Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 10, 2019

Investigating the Predictors of Intrusive Visual Imagery in Elite Athletes

James Bierton, Adam Gorman, Michael Lloyd, Alexandra Gorman, John K Parker and Geoff p Lovell

Abstract

The aims of this research were to determine if metacognitive beliefs predicted Intrusive Visual Imagery (IVI) in elite athletes, and if this was consistent across performance contexts. To address these aims, 110 elite cricket and AFL players completed the 30-item metacognitions questionnaire and intrusive visual imagery questionnaire before a training session and competitive match. Regression analyses indicated that the Negative Beliefs about the Uncontrollability of Thoughts and Their Danger metacognition and Need to Control Thoughts metacognition predicted IVI in both contexts. Findings were interpreted within the Self-Regulatory Executive Function model. It was suggested that extra attentional control is exerted to prevent the conscious experience of a negative belief, which prompts an image related to the belief being experienced, which is perceived as intrusive. Results also suggested that athletes are less likely to experience IVI before competing, possibly due to greater monitoring of thoughts. Implications for these findings are discussed.

References

Carroll, R. J. (2017). Transformation and weighting in regression. Routledge: Chapman and Hall. Search in Google Scholar

Cumming, J., Nordin, S. M., Horton, R., & Reynolds, S. (2006). Examining the direction of imagery and self-talk on dart-throwing performance and self efficacy. The Sport Psychologist,20, 257–274. doi:10.1123/tsp.20.3.257 Search in Google Scholar

García-Montes, J. M., Cangas, A., Pérez-Álvarez, M., Fidalgo, A. M., & Gutiérrez, O. (2006). The role of meta-cognitions and thought control techniques in predisposition to auditory and visual hallucinations. British Journal of Clinical Psychology,45(3), 309–317. doi:10.1348/014466505X66755 Search in Google Scholar

Ghasemi, A. & Zahediasl, S. (2012). Normality tests for statistical analysis: A guide for non-statisticians. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 10(2), 486. DOI: 0.5812/ijem.350523843808 Search in Google Scholar

Gregg, M., Hall, C., & Hanton, S. (2007). Perceived effectiveness of heptathletes’ mental imagery. Journal of Sport Behavior,30(4), 398–414. Search in Google Scholar

Gregg, M., Hall, C., McGowan, E., & Hall, N. (2011). The relationship between imagery ability and imagery use among athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,23(2), 129–141. doi:10.1080/10413200.2010.544279 Search in Google Scholar

Korn, E. R. (1994). Mental imagery in enhancing performance: theory and practical exercises. In Imagery in Sports and Physical Performance (pp. 201–230). Search in Google Scholar

Larøi, F., & Van der Linden, M. (2005). Metacognitions in proneness towards hallucinations and delusions. Behaviour Research and Therapy,43(11), 1425–1441. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2004.10.00816159586 Search in Google Scholar

Love, S., Kannis-Dymand, L., & Lovell, G. P. (2018). Metacognitions in triathletes: Associations with attention, state anxiety, and relative performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,30(4), 421–436. doi:10.1080/10413200.2018.1440660 Search in Google Scholar

MacIntyre, T., & Moran, A. (2010). Meta-imagery processes among elite sports performers. In The Neurophysiological Foundations of Mental and Motor Imagery (pp. 227–244). Search in Google Scholar

McCarthy-Jones, S., Knowles, R., & Rowse, G. (2012). More than words? Hypomanic personality traits, visual imagery and verbal thought in young adults. Consciousness and Cognition,21(3), 1375–1381. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2012.07.00422850327 Search in Google Scholar

Morrison, A. P., & Petersen, T. (2003). Trauma, metacognition and predisposition to hallucinations in non-patients. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,31(03), 235–246. doi:10.1017/S1352465803003011 Search in Google Scholar

Morrison, A. P., Wells, A., & Nothard, S. (2000). Cognitive factors in predisposition to auditory and visual hallucinations. British Journal of Clinical Psychology,39(1), 67–78. doi:10.1348/014466500163112 Search in Google Scholar

Nordin, S. M., & Cumming, J. (2005). Professional dancers describe their imagery: Where, when, what, why, and how. The Sport Psychologist,19(4), 395–416. doi:10.1123/tsp.19.4.395 Search in Google Scholar

Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Search in Google Scholar

Parker, J. K., Jones, M. I. & Lovell, G. (2015). An investigation into athletes’ intrusive visual imagery. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 11 (1), 34– 42 . Search in Google Scholar

Parker, J. K., Jones, M. I., & Lovell, G. (2017). Involuntary imagery predicts athletes’ affective states. Sport & Exercise Psychology Review,13(2), 22–23. Search in Google Scholar

Ramsey, R., Cumming, J., & Edwards, M. G. (2008). Exploring a modified conceptualization of imagery direction and golf putting performance. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology,6(2), 207–223. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2008.9671862 Search in Google Scholar

Spada, M. M., Georgiou, G. A., & Wells, A. (2010). The relationship among metacognitions, attentional control, and state anxiety. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy,39(1), 64–71. doi:10.1080/1650607090299179119735025 Search in Google Scholar

Stainsby, L. M., & Lovell, G. P. (2014). Proneness to hallucinations and delusions in a non-clinical sample: Exploring associations with metacognition and negative affect. Australian Journal of Psychology,66(1), 1–7. doi:10.1111/ajpy.12028 Search in Google Scholar

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson. Search in Google Scholar

Wells, A., & Cartwright-Hatton, S. (2004). A short form of the metacognitions questionnaire: properties of the MCQ-30. Behaviour Research and Therapy,42(4), 385–396. doi:10.1016/S0005-7967(03)00147-5 Search in Google Scholar

Wells, A., & Matthews, G. (1996). Modelling cognition in emotional disorder: The S-REF model. Behaviour Research and Therapy,34(11–12), 881–888. doi:10.1016/S0005-7967(96)00050-28990539 Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2019-10-10

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston