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.
Kathleen A. Martin and Craig R. Hall
Robert L. Woolfolk, Shane M. Murphy, David Gottesfeld, and David Aitken
An investigation was carried out concerning the effect of imagery instructions on a simple motor skill accuracy task (putting a golf ball). Male college students (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of six experimental conditions in a design that allowed the presence or absence of mental rehearsal of the physical movements involved in the task to be completely crossed with the imaginal depiction of task outcome (successful, unsuccessful, or no outcome component). A significant outcome by trials interaction was found on task performance. This finding reflected the degradation of performance in the conditions employing negative outcome imagery rather than any enhancement of performance by positive outcome imagery. Self-efficacy was found to be correlated with performance, but this association seemed to be a by-product of the strong relationships between these variables and performance on the previous trial. Results are discussed in relation to the existing literature, and future research directions are delineated.