We examined exercisers' affective and self-presentational reactions to identity confirming or disconfirming feedback in the presence of another person.Design:
Adult exercisers completed baseline measures prior to a laboratory session. Participants were randomly assigned to receive exercise identity confirming (n = 54) or disconfirming (n = 47) feedback in the presence of a confederate participant. After, participants indicated their level of agreement and completed measures of affect. Lastly, participants were provided with an opportunity for impression construction and completed an additional affect measure.Results:
A MANOVA comparing groups revealed group differences, F (94, 6) = 31.88, p < .001, Λ = .33, ηp2 = .67. Disconfirmed participants reported more negative and less positive affect, a greater desire to self-present differently, more public disagreement with feedback and more feedback rationalization. Groups did not differ on the number of solutions provided to exercise barriers. A regression analysis conducted on disconfirmed participants showed that satisfaction with self-presentation was negatively related to negative affect, β = −.411, t (45) = - 3.02, p = 0.004, and explained a significant proportion of variance, R2 = .15, F (45, 1) = 9.15, p = 0.004; and positively related to positive affect, β = .512, t (45) = 4.03, p = .001, and explained a significant amount of variance, R2 = .25, F (45, 1) = 16.22, p = .001.Discussion:
Findings provide support for an understudied tenet of identity theory and suggest that exercise identity feedback from others may be a legitimate source of exercise identity feedback.