Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Intrinsic Motivation

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 The University of Western Ontario
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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 is now with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3G1. Craig R. Hall is with the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON Canada N6A 3K7.

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