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IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 26
IMAGERY
This lecture is a continuation of the topic we started in the last lecture, imagery. In this lecture we will be
discussing theories of why imagery works imagery perspective and sensory mode, and measurement of
imagery.
Theories Of Why Imagery Works
While a great deal of research has been published relative to the effectiveness of imagery and mental
practice in sport, sport psychologists know very little about the reasons they are effective or how the work.
Why should mentally practicing or imaging a physical task result in improved learning and performance? A
number of possible explanations to this basic question have been proposed (Hecker & Kaczor, 1988;
Janssen & Sheikh, 1994; Murphy & Jowdy, 1992). We will be discussing three theoretical explanations, they
are:
1. Psychoneuromuscular Theory
2. Symbolic Learning Theory
3. Attention and Arousal Set Theory
Psychoneuromuscular Theory
Psychoneuromuscular theory posits that imagery results in subliminal neuromuscular patterns that are
identical to the patterns used during actual movement. Even though the imagined event does not result in
an overt movement of the musculature, subliminal efferent commands are sent from the brain to the
muscles. In a sense, the neuromuscular system is given the opportunity to "practice" a movement pattern
without really moving a muscle.
Psychoneuromuscular theory is the most plausible explanation for why imagery facilitates physical
performance and learning.
Symbolic Learning Theory
Symbolic learning theory differs from Psychoneuromuscular theory. The symbolic learning theory states
that mental practice and imagery work because the individual literally plans her actions in advance. Motors
sequence, task goals, and alternative solutions are considered cognitively before a physical response is
required.
Attention and Arousal Set Theory
Attention and arousal set theory combines the cognitive aspects of symbolic learning theory with the
physiological aspects of psychoneuromuscular theory. According to this theory, imagery serves to improve
performance in two ways. From a physiological perspective, imagery may help the athlete to adjust his
arousal level for optimal performance. From a cognitive perspective, imagery may help the athlete to
selectively attend to the task at hand. If the athlete is attending to a task-relevant image, she is less likely to
be distracted by irrelevant stimuli.
Imagery Perspective and Sensory Mode
There are two factors to take into consideration when discussing the use of imagery by athletes. The first is
the perspective from which imagery is practiced, and the second is the sensory mode from which imagery is
experienced.
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Imagery Perspective
There exist two perspectives from which imagery can be applied. The two imagery perspectives are internal
and external. In internal imagery, the athlete imagines herself executing a sport task from within her own
body. Shut your eyes and imagine for a moment that you have a basketball in your hand and you are
preparing to shoot a free throw. If your perspective at this moment is from within your body looking
toward the basket, this is an example of internal imagery.
Conversely, external imagery is very unnatural to us. In external imagery we imagine ourself to be outside of
our body watching from a distance. Let's take the basketball free throw example again. Shut your eyes and
imagine you are going to shoot a free throw. This time imagine that you are outside your body, watching
yourself from a distance. Its is an example of external imagery. External imagery provides an excellent
perspective from which to observe skill technique and form. We might assume that internal imagery is
superior to external imagery because it is more natural to us.
Sensory Mode
Kinesthetic sensitivity informs the brain about movements in the joints and in the muscles.
Both internal and external imagery utilize all five of the body's senses, although different sport skills may
benefit more from one perspective than from another (Hardy & Callow, 199). It has generally been
believed, however, that internal imagery utilizes kinesthetic sensitivity to a greater degree than external
imagery.
Measurement of Imagery
A plethora of questionnaires have been developed and proposed for the measurement of various aspects of
imagery. An incomplete list of questionnaires on imagery is provided on the next page.
Lists of imagery tests
Gordon's Test Of Imagery Control (GTIC)
Richardson (1969)
Group Test Of Mental Rotations (GMART)
Vandenburg & Kruse (1978)
Individual Differences Questionnaire (IDQ)
Paivio (1971)
Preferred Imagic Cognitive Style (PICS)
Isaacs (1982)
Imagery Use Questionnaire (IUQ)
Hall, Rodgers & Barr (1990)
Imagery Use Questionnaire For Soccer (IUQ-SP)
Salmon, Hall & Haslam (1994)
Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ)
Hall,
Mack,
Paivio
&
Hausenblas (1998)
Exercise Imagery Questionnaire-Aerobic Version (EIQ-AV)
Hausenblas, Hall, Rodgers and
Munroe (1999)
Questionnaire On Mental Imagery (QMI)
Betts (1909)
Shortened Form Of Questionnaire On Mental Imagery (SQMI)
Sheehan (1967)
Vividness Of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ)
Marks (1973)
Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ)
Hall & Pongrac (1983)
Vividness Of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ)
Issac, Mark & Russell (1986)
Revised Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ-R)
Hall & martin (1997)
References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York: McGraw-
Hill Companies
© Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
© Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants