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.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston