Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 151–159 | Cite as

Aerobic Exercise Is Promoted when Individual Performance Affects the Group: A Test of the Kohler Motivation Gain Effect

  • Brandon C. Irwin
  • Jennifer Scorniaenchi
  • Norbert L. Kerr
  • Joey C. Eisenmann
  • Deborah L. Feltz
Original Article

Abstract

Background

A key barrier to achieving recommended intensity and duration of physical activity is motivation.

Purpose

We investigated whether a virtually present partner would influence participants’ motivation (duration) during aerobic exercise.

Method

Fifty-eight females (Mage = 20.54 ± 1.86) were randomly assigned to either a coactive condition (exercising alongside another person, independently), a conjunctive condition (performance determined by whichever partner stops exercising first) where they exercised with a superior partner, or to an individual condition. Participants exercised on a stationary bike at 65 % of heart rate reserve on six separate days.

Results

Across sessions, conjunctive condition participants exercised significantly longer (M = 21.89 min, SD = ±10.08 min) than those in coactive (M = 19.77 min, SD = ± 9.00 min) and individual (M = 10.6 min, SD = ±5.84 min) conditions (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

Exercising with a virtually present partner can improve performance on an aerobic exercise task across multiple sessions.

Keywords

Group performance Group exercise Exergame Köhler effect Motivation Exercise partner 

References

  1. 1.
    Chandrashekhar Y, Anand IS. Exercise as a coronary protective factor. Am Heart J. Dec 1991;122(6):1723–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jennings GL, Deakin G, Dewar E, Jaufer E, Nelson LS. Exercise, cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Clin Exp Hypertens. 1989;11:1035–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee IM. Physical activity, fitness, and cancer. In: Boucher C, Shephard RJ, Stephens T, eds. Physical activity, fitness, and health: International proceedings and consensus statement. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1994:814–31.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy. CMAJ. Mar 28 2006;174(7):961–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Smith SC, Blair SN, Criqui MH, Fletcher GF, Fuster V, Gersh BJ, et al. Preventing heart attack and death in patients with coronary disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. Jul 1995;26(1):292–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hardy CJ, Rejeski WJ. Not what, but how one feels: The measurement of affect during exercise. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 1989;11:304–17.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    McAuley E, Courneya KS. Adherence to exercise and physical actiity as health-promoting behaviors: Attitudinal and self-efficacy influences. Applied and Preventive Psychology. 1993;2:65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carron AV, Hausenblas HA, Mack D. Social influence and exercise: A meta-analysis. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 1996;18:1–16.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dishman RK, Buckworth J. Increasing physical activity: A quantitative synthesis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Jun 1996;28(6):706–19.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bain LL, Wilson T, Chaikind E. Participant perceptions of exercise programs for overweight women. Res Q Exerc Sport. 1989;60:134–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Baron RS, Kerr NL. Group process, group decision, group action. 2nd ed. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press; 2003.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Karau SJ, Williams KD. Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993;65:681–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kerr NL, Hertel G. The Köhler group motivation gain: How to motivate the "weak links" in a group. Soc Pers Psychol Comp. January 2010;5(1):43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Weber B, Hertel G. Motivation gains of inferior group members: A meta-analytical review. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007;93(6):973–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Steiner ID. Group process and productivity. New York: Academic Press; 1972.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stroebe W, Diehl M, Abakoumkin G. Social compensation and the Köhler effect: Toward a theoretical explanation of motivation gains in group productivity. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1996. Witte E, Davis J, eds. Understanding group behavior: Consensual action by small groups; No. 2.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kerr NL, Messé LA, Seok DH, Sambolec EJ, Lount Jr. RB, Park ES. Psychological mechanisms underlying the Köhler motivation gain. Pers Soc Psychol B. 2007;33(6):828–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Feltz DL, Kerr NL, Irwin BC. Buddy up: The Köhler effect applied to health games. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2011;33:506–26.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity and health: A report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC; 2008.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lount Jr RB, Kerr NL, Messé LA, Seok DH, Park ES. An Examination of the Stability and Persistence of the KöhlerMotivation Gain Effect. Group Dynamics. 2008;12(4):279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Clarke P, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD, Schulenberg JE, Lantz P. Differential trends in weight-related health behaviors among American young adults by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status: 1984–2006. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(10):1893–901.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bandura A. Guide for creating self-efficacy scales. In: Pajares F, Urdan T, eds. Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents. Greenwich, CT: Informationa Age Publishing; 2006:307–37.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mohiyeddini C, Pauli R, Bauer S. The role of emotion in bridging the intention-behavior gap: The case for sports participation. Psychol Sport Exerc. 2009;10:226–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Borg GAV. Borg's perceived exertion and pain scales. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1998.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Optenberg SA, Lairson DR, Slater CH, Russell ML. Agreement of self-reported and physiologically estimated fitness status in a symptom-free population. Prev Med. Jul 1984;13(4):349–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Masse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Jan 2008;40(1):181–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Andrew GM, Oldridge NB, Parker JO, Cunningham DA, Rechnitzer PA, Jones NL, et al. Reasons for dropout from exercise programs in post-coronary patients. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1981;13(3):164–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Williams SL, French DP. What are the most effective intervention techniques for changing physical activity self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour- and are they the same? Health Educ Res. 2011;26(2):308–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Weiner B. Human Motivation. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston; 1980.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kerr NL, Seok D, Poulsen J, Harris D, Messé LM. Social ostracism and group motivation gain. European Journal of Social Psychology. 2008;38(4):736–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kerr NL, Seok DH. "… with a little help from my friends": Friendship, effort norms, and group motivation gain. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 2011;26(3):205–18.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Huffmeier J, Hertel G. When the whole is more than the sum of its parts: Motivation gains in the wild. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2011;47:455–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon C. Irwin
    • 1
  • Jennifer Scorniaenchi
    • 1
  • Norbert L. Kerr
    • 1
  • Joey C. Eisenmann
    • 1
  • Deborah L. Feltz
    • 1
  1. 1.KinesiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations