Analysis of the affect measurement conundrum in exercise psychology. III. A conceptual and methodological critique of the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Steven J. Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Background and purpose. The general purpose of this series is to examine the controversy that surrounds the measurement of affect in the context of acute exercise. The present paper focuses on the conceptual underpinnings and the methodological steps that were followed in the development of an increasingly popular measure, namely the Subjective Exercise Experiences Scale (SEES) (J Sport Exercise Psychol, 16 (1994) 163). Emphasis is placed on how conceptual ambiguities may influence methodological decisions and, ultimately, the content and structure of a measure. Methods. From a conceptual standpoint, attention is given to the delineation and demarcation of the content domain of the scale, the decision to adopt a dimensional conceptualization of affect, the notion of 'subjective experiences unique to exercise', and, mainly, whether positive and negative affect are independent constructs or the opposite ends of a single bipolar dimension. From a methodological standpoint, the analysis focuses on the process of item selection and content validation, and the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results and conclusions. Conceptual and empirical evidence is reviewed suggesting that: (a) there is ambiguity regarding the nature and the limits of the content domain of the SEES; (b) the notion of 'subjective experiences unique to exercise' presents considerable logical problems; and (c) positive and negative affect are not necessarily independent constructs. In conclusion, the analysis underscores the importance of conceptual groundwork and clarity as prerequisites for methodological implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-232
Number of pages28
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2001

Keywords

  • Bipolarity
  • Independence
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect
  • Structure of affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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