Specifically, in the exercise domain, Courneya and McAuleys
(1995) finding suggests that exercise intention is the final pathway to exercise adherence
and mediates all other relationships in the TPB model.

Based on the tenets of TPB and empirical evidences as discussed above, injunctive norm
and descriptive norm are expected to have effects on exercise behaviour through exercise
intention. This lead to the following hypotheses:

H4 (c): The influence of Injunction Norm on Exercise Behaviour will be mediated


through Exercise Intention
H4 (d): The influence of Descriptive Norm on Exercise Behaviour will be mediated
through Exercise Intention

A number of studies found strong evidence for the distinction between perceived control
and perceived self-efficacy, and found PBC constructs to have significant better fit when
modelled as two separate components (e.g., Armitage and Conner 2001; Ajzen 2002b;
Rhodes and Courneya 2003b; Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005; Rhodes and Blanchard
2006; Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson 2006). Nevertheless, there are still limited solid
and conclusive empirical supports for the prediction of these two components (i.e.,
perceived control and perceived self-efficacy) on actual behaviour (Ajzen 2002a). For
instance, Povey et al. (2000) found self-efficacy to be a predictor of fat intake but not for
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fruits and vegetables eating; whereas perceived control did not significantly predict both
dietary behaviours.

As mentioned in the earlier chapter, the original PBC concept may have both direct and
indirect effects on behaviour (Ajzen 1991). That is, there are two versions of the TPB as
depicted in Figure 3.6 (see page 46). The first version (Version 1) assumes that PBC has
an indirect effect on behaviour through behavioural intention. A more complex Version 2
assumes that when the behaviour studied is not completely under the volitional control of
the individual, PBC can influence behaviour directly to the extent that PBC accurately
reflects actual control and ability (Notani 1998). A meta-analysis conducted by Notani
(1998) found that out of 35 tests of the link between PBC and behaviour, 17 cases (i.e.,
48.6%) are significant. Notani (1998) concludes that the predictive ability of PBC seems
to depend on the construct conceptual and operational definition, nature of behaviour as
well as the sampling population chosen.

The perceived self-efficacy and perceived control are expected to have both direct and
indirect effect (through behavioural intention) on exercise behaviour based on several
reasons: (1) the perceived self-efficacy and perceived control measures in the present
study resemble the Ajzens PBCs definition. Theoretically, it is possible that perceived
control has both direct and indirect effect on exercise behaviour; (2) exercise behaviour
is considered to be not totally under a persons volitional control. This is because there
are some control factors that may affect individuals exercise participation such as time
constraint and neighbourhood security (Kerner and Grossman 2001); (3) there are
empirical evidences to support the mediating role of exercise intention for the link
between perceived self-efficacy, perceived control and exercise behaviour (e.g.,
Saunders et al. 2004; Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005). For example, Hagger and
Chatzisarantis (2005) found that exercise intention mediates the influence of self141

efficacy and perceived control on exercise behaviour. Based on the aforementioned


justifications and empirical evidences, it is hypothesised that:

H4 (e): The influence of Perceived Self-efficacy on Exercise Behaviour will be mediated


through Exercise Intention
H4 (f): The influence of Perceived Control on Exercise Behaviour will be
mediated through Exercise Intention

(b) Exercise Intention as the Mediating Variable between Personality Factors and
Exercise Behaviour

The next set of hypotheses concerned the mediating role of behavioural intention
between the five personality factors and exercise behaviour. Personality concept is
postulated in the TPB as background variable (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980; Ajzen 1991). It
is hypothesised in the original TPB model that the TPB predictors (including behavioural
intention) will mediate the links between personality variables and behaviour (Ajzen
1991). The fact is that a persons personalities may not be changed easily, but individual
social cognitions can be influenced by other people and environmental factors (Courneya
and Hellsten 1998). It is possible that personality affect behaviour directly or indirectly
through social cognitive factor such as behavioural intention.

There are only two exercise studies (i.e., Courneya, Bobick and Schinke 1999; Rhodes
and Courneya 2003a) that have examined the mediating role of the TPB predictors
between personality factors and exercise behaviour. However, Courneya, Bobick and
Schinke (1999) and Rhodes and Courneya (2003a) focus only on the mediating role of
attitude, subjective norm, and PBC whereas the possible mediating path of behavioural
intention that links personality to behaviour is neglected. Further research need to
examine the extent to which the relationship between personality factor and exercise
behaviour is mediated by exercise intention.
142

The present study focuses on examining the mediating role of exercise intention in the
link between the five personality factors and exercise behaviour. According to Baron and
Kenny (1986), the mediating effect of intention is assumed when: 1) intention has a
direct effect on exercise behaviour as addressed in the TPB; 2) personality factor has
direct influence on exercise behaviour; and 3) intention has an association with the
factors of personality studied. As originally postulated by Ajzen (1991), behavioural
intention has the ability to influence actual behaviour. The link between behavioural
intention and actual behaviour has also been supported empirically in numerous studies
including those in exercise domain as shown in Table 4.7. If the present study found
exercise intention to have significant effect on exercise behaviour, the first mediation
condition listed above is met. Subsequently, based on Baron and Kennys (1986)
suggestion, the mediating analysis will be conducted only if any of the five personality
factors had a significant relationship with exercise intention. Based on the above
justifications, the following hypotheses are posed:

H4 (g): Exercise Intention will mediate the influence of Extraversion on Exercise


Behaviour
H4 (h): Exercise Intention will mediate the influence of Agreeableness on Exercise
Behaviour
H4 (i): Exercise Intention will mediate the influence of Conscientiousness on Exercise
Behaviour
H4 (j): Exercise Intention will mediate the influence of Neuroticism on Exercise
Behaviour
H4 (k): Exercise Intention will mediate the influence of Openness to Experience on
Exercise Behaviour

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4.6.5 Predicting Exercise Group Membership

This section presents the last main hypothesis which aims to test exercise group
differences as well as predicting membership into two exclusive exercise groups. The
subjects will be classified into two major exercise participation groups based on their
frequency of exercise. Based on the recommendation of Symons Downs et al. (2006),
respondents who meet the exercise recommendations (i.e., 4 or more times per week) are
classified as high active exercisers; those respondents who did not meet the
recommendations (i.e., 3 or less times per week) are categorised as low active
exercisers.

Independent sample t-tests will first be adopted to examine exercise group differences.
Subsequently, discriminant analysis will be conducted to determine the relative
importance of each factor that best discriminate between the high active and low
active exercise groups. Indeed, very few researchers have looked into the exercise group
differences and no empirical study has examined the predictive power of social cognitive
and personality factors in discriminating this distinct exercise groups. It is expected that
the present findings will add theoretical value to the existing literature and provide
greater insights to the marketing practitioners and public policy makers.

(a) Exercise Groups and Social Cognitive Factors


Most TPB studies in the exercise domain have focused on the key links between
variables studied. Research addressing whether distinct exercise groups can be
differentiated on the basis of the social cognitive constructs has been limited. There is a
need to explore differences in these social cognitive factors between exercise subgroups.
This is because high active exercise group may have different perception toward the

144

importance of these factors compared to low active exercise group. Also, these factors
may influence different exercise groups in a different way (Godin and Shephard 1985).

i. Exercise Groups and Attitude Components


As discussed in the previous chapter, there is an emerging consensus in the TPB research
that attitude consists of two distinct components namely affective and instrumental
evaluation toward a particular behaviour. The distinct concept of these two attitude
components has been noted in the TPB studies (see Conner and Armitage 1998). Both
the affective attitude and instrumental attitude components have been consistently found
to have relationship with exercise participation (Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005; Rhodes
and Courneya 2005; Rhodes, Blanchard and Matheson 2006).
Theoretically, an individuals attitude towards exercise participation is likely to be
positive if that person perceives that there are positive outcomes resulting from
exercising (Ajzen 2001). Using a deductive logic, favourable attitude is likely to increase
a persons participation in exercise activities. Empirically, Courneya and McAuley (1995)
found exercise adherers to have a better attitude toward exercise compared to those who
do not exercise at all using objective measure of exercise behaviour (i.e., monitoring
exercise class attendance). Further, Symons Downs et al. (2006) report in their study
among youth that the subjects meeting exercise recommendations score higher on
attitude construct compared to those who did not meet the guidelines. Hence, the
following hypotheses are posited:
H5 (a): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Instrumental Attitude
compared to low active exercisers
H5 (b): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Affective Attitude
compared to low active exercisers

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ii. Exercise Groups and Subjective Norm Components


Social scientists have recognised group membership as a determinant of behaviour
(Bearden and Etzel 1982). As discussed, the subjective norm construct consists of two
distinct components which include the more traditionally measured injunctive
component (whether one believes that their social network wants them to perform the
behaviour) and descriptive component (whether ones social network perform the
behaviour) (Hagger and Chatzisarantis 2005). The role of descriptive norm in
behavioural prediction has gained acceptance with growing empirical supports for its
predictive ability (Rivis and Sheeran 2003).

