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Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Aug;16:84-88. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.03.018. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

People have feelings! Exercise psychology in paradigmatic transition.

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Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, USA. Electronic address:


Exercise psychology has yet to produce intervention methods capable of increasing exercise and physical activity behavior in a sustainable manner. This situation is forcing a critical reevaluation of current conceptual models, especially the assumption that behavioral decisions are driven solely by the rational evaluation of information. Like other behavioral sciences, exercise psychology is transitioning to dual-process models that acknowledge the importance of non-reflective processes. Emerging evidence suggests that the pleasure or displeasure experienced during exercise may influence subsequent physical activity. These data raise the possibility of inactivity resulting from a conflict between positively evaluated information on health benefits and unpleasant affective experiences. Thus, researchers must devise methods to make exercise and physical activity more pleasant and enjoyable across the lifespan.

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