story by Claire Miller
Assistant Professor Kathryn Wilson received a $20,000 Cleon C. Arrington Research Initiation Grant (RIG) from Georgia State University to better understand how personality and perceptions about physical activity affect a person’s physical activity behavior.
“Theories of behavior change focus on behavior-related social cognitions as the main determinants of changing behavior. These are things like intention to be physically active, attitudes about physical activity, perceived behavioral control or self-efficacy for physical activity and perceived norms,” she explained. “If we can target these constructs in a way that aligns with personality differences, we may be able to maximize efforts to increase physical activity.”
Participants in Wilson’s research study will complete a personality survey and then record measurements of their physical activity and social cognitions at different times over a several-month period. Wilson will use this data to develop personality-based adaptations to current evidence-based approaches for improving physical activity levels.
“Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity-related illnesses,” Wilson said. “I hope to identify patterns of change that will inform the development of personality-based adaptations to current practice in physical activity.”
RIGs are awarded “to promote new research initiatives, primarily of early career faculty, that will result in external grant awards to continue that line of research,” according to the Georgia State University Research Services and Administration Office. To learn more, visit https://ursa.research.gsu.edu.