Date of Award

Fall 12-10-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jeffery Snarr

Second Advisor

Marcie Desrochers

Third Advisor

Laurel McNall

Abstract

Obesity rates across college campuses are rising. Health habits, such as exercise, acquired during the college years tend to carry on through the rest of an individual’s life. The purpose of the current study is to identify the effects of positive reinforcement on success in exercise adherence for individuals displaying extraverted and neurotic personality traits. 16 volunteer participants ranging in age from 18-25 years from the College at Brockport were recruited. They completed surveys measuring behavior stages of change, exercise barriers/benefits and personality type. Participants then recorded exercise habits over an eight week period. Four of these eight weeks included positive reinforcement in the form of verbal praise for recorded exercise behavior as well as entry into weekly drawings for money. Analyses of main effects and interactions between personality type, positive reinforcement, and exercise behavior were calculated. Results indicated a significant increase in benefit scores following completion of the study. It is possible that by participating in the study, individuals were able to notice the benefits of regular exercise.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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