Exploring the peak and end rule of past affective episodes within the exercise context

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Abstract

Objectives:

The global affective evaluation (GAE) of an event influences the decision to repeat that event. Two moments are proposed to predict the GAE: the peak and end affect experienced from the event (Fredrickson, 2000). The purposes of this study were to test this peak and end rule in the context of exercise and examine the relationship between GAE and exercise behaviour.

Methods:

41 inactive women (M = 42.7 years, SD = 10.6 years) completed a graded exercise test to determine ventilatory threshold (VT) and 20 min of treadmill exercise at an intensity either at-VT or 10% above-VT. Feeling Scale (FS) was recorded every 2 min during-exercise and 1, 5, 10 and 15 min post-exercise. GAE was measured 5 min, 15 min, 2 and 7 days post-exercise. Exercise intentions and behaviour were measured 7 days post-exercise. The individual's peak and end FS values were entered together as predictor variables in separate regression analyses with GAE from each time point as the dependent variable.

Results:

Peak affect and end affect explained between 39 and 58% of the variance in GAE. Greater variance was predicted 5 and 15 min post-exercise compared with 2 and 7 days post-exercise. The independent contribution of the peak and end variables could not be determined due to multi-collinearity problems. No significant relationships existed between affective memory and intentions or behaviour.

Conclusions:

The peak and end rule plays some part in predicting the affective memory of an exercise experience but other variables are likely to play a role.

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