The study was designed to examine the effects of associative and dissociative imagery interventions on reported ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and task-duration across a handgrip-squeezing task. Sixty adults (Mage = 22.19 years) were randomly assigned to three groups: associative imagery, dissociative imagery, and control (non-imagery). Participants were instructed to perform a 30% maximal handgrip-squeezing task until volitional fatigue. During the squeezing task, RPE and attention allocation were measured every 30 seconds. A series of RM MANOVA procedures revealed that (a) RPE increased linearly across all three groups as a function of increased effort output, (b) as compared to control participants, RPE was lower in participants using either associative or dissociative imagery, and (c) as compared to control participants, participants using either imagery remained longer on task. While the effects of imagery use on RPE and task-duration were descriptively evident, not all effects were significant. Future studies must examine imagery applications for tasks that vary in workload intensities. Findings shed light on interventions that can possibly render exercise experience more pleasant and less exertive for the general population.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston