This study examined the use of imagery according to Paivio's (1985) general analytic framework. The aims were to examine functional differences in imagery use according to the five subscales of the SIQ, to investigate differences in imagery use by competitive level, and to explore the influence on the use of imagery of skills involving a perceptual target (reactive tasks) and without a perceptual target (nonreactive tasks). Participants included 484 individuals (280 male, 204 female), with a mean age of 20.39 (SD = 4.10) from the United Kingdom, Finland, and Australia. The group comprised 84 national, 210 state, 120 district, and 70 recreational level athletes representing 54 sports. Participants completed a demographic information sheet and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ). Participants were classified according to competitive level and task type. Results indicated that overall participants used more motivational general-mastery imagery. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance revealed that there were significant differences among the four competitive levels on imagery use with the district level participants reporting significantly higher use of motivational general-arousal (MG-A) imagery than state and national level participants and national level participants reporting higher use of cognitive specific (CS) imagery than recreational level participants. There was also a significant difference between tasks with a perceptual target and tasks with no target for motivational-specific imagery, with higher scores for tasks with a perceptual target. The results suggest the continued evaluation of imagery use in relation to competitive level and support that task type may influence the functional use of imagery in sport.
Demonstrations of the CFA process in the context of imagery abilities and imagery use assessment are severely lacking. Presently, very few imagery measures from either general or sport psychology have had their factor structure confirmed using structural equation modeling to. Irrespective of the accepted difficulties in the assessment of the imagery process, understanding in the field can only be enhanced through the application of appropriate statistical tools to demonstrate the relationship between measured variables and latent constructs. This paper details the examination of the factor structures of the Sport Imagery Ability Measure (SIAM) and the Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ), using structural equation modeling. Confirmatory models of the key characteristics of mental imagery in relation to sport are also discussed. The SIAM is a 48-item self-report measure that uses four sport-related scenes to examine the dimensional, sensorial, and emotional characteristics of generating images. The SIQ is a 30-item self-report measure that examines five characteristics associated with the cognitive and motivational aspects of imagery use. Participants (N = 514) from universities and elite sport groups in Australia, England, and Finland completed the measures. Confirmatory factor analyses of models proposed by the authors of each measure were conducted using AMOS 4.0 software. The SIAM threefactor model was a reasonable to good fit for the data with all fit indices except for the RMSEA (0.12) at or above accepted minima. A five-factor model tested for the SIQ did not result in as many acceptable fit indices, with only the RMSEA (0.07) indicating a good fit. Alternative models for both measures are examined and the implications of these findings in relation to both the evaluation and conceptualization of sport imagery are discussed.