Measuring implicit attitudes for exercise in older adults with chronic lung diseases: A feasibility study


Purpose: This research aims to determine the feasibility of the Go/No-go Association Task (GNAT) as an effective measurement of implicit attitudes for exercise in older adults with chronic lung disease. The GNAT is a paced computer response task, with typical response deadlines between 500 and 1000 milliseconds (ms), which may be too fast for older adults. Method: Sixteen regular exercisers who graduated from a pulmonary rehabilitation program (Mage=72) completed the GNAT (n=8 at 1000ms response deadline, n=8 at 1500ms response deadline) and a questionnaire assessing outcome expectations for exercise. Results: Examination of error rates and response times found that participants with the 1000ms response deadline timed out more frequently and were less able to inhibit responses on the no-go trials (where correct response is no response) than participants with the 1500ms response deadline. A repeated measures ANOVA showed a trend towards positive implicit attitudes for exercise for the 1500ms response deadline, p = .06, ?p2= .41, and no effect of implicit attitudes for the 1000ms response deadline, p = .46, ?p2= .07. Implicit attitudes were correlated to the likelihood and desirability of enjoyment, health, and appearance outcomes (r's .30 to .77). Conclusion: Less timing out during response periods, better response inhibition, and generation of viable implicit attitude scores suggests the 1500ms response deadline is more suitable than the 1000ms response deadline in older people with chronic lung diseases. Planned future research will compare these results to a healthy aged-matched sample to discern age-related from disease-related differences in response times.