Effect of pretesting on intentions and behaviour: A pedometer and walking intervention

John C. Spence, Jenny Burgess, Wendy Rodgers, Terra Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    This study addressed the influence of pedometers and a pretest on walking intentions and behaviour. Using a Solomon four-group design, 63 female university students were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: pedometer and pretest (n=16), pedometer and no pretest (n=16), no pedometer and pretest (n=15), no pedometer and no pretest (n=16). The pretest conditions included questions on walking, intentions to walk 12,500 steps per day, and self-efficacy for walking 12,500 steps per day. In the pedometer conditions a Yamax Digi-Walker SW-650 pedometer was worn for one week. All participants completed posttest questions. While significant pretest x pedometer interactions would have indicated the presence of pretest sensitisation, no such interactions were observed for either intention or self-reported walking. Wearing pedometers reduced intentions for future walking and coping self-efficacy. However, after controlling for pretest self-reported walking, pedometer use resulted in more self-reported walking. We conclude that wearing a pedometer increased self-reported walking behaviour but that a pretest did not differentially influence walking intentions, behaviour, or self-efficacy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)777-789
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychology and Health
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Sep. 2009


    • Pedometers
    • Physical activity
    • Pretest sensitisation
    • Social cognitive theories
    • Walking


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