The current research draws on evolutionary and life history theory to understand social facilitation of human energy expenditure, and test predictions focused on when and for whom increases in energetic effort are more likely to occur. Two studies tested the premise that cues of mates and/or competitors for mates can modify perceptions of the socio-ecological context of energy expenditure, and thereby change short-term energetic effort and exercise motivation and self-efficacy. Tests of psychological and physiological mediators and moderators were performed. Results provide preliminary support for the utilization of evolutionary theory to understand social facilitation by demonstrating significant effects of primes on immediate performance in tests of muscular strength, and exercise motivation and self-efficacy, particularly among men. These findings may have implications for efforts to increase energy expenditure and exercise behavior.
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First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
evolution, energy exertion, social facilitation, testosterone, cortisol, motivation, self-efficacy
Caldwell Hooper, Ann E.. "An evolutionary approach to understanding social facilitation:Energy expenditure and exercise motivation." (2013). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/17