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You can download the formatted version of the Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire (PRETIE-Q) in PDF from this link

The individual-difference variables of (a) Preference for exercise intensity and (b) Tolerance of exercise intensity are theorized to be related to the sensory modulation of exercise-induced, intensity-related stimulation. 

Preference for exercise intensity is defined as "a predisposition to select a particular level of exercise intensity when given the opportunity (e.g., when engaging in self-selected or unsupervised exercise)" (Ekkekakis et al., 2005, p. 354). Tolerance of exercise intensity is defined as "a trait that influences one’s ability to continue exercising at an imposed level of intensity even when the activity becomes uncomfortable or unpleasant" (Ekkekakis et al., 2005, p. 354). 

Accordingly, the PRETIE-Q gives 2 scores. One is the Preference score and the other is the Tolerance score. The 8 odd-numbered items are Tolerance items (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15), whereas the 8 even-numbered items (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14,16) are Preference items.

However, half of the Preference items (2, 4, 8, 12) measure LOW Preference and half of the Tolerance items (1, 3, 9, 13) measure LOW Tolerance. These items need to be reverse-scored. This means that a higher score on these items should count as a lower score for Preference/Tolerance and vice versa. So...

  • a score of 1 should be counted as a 5
  • a score of 2 should be counted as a 4
  • a score of 3 should be counted as a 3
  • a score of 4 should be counted as a 2
  • a score of 5 should be counted as a 1


Then, you simply add the reverse-scored and directly scored items together and get the score for the whole factor. If you use SPSS to do the scoring, you can run this script to do it automatically (assuming that the 16 PRETIE-Q items are named PT1 through PT16).

pt1 pt2 pt3 pt4 pt8 pt9 pt12 pt13
(1=5) (2=4) (3=3) (4=2) (5=1).

COMPUTE pref = pt2 + pt4 + pt6 + pt8 +pt10 + pt12 + pt14 + pt16.
COMPUTE tol = pt1 + pt3 + pt5 + pt7 + pt9 + pt11 + pt13 + pt15.

Ηere are the articles on the PRETIE-Q that we have published so far (and links to PDF copies).


Ekkekakis, P., Hall, E.E., & Petruzzello, S.J. (2005). Some like it vigorous: Individual differences in the preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 27(3), 350-374. [PDF]



Ekkekakis, P., Thome, J., Hall, E.E., & Petruzzello, S.J. (2008). The Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire: A psychometric evaluation among college women. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(5), 499-510. [PDF]


Hall, E.E., Petruzzello, S.J., Ekkekakis, P., Miller, P.C., & Bixby, W.R. (2014). The role of self-reported individual differences in preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity in fitness-testing performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(9), 2443-2451. [PDF]



Ekkekakis, P., Lind, E., & Joens-Matre, R.R. (2006). Can self-reported preference for exercise intensity predict physiologically defined self-selected exercise intensity? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77(1), 81-90. [PDF]



Ekkekakis, P., Lind, E., Hall, E.E., & Petruzzello, S.J. (2007). Can self-reported tolerance of exercise intensity play a role in exercise testing? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(7), 1193-1199. [PDF]



Smirmaul, B.P.C., Ekkekakis, P., Teixeira, I.P., Nakamura, P.M., & Kokubun, E. (2015). Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire: Brazilian Portuguese version. Brazilian Journal of Kinanthropometry and Human Performance, 17(5), 550-564. [PDF]



Teixeira, D., Ekkekakis, P., Andrade, A., Rodrigues, F., Evmenenko, A., Faria, J., Marques, P., Cid, L., & Monteiro, D. (in press). Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire (PRETIE-Q): Validity, reliability and gender invariance in Portuguese health club exercisers. Current Psychology. [DOI]



  1. Teixeira, D. S., Rodrigues, F., Machado, S., Cid, L., & Monteiro, D. (2021). Did you enjoy it? The role of intensity-trait preference/tolerance in basic psychological needs and exercise enjoyment. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 682480. [DOI]
  2. Epstein, L. H., O’Donnell, S., Biondolillo, M. J., Hostler, D., & Roemmich, J. N. (2021). Comparing the reinforcing value of high intensity interval training versus moderate intensity aerobic exercise in sedentary adults. Physiology & Behavior, 238, Article 113468. [DOI]
  3. Carlier, M., & Delevoye-Turrell, Y. N. (2022). The cognitive load of physical activity in individuals with high and low tolerance to effort: An ecological paradigm to contrast stepping on the spot and stepping through space. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 58, Article 102076. [DOI]
  4. Patterson, M.S., Heinrich, K.M., Prochnow, T., Graves-Boswell, T., & Spadine, M.N. (2020). Network analysis of the social environment relative to preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity in Crossfit gyms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 8370. [DOI]
  5. Box, A.G., Petruzzello, S.J. (2020). Why do they do it? Differences in high-intensity exercise-affect between those with higher and lower intensity preference and tolerance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 47, 101521. [DOI]
  6. Flack, K. D., Ufholz, K., Johnson, L., & Roemmich, J. N. (2019). Increasing the reinforcing value of exercise in overweight adults. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, Article 265. [DOI]
  7. Bradley, C., Niven, A., & Phillips, S.M. (2019). Self-reported tolerance of the intensity of exercise influences affective responses to and intentions to engage with high-intensity interval exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences,  37(13), 1472-1480. [DOI]
  8. Jones, L., & Ekkekakis, P. (2019). Affect and prefrontal hemodynamics during exercise under immersive audiovisual stimulation. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 8(4), 325-338. [DOI]
  9. Flack, K., Pankey, C., Ufholz, K., Johnson, L., & Roemmich, J.N. (2019). Genetic variations in the dopamine reward system influence exercise reinforcement and tolerance for exercise intensity. Behavioural Brain Research, 375, 112148. [DOI]
  10. Jones, L., Hutchinson, J.C., & Mullin, E.M. (2018). In the zone: An exploration of personal characteristics underlying affective responses to heavy exercise. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 40(5), 249-258. [DOI]
  11. Overstreet, B. S., & Strohacker, K. (2018). Variability in intensity related to increased overall bout intensity. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(2), 12–20. [DOI]
  12. Flack, K.D., Johnson, L.A., & Roemmich, J.N. (2017). Aerobic and resistance exercise reinforcement and discomfort tolerance predict meeting activity guidelines. Physiology and Behavior, 170, 32-36. [DOI]
  13. Carlier, M., & Delevoye-Turrell, Y. (2017). Tolerance to exercise intensity modulates pleasure when exercising in music: The upsides of acoustic energy for High Tolerant individuals. PLoS ONE, 12(3), e0170383. [DOI]
  14. Tempest, G., & Parfitt, G. (2016). Self-reported tolerance influences prefrontal cortex hemodynamics and affective responses. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 16(1), 63-71. [DOI]
  15. Smith, A. E., Eston, R., Tempest, G. D., Norton, B., & Parfitt, G. (2015). Patterning of physiological and affective responses in older active adults during a maximal graded exercise test and self-selected exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology115(9), 1855–1866. [DOI]
  16. Baiamonte, B. A., Kraemer, R. R., Chabreck, C. N., Reynolds, M. L., McCaleb, K. M., Shaheen, G. L., & Hollander, D. B. (2017). Exercise-induced hypoalgesia: Pain tolerance, preference and tolerance for exercise intensity, and physiological correlates following dynamic circuit resistance exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences35(18), 1–7. [DOI]
  17. Schneider, M. L., & Graham, D. J. (2009). Personality, physical fitness, and affective response to exercise among adolescents. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise41(4), 947–955. [DOI]