Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fear is stronger motivator to get fit than hope for those worrying about their bodies

28.11.2007
Fear of looking unattractive can be a stronger motivation for keeping people going to the gym than the hope of looking good, a study says.

Researchers at the University of Bath, UK, interviewed 281 male and female undergraduates and got half to imagine a physically unattractive version of themselves they feared they might turn into.

They then asked this group to either imagine a scenario in which they dramatically failed to keep to a fitness programme or one in which they dramatically succeeded.

The researchers found that those who had been asked to think about a dramatic failure to keep to the programme were motivated to keep on training because they were fearful of not looking good.

Those who were asked to imagine they were succeeding in getting fit became less motivated to continue at the gym because they no longer had this fear of not looking good.

The findings reveal why marketing works or doesn’t work for some products like gyms to get a better body or cosmetics to reduce wrinkles. The study shows that fear of failure motivates people more than gaining some success, which demotivates them. This fear of failure is particularly strong when people feel they can already see signs of the feared self they are striving to avoid.

“How consumers see themselves in the future has a strong effect on how motivated they are to keep using a product or service,” said Professor Brett Martin, of the University of Bath’s School of Management, who carried out the study with Dr Rana Sobh of Qatar University.

“When people dwell on a negative future, fear motivates them, yet as they move away from their feared state – a flabby body, or a wrinkled skin – they become less motivated.

“At that point, marketers should take advantage of another insight of our study - that of motivating people with a more positive outlook.”

Professor Martin found that among those who were asked to think positively about their bodies – the other half of the 281 surveyed - being successful in keeping to the fitness programme made them even keener to keep going to the gym. Failing to keep to the programme demotivated them.

“Once someone moves away from their “feared self” – in this case an unattractive body - because they are successful in the gym, they lose motivation, so highlighting thoughts of being unattractive is unlikely to work,” said Professor Martin, part of the School’s Marketing Group.

“But at that point, as they become more positive in their outlook, good marketing will build on this and suggest they can do even better. That type of motivation works for those with a positive outlook.

“However marketers should also be aware that those who are thinking positively will become discouraged if they don’t see success.”

Professor Martin and Dr Sobh have devised performance measures to ensure marketers achieve the optimal balance in their communications with consumers and keep them motivated.

The 281 undergraduates were in surveyed in Bath and 62 per cent were gym users.

Professor Martin and Dr Sobh found that 85 per cent of those who wanted to avoid a feared unattractive self responded to a scenario where they were failing in the gym by wanting to press on, compared with 65 per cent who were succeeding in the gym who were motivated to continue.

They found that 91 per cent of those thinking positively about their bodies responded to a scenario where they were succeeding in the gym by wanting to press on, compared with just 57 per cent of people who were failing in the gym and wanted to go on.

Tony Trueman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2007/11/27/gym-fear.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>