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      Expectations affect psychological and neurophysiological benefits even after a single bout of exercise

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          Abstract

          The study investigated whether typical psychological, physiological, and neurophysiological changes from a single exercise are affected by one's beliefs and expectations. Seventy-six participants were randomly assigned to four groups and saw different multimedia presentations suggesting that the subsequent exercise (moderate 30 min cycling) would result in more or less health benefits (induced expectations). Additionally, we assessed habitual expectations reflecting previous experience and beliefs regarding exercise benefits. Participants with more positive habitual expectations consistently demonstrated both greater psychological benefits (more enjoyment, mood increase, and anxiety reduction) and greater increase of alpha-2 power, assessed with electroencephalography. Manipulating participants' expectations also resulted in largely greater increases of alpha-2 power, but not in more psychological exercise benefits. On the physiological level, participants decreased their blood pressure after exercising, but this was independent of their expectations. These results indicate that habitual expectations in particular affect exercise-induced psychological and neurophysiological changes in a self-fulfilling manner.

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          Most cited references 34

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          G*Power 3.1 (manual): A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences

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            A comprehensive review of the placebo effect: recent advances and current thought.

            Our understanding and conceptualization of the placebo effect has shifted in emphasis from a focus on the inert content of a physical placebo agent to the overall simulation of a therapeutic intervention. Research has identified many types of placebo responses driven by different mechanisms depending on the particular context wherein the placebo is given. Some placebo responses, such as analgesia, are initiated and maintained by expectations of symptom change and changes in motivation/emotions. Placebo factors have neurobiological underpinnings and actual effects on the brain and body. They are not just response biases. Other placebo responses result from less conscious processes, such as classical conditioning in the case of immune, hormonal, and respiratory functions. The demonstration of the involvement of placebo mechanisms in clinical trials and routine clinical practice has highlighted interesting considerations for clinical trial design and opened up opportunities for ethical enhancement of these mechanisms in clinical practice.
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              Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging.

              This research found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. This advantage remained after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness, and functional health were included as covariates. It was also found that this effect is partially mediated by will to live. The sample consisted of 660 individuals aged 50 and older who participated in a community-based survey, the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR). By matching the OLSAR to mortality data recently obtained from the National Death Index, the authors were able to conduct survival analyses. The findings suggest that the self-perceptions of stigmatized groups can influence longevity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Behavioral Medicine
                J Behav Med
                Springer Nature
                0160-7715
                1573-3521
                April 2017
                August 9 2016
                : 40
                : 2
                : 293-306
                Article
                10.1007/s10865-016-9781-3
                27506909
                © 2016

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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