Several studies have demonstrated the link between normative influence and exercise
participation (e.g., Rhodes and Courneya 2005; Brickell, Chatzisarantis and Pretty 2006).
Specifically, Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005) found significant correlation for the links
between injunctive norm, descriptive norm and exercise participation. However, the
distinct exercise group differences in terms of social influence have not been explored in
these exercise studies. Based on the TRA, health belief model, and social learning theory,
Matthie (1989) reports significant differences between the inactive and active exercise
groups in relation to their motivation to comply with social influence. In examining
active leisure physical activity among undergraduate students, Sylvia-Bobiak and
Caldwell (2006) report a significant difference between subjects who are often,
sometime, and never active on physical activity in terms of social factors.

Based on the theoretical and empirical justifications, it is proposed that the more one
perceives that significant others favour ones participation in exercise activities (i.e., the
greater the influence of injunctive norm) and the exercise participation typically
performed by significant others (i.e., the greater the influence of descriptive norm), the

146

more likely one will tend to engage in exercise activities (Ajzen 1991). Thus, the
following hypotheses are posed:
H5 (c): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Injunctive Norm compared
to low active exercisers
H5 (d): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Descriptive Norm
compared to low active exercisers

iii. Exercise Groups and PBC Components


Ajzen (2002a) has recently conceptualised the PBC construct as two distinct components
of self-efficacy (e.g. ease/difficult, confidence) and controllability (e.g. personal control
over behaviour, appraisal of whether the behaviour is completely up to the actor). There
are empirical studies that have repeatedly demonstrated that these two sub-components
of PBC can be distinguished across a wide range of behaviours (Conner and Armitage
1998; Ajzen 2002a; Trafimow et al. 2002). Specifically, in the exercise domain, Hagger
and Chatzisarantis (2005) and Armitage and Conner (1999a) also lend empirical supports
to the distinction between perceived self-efficacy and perceived control.

Most TPB studies found significant relationship between the control factor and exercise
behaviour (Godin and Kok 1996). For instance, Hagger, Chatzisarantis and Biddle (2002)
found control factor to hold a strong association with exercise participation in their metaanalysis of physical activity studies. As for the link between perceived self-efficacy and
exercise participation, Sylvia-Bobiak and Caldwell (2006) found that more positive
beliefs about ones ability to engage in physically active activities led to a higher level of
engagement in active leisure activities. Hagger and Chatzisarantis (2005) also found
significant

positive

association between perceived

self-efficacy and

exercise

participation among university students and employees samples.

147

There bound to be some control factors that may affect individuals exercise
participation such as physical inability, time constraint, neighbourhood security,
availability of the exercise equipment and so on. Therefore, it makes theoretical sense to
expect that an individual will exercise more frequently when that persons confidence
level and perceptions of the amount of control he or she has over exercising increase.
Hence, it is hypothesised that:
H5 (e): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Perceived Self-efficacy
compared to low active exercisers
H5 (f): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Perceived Control
compared to low active exercisers

iv. Exercise Groups and Exercise Intention and Behaviour


Behavioural intentions are motivational factors that capture how hard people are willing
to try to perform a behaviour (Ajzen 1991). According to Ajzen (2001), intention is the
immediate and the most influential predictors of actual behaviour. That is, the stronger
peoples intentions to engage in a particular behaviour, the more likely they will actually
perform the behaviour in question. Matthie (1989) found significant differences between
inactive and active exercisers in their intentions to participate in exercise activities.
Besides, Courneya and McAuley (1995) also found exercise adherers to possess greater
intention to exercise than those who do not exercise at all. Symons Downs et al. (2006)
report in their study among youth that the subjects meeting exercise recommendations
consistently score higher than those who did not meet the guidelines on exercise
behaviour measure. Based on the above empirical evidences, the following hypotheses
are posited:
H5 (g): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Exercise Intention
compared to low active exercisers

