Effect of mental imagery on performance

Eric Dyer, The College of Wooster


The effect of mental imagery on performance was examined. Two imagery types were investigated and compared: outcome and process. Twenty-nine students from the College of Wooster were recruited and randomly assigned to two groups: an outcome imagery group and a process imagery group. Participants were asked to fill out the Vividness of Mental Imagery Questionnaire (Marks, 1973) and the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire-2 (Roberts, Bringer, Callow, Hardy, & Markland, 2008). Then participants were asked to perform a bean bag tossing task, in this case the game of Cornhole, to get a baseline score, then a mental imagery intervention was put in place, and another performance of bean-bag tossing was done to get a post-test score. Results showed no significant difference in pre and posttest scores within each group. There was also no significant difference in average posttest score between groups. Limitations to the study that may have contributed to insignificant results are discussed, including suggestions to improve the study and future research to gain a better understanding towards the type of mental imagery that can be most effective in mental imagery interventions.