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The Exercise Motivations Inventory and the Exercise Motives and Gains Inventory

The EMI-2

A common theme emerging from a variety of theoretical approaches to the problem of exercise adherence concerns the role of individuals' reasons for exercising (participation motives) in determining long-term adherence to regular physical activity. The EMI (Markland and Hardy, 1993) was developed as a means of assessing participation motives in order to examine such issues as the influence of motives on exercise participation, how such motives might influence the choice of activities undertaken, how affective responses to exercising may be influenced by reasons for exercising and how involvement in physical activity might have a reciprocal influence on participation motives. In particular, the authors developed the instrument to examine questions concerning the functional significance of exercise motives from the perspective of Deci and Ryan's (1985) self-determination theory.

The development and initial assessment of the reliability and validity of the original EMI are described in Markland & Hardy (1993). The current version of the instrument (EMI-2) was developed to address problems identified with the original and to make it applicable to both exercisers and non-exercisers. The EMI-2 comprises fourteen subscales. The factorial validity and invariance of the factor structure across gender were rigorously tested using confirmatory factor analytic procedures (Markland and Ingledew, 1997). The invariance of the factor structure across exercisers and non-exercisers has been tested and found to hold up well for both populations (unpublished).

The Exercise Motives and Gains Inventory (EMGI)

Whilst there has been a considerable amount of research on the role of exercise motives (what people want from exercise), the role of perceived exercise gains (what people feel they get from exercise) has until now been ignored. We have recently developed an extension to the EMI-2 to redress this imbalance and to provide a means of addressing questions about the possible benefits of motive fulfilment and the consequences of not having one's motives fulfilled. The EMGI comprises a set of scales that complement the EMI-2 scales with gain items corresponding to the EMI-2 motive items. Initial evidence supports the psychometric properties of the EMGI and the distinction between motive and gain items (manuscript currently under review). In a recent study, we found that gains can moderate the effects of motives on controlled and autonomous self-regulation for exercise (Ingledew, Markland and Strömmer, 2013).

Using the EMI-2 and EMGI

The EMI-2 has attracted considerable attention from researchers around the world. To the author's knowledge it has been translated into a number of other languages, some of which are available here (see EMI-2 other language versions). Researchers and students are welcome to use the EMI-2 and EMGI. There is no need to ask my permission. The instruments and scoring keys can be downloaded from the menu on the left.


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