148

H5 (h): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Exercise Behaviour
compared to low active exercisers

(b) Exercise Groups and Personality Factors


Other than the social cognitive constructs discussed above, differences in personality
factors has also been documented as factors related to exercise participation. The
following sub-sections discuss the associations between exercise groups and the five
personality factors.

i. Exercise Groups and Extraversion


Extraversion is associated with traits such as sociable, assertive, talkative, and active
(Digman 1990). Extraverts tend to be full of energy and enthusiasm, outgoing, and have
a higher need for stimulation (John and Srivastava 1999). Hence, it makes theoretical
sense to speculate that extraverts would be more attracted to exercise participation
because exercising can satisfy the social and relatedness need (Ingledew, Markland and
Sheppard 2004). Empirically, Szabo (1992) found that habitually exercising individual
tend to score higher on the extraversion scale than non-exercising individuals. Further,
Rhodes, Courneya and Bobick (2001) argue that high extraversion individuals not only
likely to exercise more regularly, but also are more likely to adhere and maintain regular
exercise. Hence, it is hypothesised that:
H5 (i): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Extraversion compared to
low active exercisers

ii. Exercise Groups and Agreeableness


The decision as to whether to participate actively in exercise or not may be a matter of
personality preferences (Courneya and Hellsten 1998). There are very limited empirical
evidences regarding the association between agreeableness and exercise frequency. The
agreeableness factor involves characteristics related to the pro-social and caring side of
149

humanity (John and Srivastava 1999) as opposed to hostility, indifference to others, selfcenteredness, and noncompliance (Bakker et al. 2006). Hence, it makes sense to expect
that individuals who are more physically active tend to score higher on the agreeableness
scale. Indeed, Schnurr, Vaillant and Vaillant (1990) found agreeableness to be positively
associated with exercise participation. Based on the aforementioned literature, it is
hypothesised that:
H5 (j): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Agreeableness compared to
low active exercisers

iii. Exercise Groups and Conscientiousness


Individuals who are conscientious tend to be reliable, organised, strong-willed, taskfocused, achievement-oriented and persevering (Digman 1990; McCrae and John 1992).
Steptoe et al. (1994) argue that individuals who practice healthy lifestyle are more likely
to be responsible and conscientious, typically having an orderly approach to life.
Specifically, Rhodes, Courneya and Bobick (2001) found non-exercisers to have lower
score on conscientiousness scale compared to exercise adherers. Similarly, Marks and
Lutgendorf (1999) also found that individuals with greater score on conscientiousness
demonstrated significantly higher level of exercise. Thus, the following hypothesis is
posed:
H5 (k): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Conscientiousness
compared to low active exercisers

iv. Exercise Groups and Neuroticism


Neuroticism is the only Big Five factor that is associated with undesirable characteristics
which include being anxious, depressed, emotional, worried, moody, nervous, sad, tense,
and insecure (John and Srivastava 1999). Szabo (1992) found that the habitually
exercising respondent score lower on neuroticism than the non-exercising respondent
150

using the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Similarly, Potgieter and Venter (1995) found
exercise programme drop-outs to have significantly higher neuroticism scores than
adherers. These findings seem to support the notion that more physically active
exercisers possess greater emotional stability (i.e., lower neuroticism) compared to those
non-regular exercise groups, leading to the following hypothesis:
H5 (l): High active exercisers tend to have lower score on Neuroticism compared to
low active exercisers

v. Exercise Groups and Openness to Experience


Empirical support in the exercise literature regarding the links between openness to
experience and exercise participation is limited (Marshall, et al. 1994). Nevertheless,
Courneya and Hellsten (1998) suggest future research to look further into the link
between openness to experience and exercise as their findings showed that openness may
be linked to exercise participation. Further, Adams and Mowen (2005) found openness to
be positively associated with exercise and dieting behaviour. There are at least two
studies to support the proposition that more active exercisers are more open to new
experiences compared to less active or non-regular exercise group. Thus, the following
hypothesis is posed:
H5 (m): High active exercisers tend to have higher score on Openness to Experience
compared to low active exercisers

151