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The effects physical activity on social interactions: The case of trust and trustworthiness


  • Di Bartolomeo Giovanni
  • Papa Stefano


There is no doubt that physical activity improves health conditions; however, does it also affect the way people interact? Beyond the obvious effects related to team games or sharing common activities such as attending a gym, we wonder whether physical activity has in itself some effect on social behavior. Our research focuses on the potential effects of physical activity on trust and trustworthiness. Specifically, we compare the choices of subjects playing an investment game who were previously exposed to short-time physical activity to others who are not exposed to it, but involved in a different simple task. On average, we find that subjects exposed to physical activity exhibit more trust and pro-social behaviors than those who are not exposed. These effects are not temporary.

Suggested Citation

  • Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2016. "The effects physical activity on social interactions: The case of trust and trustworthiness," wp.comunite 00125, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:00125

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    Cited by:

    1. Cappelen, Alexander W & Charness, Gary & Ekström, Mathias & Gneezy, Uri & Tungodden, Bertil, 2017. "Exercise Improves Academic Performance," Working Paper Series 1180, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item


    physical activity; investment game; trust; trustworthiness; gender effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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