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.
Alyson B. Harding, Nancy W. Glynn, Stephanie A. Studenski, Philippa J. Clarke, Ayushi A. Divecha and Andrea L. Rosso
are labor intensive. With the increasing availability of free digital satellite and omnidirectional imagery, many studies now conduct virtual audits. Interrater reliability between virtual and field audits shows substantial to near perfect agreement for most audited items, suggesting that virtual
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lew Hardy and Nichola Callow
Three experiments examined the relative efficacy of different imagery perspectives on the performance of tasks in which form was important. In Experiment 1,25 experienced karateists learned a new kata using either external or internal visual imagery or stretching. Results indicated that external visual imagery was significantly more effective than internal visual imagery, which was significantly more effective than stretching. In Experiment 2, 40 sport science students learned a simple gymnastics floor routine under one of four conditions: external or internal visual imagery with or without kinesthetic imagery. Results revealed a significant main effect for visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) but no effect for kinesthetic imagery. Experiment 3 employed the same paradigm as Experiment 2 but with high-ability rock climbers performing difficult boulder problems. Results showed significant main effects for both visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) and kinesthetic imagery. The findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive processes that might underlie imagery effects.
Sian L. Beilock, James A. Afremow, Amy L. Rabe and Thomas H. Carr
The present study examined the impact of suppressive imagery (i.e., trying to avoid a particular error), the frequency of this suppression, and attempts to replace negative error-ridden images with positive ones on golf putting performance. Novice golfers (N = 126) were assigned to a no-imagery control group or to 1 of 6 groups in a 3 × 2 design, with imagery type (positive, suppression, suppression-replacement) and imagery frequency (before every putt, before every third putt) as factors. Results showed that the accuracy of the positive imagery group improved across imaging blocks—regardless of imagery frequency. The suppression and suppression-replacement imagery groups’ accuracy improved when imaging before every third putt, yet declined when imaging before every putt. These findings suggest that frequent application of suppressive imagery hurts performance and that attempting to replace negative images with corrective ones does not ameliorate the damage.