Analysis of the affect measurement conundrum in exercise psychology: IV. A conceptual case for the affect circumplex

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Steven J. Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: In previous articles in this 4-part series, we presented an analysis of some of the main problems surrounding the measurement of affect in exercise psychology. The purpose of the present paper is to integrate this experience into a proposed solution by presenting arguments in support of the circumplex model of affect. Methods: The circumplex model is considered a suitable solution because (a) it targets the broadest concept in the affective hierarchy, namely basic affect, (b) as a dimensional model, it offers unparalleled breadth of scope and parsimony, (c) it is domain-general, thus not likely to produce assessments that are biased against or in favor of a certain treatment, and (d) it is based on specific conceptual postulates, thus allowing a deductive approach to measurement. The basic assumptions of the circumplex model are discussed, the available circumplex-based self-report measures are reviewed, and a series of applied studies in the context of acute exercise are summarized. Results and conclusions: Two important caveats are emphasized: (a) the measurement of the circumplex dimensions presents certain unique challenges which advances in statistical modeling should soon address and (b) the circumplex should not be seen as a panacea for all types of research contexts as its strength lies mainly in its parsimony, not its specificity. Provided that these points are taken into consideration, the circumplex model can offer a useful framework for conceptualizing and assessing the effects of acute exercise on the affective domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-63
Number of pages29
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


  • Affect
  • Circumplex
  • Dimensional models of affect
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the affect measurement conundrum in exercise psychology: IV. A conceptual case for the affect circumplex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this