Music and Exercise: Does Creating An Expectancy of Enjoyment Increase Reported Enjoyment?

James Robert Whitehead, Andrew Knight
2.659 758


Many exercisers listen to their favorite music during their workouts, and this has been shown to increase exercise enjoyment and decrease perceptions of exercise exertion.  This study investigated whether suggestion of increased enjoyment from using music would create an expectancy effect that would, in turn, influence actual reported enjoyment of an exercise session. Participants (N=69) intending to voluntarily exercise at a college wellness center while listening to self-chosen music were invited to participate in the study.  All participants were asked to volunteer to fill in an exercise enjoyment scale after their session, but using a simple randomized experimental design in a field setting, expectancy of exercise enjoyment was manipulated by telling half of them that their choice of music was already known to improve exercise enjoyment before they began their workouts.  There was a significant effect (p < .05) on reported exercise enjoyment with the experimental group scoring higher (ES = .48) on the modified PACES scale.  This preliminary study indicates creating expectancy can influence the effect of music on reported exercise enjoyment. This effect might have measurement implications for future research and possible practical implications for the promotion of physical activity for health and wellness reasons.


Exercise; enjoyment; music, PACES; expectancy effect

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