Mirror, mirror on the wall . . . Exercise environment influences on self-efficacy

Jeffrey A. Katula, Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko, Susan M. Bane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present study was to examine whether exercise environments of differing evaluative potential influence exercise self-efficacy and the degree to which physiological, social, and cognitive variables contribute to the variation in that efficacy. We manipulated the exercise environment by having participants exercise under three conditions: (a) a standard laboratory condition, (b) in the same laboratory but in front of a full-length mirror, and (c) in an exercise location of the participant's choice. A significant interaction effect of sex and condition on exercise self-efficacy was found. Simple effects analyses indicated that women's efficacy expectations relative to exercise significantly declined in the mirror condition compared to the men. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that exercise history, gender, aerobic power, social physique anxiety, and physical self-efficacy significantly predicted exercise self-efficacy in the mirror condition but not the laboratory or natural conditions. These findings are discussed from a self-presentation and self-awareness perspective and the effects of evaluative exercise environments on self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Behavior and Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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