Measuring Athlete Imagery Ability: The Sport Imagery Ability Questionnaire

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Sarah E. Williams University of Birmingham

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Jennifer Cumming University of Birmingham

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This research aimed to develop and provide initial validation of the Sport Imagery Ability Questionnaire (SIAQ). The SIAQ assesses athletes’ ease of imaging different types of imagery content. Following an extensive pilot study, 375 athletes completed a 20-item SIAQ in Study 1. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 4-factor model assessing skill, strategy, goal, and affect imagery ability. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) established this 4-factor structure in Study 2 (N = 363 athletes). In Study 3 (N = 438 athletes), additional items were added to create a fifth mastery imagery subscale that was confirmed through CFA. Study 4 (N = 220 athletes) compared the SIAQ to the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3. Significant bivariate correlations (p < .05) confirmed the SIAQ’s concurrent validity but demonstrated differences in imagery ability of different content. Overall, the SIAQ demonstrates good factorial validity, internal and temporal reliability, invariance across gender, and an ability to distinguish among athletes of different competitive levels. Findings highlight the importance of separately assessing imagery ability of different content.

Sarah Elizabeth Williams and Jennifer Cumming are with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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