Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Janice Steirn


This study sought to determine whether a relationship exists between acute aerobic exercise, at moderate intensity, and self-disclosure due to a positive change in affect. Participants took a pre-test measure of mood, and the Exercise Group exercised for 25 minutes afterwards. The remaining participants, the Non-exercise Group, sat in the same room while the others exercised. The Non-exercise Group was told that they would exercise next, when really they would not. After the Experimental Group finished exercising, all participants took a post-test measure of mood as well as a measure of self-disclosure. Results showed that overall mood improved for those who exercised with a significant increase in positive mood from pre-test to post-test, but a nonsignificant decrease in negative mood. Self-disclosure was measured by intimacy, abstractness, and valance. Because there was no pre-test measure of self-disclosure, the Non-exercise and Exercise Groups were compared on only a post-test measure of self-disclosure. In comparison to the Non-exercise Group, average self-disclosure scores were significantly higher for the Exercise Group. However, the only component of self-disclosure that was significantly different between groups was intimacy. The Exercise Group showed significantly higher levels of intimacy than the Non-exercise Group. Furthermore, increase in positive mood and levels of intimacy were positively correlated, revealing that exercise increased self-disclosure as a function of an increase in positive affect.