No pain no gain? Examining the generalizability of the exerciser stereotype to moderately active and excessively active targets

Kathleen A. Martin Ginis1, Amy E. Latimer1, Mary E. Jung1
1McMaster University, Canada
Cite this article:  Martin Ginis, K. A., Latimer, A. E., & Jung, M. E. (2003). No pain no gain? Examining the generalizability of the exerciser stereotype to moderately active and excessively active targets. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31(3), 283-290.

Volume 31 Issue 3 | e1247 | Published: May 2003 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2003.31.3.283

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This study examined whether the exerciser stereotype extends to moderately and excessively active individuals, and if the rater's self-described exercise status moderates the effect. Using a 2 (exercise status) x 5 (target type) design, 456 participants read a description of a typical exerciser, a nonexerciser, an active-living target, an excessive exerciser, or a control target and rated her on 12 personality and 8 physical dimensions. MANOVAs revealed a significant main effect for target type on both personality and physical dimensions (ps < .05). For most of the personality attributes, the exerciser and active-living target were rated more favorably than were the excessive exerciser, nonexerciser and control. For the physical attributes, the typical exerciser, active-living target and excessive exerciser were rated more highly than were the nonexerciser and control. The exercise status x target type interaction was significant for only three physical dimensions. Overall, results indicate that the exerciser stereotype exists regardless of the rater's exercise status and can generalize to different levels of physical activity.
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