Personality traits moderate the relationships between psychological needs and enjoyment of physical activity

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


One of the most important factors of maintaining regular and long-term physical activity is the enjoyment an individual experiences from engaging in the activity. If basic psychological needs are fulfilled, the likelihood that someone enjoys being physically active increases. However, it is unclear whether the impact of psychological needs is influenced by personality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if personality traits (BIG 5) moderate the relationships between basic psychological needs and enjoyment of physical activity. We conducted an online survey with N = 399 participants (M age = 35.82 years). Physical activity enjoyment, basic psychological needs (autonomy, perceived competence, social relatedness), and the BIG 5 were assessed. Analyses show that personality moderates the relationships between psychological needs and enjoyment of physical activity: Extraversion moderates the relationship between social relatedness and enjoyment, conscientiousness and neuroticism moderate the relationship between perceived competence and enjoyment, and agreeableness, but not openness, moderates the relationship between autonomy and enjoyment. Our findings suggest that the BIG 5 play an important role regarding the experience of physical activity enjoyment. Therefore, personality should be considered to design interventions more tailored to individual needs in order to promote enjoyment of physical activity effectively.

ZeitschriftPsychology of Sport and Exercise
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.07.2022

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