Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


College of Education




Scientific literature has indicated that academic performance improves in the same environment that it is learned in. This implies that memory depends on physical context cues, which refers to the physical surroundings in which an event occurs. No literature thus far has shown how environmental cues could relate to performance in terms of upper body muscular strength. The purpose of this study was to see how the environmental reinstatement effect affects upper body strength. It was hypothesized that participants would achieve a higher one rep max (1 RM) score in the location they are familiar with than the location they are unfamiliar with. Twenty university students (18-30 years old) were assessed in upper body strength using the 1 RM bench press test. Students were split into two groups, based on the location: Spragins Hall (SH) and the University Fitness Center (UFC). One session took place in their familiar location and the other in the nonfamiliar location, with one week apart. The order of testing location was randomized, and the best 1 RM score for the participant was recorded. There were no significant differences in the 1 RM score within the two locations (p = .897). However, both groups did achieve a higher average 1 RM score in their familiar location. Although the results were nonsignificant, this knowledge can help in professional and nonprofessional sports testing. This information allows us to be confident that upper body strength testing can be administered in a setting unfamiliar to the test takers, and it should not be detrimental to their score.



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