Date of Award

12-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Partridge, Julie

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between message framing and behavioral expectancy in maintenance stage runners. Further, correlational analyses were computed to examine the relationship between level of motivation and Locus of Control (LOC). Motivation and LOC were measured before the participant was presented with positively, negatively, or neutrally framed messages (based on random assignment). Participants then answered a level of behavioral expectancy (i.e., how likely or unlikely they are to engage in this behavior) and an explanation of cognitive evaluation in the form of a qualitative question (why the provided message was persuasive or not). This stage was operationalized as running for at least one year, competing in at least one race per year, and running at least one mile per week. The sample consisted of mTurk (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) users. Results indicated that the neutral message framing condition was significantly different in terms of behavioral expectancy from that of both the positive and negative message framing conditions. The positive and negative message framing conditions, however, did not result in significant differences in behavioral expectancy. Finally, while Locus of Control and levels of motivation are positively correlated in the literature, there was no significant correlation between these variables in this study. Conclusions from this research can be used to inform future health campaigns directed towards those already engaging in physical activity. Furthermore, results can be used to inform future research on message framing in non-active populations.

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