Personality and Physical Activity

Ryan E. Rhodes and Leila A. Pfaeffli

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Personality and Physical Activity

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This chapter updates a prior meta-analysis of the relationship between higher-order personality traits and physical activity with new literature, extends the findings to include an appraisal of personality facet or subtraits, evaluates mechanisms mediating between personality and physical activity, and examines evidence for personality as a moderator of physical activity social cognition. Two literature searches were conducted on five key search engines. The first search yielded 370 hits. Nine studies were included in this review update. The second search for lower-order personality traits yielded 1165 hits. Twenty-nine passed the eligibility criteria. Results showed similar findings to the prior review but with considerable heterogeneity. Evidence showed a link between physical activity and the activity facet trait of extraversion. The mediating capacity of social cognitive variables was generally poor. Evidence for personality moderation came from the conscientiousness trait and its interaction with the physical activity intention–behavior relationship. Overall, some lower-order traits may be better predictors of physical activity than their higher-order structures and may moderate motivation.

Keywords: physical activity; exercise; mediator; moderator; social cognitive

Article.  14785 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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