Several years ago Collins and Hale (1997) commented on nonrigorous experimental designs and procedures which typified published research examining the psychophysiology of the imagery process. Conceptual, methodological, and analytical guidelines were offered to improve the quality of future research undertakings. While Slade, Landers, and Martin (2002) have followed some of these suggestions, their recent imagery study examining the “mirror hypothesis” and a theory-expectancy hypothesis with EMG recordings still appears to have some conceptual inconsistencies, methodological flaws, and analytical weaknesses that make their conclusions ambiguous. These concerns are identified, and more suggestions for improved designs are given, in another attempt to improve the quality of the scientific research undertaken in sport psychophysiology.
Bruce Hale, Paul Holmes, Dave Smith, Neil Fowler and Dave Collins
Brian D. Seiler, Eva V. Monsma and Roger D. Newman-Norlund
This study extended motor imagery theories by establishing specificity and verification of expected brain activation patterns during imagery. Eighteen female participants screened with the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3 (MIQ-3) as having good imagery abilities were scanned to determine the neural networks active during an arm rotation task. Four experimental conditions (i.e., KINESTHETIC, INTERNAL Perspective, EXTERNAL Perspective, and REST) were randomly presented (counterbalanced for condition) during three brain scans. Behaviorally, moderate interscale correlations were found between the MIQ-3 and Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire-2, indicating relatedness between the questionnaires. Partially confirming our hypotheses, common and distinct brain activity provides initial biological validation for imagery abilities delineated in the MIQ-3: kinesthetic imagery activated motor-related areas, internal visual imagery activated inferior parietal lobule, and external visual imagery activated temporal, but no occipital areas. Lastly, inconsistent neuroanatomical intraindividual differences per condition were found. These findings relative to recent biological evidence of imagery abilities are highlighted.
Kathleen A. Martin and Craig R. Hall
It was hypothesized that subjects who used mental imagery would spend more time practicing a golf putting task and would have higher task specific self-efficacy than control subjects. Thirty-nine absolute beginner golfers were randomly assigned to either an imagery treatment condition (performance plus outcome imagery or performance imagery) or a no imagery (control) condition. During the first three sessions all subjects were taught how to putt a golf ball. Imagery treatment subjects also participated in an imagery training program designed specifically for the golf putting task. For the final three sessions, subjects were told that the emphasis of the study was on performance. Subjects in the performance imagery group spent significantly more time practicing the golf putting task than subjects in the control group. Subjects who used imagery also set higher goals for themselves, had more realistic self-expectations, and adhered more to their training programs outside of the laboratory.
Paul R. Surburg
This article provides insights into the use of imagery procedures with special populations. After an overview of various imagery techniques that have been used to enhance motor performance with normal persons, studies dealing with the elderly, brain and spinal cord injuries, neoplasms, and persons with mental handicaps are discussed. Issues are addressed concerning the use of imagery techniques by the researcher and practitioner. The final section of this paper deals with possible applications of imagery techniques with special populations.
Kate A.T. Eddy and Stephen D. Mellalieu
The purpose of this study was to investigate imagery experiences in performers with visual impairments. Structured, in-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with six elite goalball athletes regarding the processing and use of mental images in training and competition. Interview transcripts were analyzed using deductive and inductive procedures and revealed four general dimensions describing the athletes’ uses of imagery. Participants reported using imagery for cognitive and motivational purposes in both training and competition. Imagery was also suggested to be utilized from an internal perspective with the processing of images derived from a range of modalities. The findings suggest that visual impairment does not restrict the ability to use mental imagery and that psychological interventions can be expanded to include the use of all the athletes’ sensory modalities.
Sarah E. Williams, Jennifer Cumming, Nikos Ntoumanis, Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Richard Ramsey and Craig Hall
This research validated and extended the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised (MIQ-R; Hall & Martin, 1997). Study 1 (N = 400) examined the MIQ-R’s factor structure via multitrait-multimethod confirmatory factor analysis. The questionnaire was then modified in Study 2 (N = 370) to separately assess the ease of imaging external visual imagery and internal visual imagery, as well as kinesthetic imagery (termed the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3; MIQ-3). Both Studies 1 and 2 found that a correlated-traits correlated-uniqueness model provided the best fit to the data, while displaying gender invariance and no significant differences in latent mean scores across gender. Study 3 (N = 97) demonstrated the MIQ-3’s predictive validity revealing the relationships between imagery ability and observational learning use. Findings highlight the method effects that occur by assessing each type of imagery ability using the same four movements and demonstrate that better imagers report greater use of observational learning.
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways and Lucinda Sharp
The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; M age = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.
Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, David Markland and Joy Bringer
The purpose of this research was to amend the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ; Isaac, Marks, & Russell, 1986) in line with contemporary imagery modality and perspective conceptualizations, and to test the validity of the amended questionnaire (i.e., the VMIQ-2). Study 1 had 351 athletes complete the 3-factor (internal visual imagery, external visual imagery, and kinesthetic imagery) 24-item VMIQ-2. Following single-factor confirmatory factor analyses and item deletion, a 12-item version was subject to correlated traits / correlated uniqueness (CTCU) analysis. An acceptable fit was revealed. Study 2 used a different sample of 355 athletes. The CTCU analysis confirmed the factorial validity of the 12-item VMIQ-2. In Study 3, the concurrent and construct validity of the VMIQ-2 was supported. Taken together, the results of the 3 studies provide preliminary support for the revised VMIQ-2 as a psychometrically valid questionnaire.
Paul R. Surburg, David L. Porretta and Vins Sutlive
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of imagery practice as supplementary practice in the performance of a throwing task. A secondary purpose was to ascertain if different cognitive demands of a motor task affected the use of this supplementary practice. Forty adolescents with mild mental retardation were randomly assigned to the following groups: low cognitive loading-physical practice, low cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice, high cognitive loading-physical practice, high cognitive loading-imagery and physical practice. Subjects engaged in seven practice sessions during which performance scores of a throwing task were recorded. Groups supplemented with imagery practice were superior in performance to nonimagery groups. A higher cognitive loading of the task did not enhance the use of this type of supplementary practice more than a lower loading. The results of this study reflect the efficacy of imagery practice as a means to improve motor performance of students with mild mental retardation.
Dave Smith and Paul Holmes
This study examined the effect of various imagery modalities on golf putting performance. Forty experienced male golfers were randomly assigned to one of four groups. A “written script” group received a personalized, response proposition-laden script. Participants in the audio and video groups either listened to an audiotape or watched an internal-perspective videotape of themselves putting. Control participants spent an equivalent amount of time reading golf literature. Each participant completed a 15-ball putting task twice a week for 6 weeks and also performed his imagery or reading daily during this period. Pretests revealed no significant differences in performance. Posttests, however, showed that the video and audio groups performed significantly better than the written script and control groups. This indicates that the form in which an imagery intervention is delivered can have a significant impact on its performance effectiveness.