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When the future “spills under”: general self-efficacy moderates the influence of expected exercise on present intellectual performance

Krpan, Dario ORCID: 0000-0002-3420-4672, Galizzi, Matteo M. and Dolan, Paul (2021) When the future “spills under”: general self-efficacy moderates the influence of expected exercise on present intellectual performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12 (7). 1264 - 1273. ISSN 1948-5506

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Identification Number: 10.1177/19485506211018367

Abstract

We examined whether an expected future activity (exercise vs. relaxation) impacts a present behavior (performance on an intellectual task) that occurs prior to this activity. Across two experiments (n=320 and n=466), the influence of expected exercise compared to relaxation on present intellectual performance was moderated by general self-efficacy (GSE)—a core personality trait that determines people’s confidence that they can surmount physically or intellectually challenging activities. Participants high in GSE had better intellectual performance when they were expecting to exercise versus relax, whereas the effect reversed under low GSE. Moderated mediation analyses suggested that task-focused attention (i.e., participants’ level of focus while solving the intellectual task) accounted for a significant proportion of variance between the future activity (exercise vs. relaxation) and present intellectual performance across different GSE levels. These findings document a previously unexplored channel through which future expectations shape present outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/spp
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 13:42
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 04:13
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110331

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