2014 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 689-704
The present study was undertaken to argue that habit is a psychological construct, and that habit strength can be measured in terms of the psychological processes of habitual behavior. Two studies were conducted in an attempt to develop an Exercise Habit Strength scale (EHSS), and to examine its reliability and validity. In the first study, we used the original version of the EHSS (Grove and Zillich, 2003) translated into Japanese. Exploratory Factor Analysis using college student data revealed a factor structure of 4 components corresponding to the psychological processes in the original (Patterned action, Automaticity, Cue driven, Negative consequences if not done). Patterned action and Automaticity means the behavior is performed in a patterned and semi-automatic manner. Cue driven means increasing the extent to which the behavior is cued by specific stimuli in the environment. Negative consequences if not done means the development of negative psychological states if the behavior is not performed. The EHSS showed sufficient internal consistency and an acceptable test-retest reliability coefficient. In addition, the 4 factors model with 15 items was tested by confirmatory factor analysis. The results indicated a good fit between the model and the data, and the 4 factors model was accepted. The scale was demonstrated to be valid with moderately strong positive correlations between the composite index and several different dimensions of exercise behavior. The second study performed using data for middle-aged and older individuals supported the results of first study. The conceptualization and measurement of exercise habit in this study will aid further understanding of exercise behavior.