Sport-related differences in type and amount of mental imagery use by athletes

  • Kevin A Whitehead School of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, Republic of South Africa
  • Clive J Basson School of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, Republic of South Africa
Keywords: Mental imagery, Sport, Differences, Athletes

Abstract

This study investigated differences between athletes of different sport types in the amount type of mental imagery used. The theoretical framework for the study was provided by Paivio's (1985) Analytic Framework of Imagery Effects, and Martin et al.'s (1999) applied model of mental imagery use in sport. A sample of 120 university club athletes from team contact and non-contact sports (rugby and softball respectively), and individual contact and non-contact sports (karate and squash respectively) was used. Each participant completed the Sport Imagery Questionnaire (Hall et al., 1998), a self-report measure of amount and type of mental imagery used, the Vividness of Movement Imagery uestionnaire (Isaac et al., 1986), a measure of mental imagery ability, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. A number of differences between participants from the different sport types emerged from the analysis of the data. The study also provided evidence of the role of mental imagery ability and social desirability in reported use of mental imagery. The findings are discussed with reference to the existing literature on the use of mental imagery in sport and implications for the practice of sport psychology.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 27(2) 2005: 159-174
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Articles

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print ISSN: 0379-9069