Conscientiousness is associated with improvement in visuospatial working memory and mood following acute physical exercise: A randomized controlled trial

Odelia Elkana, Nina Yaara Krueger Bustanai, Rona Louzia-Timen, Einat Kodesh, Motty Franco, Glen M. Doniger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In recent years, there has been heightened interest in the short-term effects of physical exercise on cognition and mood state. However, personality traits that may account for individual differences have not been studied. Aim: To investigate whether conscientiousness is associated with improvement in visuospatial working memory (VS-WM) and mood following acute physical exercise. Method: 69 healthy young adults (M = 25.9, SD = 3.17) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: acute physical exercise; resting control. All completed the Big-5, Profile of Mood States (POMS), and a computerized standardized cognitive battery in Hebrew. The acute physical exercise was a 15-minute moderate-intensity (60% of predicted maximal heart rate) cycle ergometer test. After a 5-minute rest participants completed the POMS again and an alternate form of the computerized battery. Results: Multiple regression yielded a significant interaction between conscientiousness and group on VS-WM (p = 0.037) and on positive mood (p = 0.02). Simple slope analysis revealed strong positive correlations in the acute physical exercise group between conscientiousness and VS-WM (p < 0.001), and between conscientiousness and positive mood (p < 0.001), respectively. No correlations were found in the control group. The main effect of group was significant for positive mood (p < 0.001) but not for VS-WM (p = 0.14). Conclusions: Individuals who are relatively more conscientious demonstrate better cognitive function and more positive mood following acute physical exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume132
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Acute physical exercise
  • Big 5
  • Cognitive improvement
  • Conscientiousness
  • Individual differences
  • Mood state
  • Profile of Mood States (POMS)
  • Visuospatial working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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