Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Janice N. Steirn

Committee Member 1

George Shaver

Committee Member 2

K. Bryant Smalley

Committee Member 3



The purpose of this study was to examine the effect between exercise endurance and various forms of mental imagery. Existing research on exercise imagery has focused primarily on internal aspects for exercise. However, studies of issues related to exercise adherence have cited pain as a primary factor in early termination of exercise. This study explored whether one could use external imagery as a distraction tool, thus allowing for dissociation from the discomfort and an increase in exercise repetitions. Participants were 140 undergraduates enrolled in Introductory Psychology courses. Each participant completed a demographics questionnaire, the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ), one set of body weight squats until failure, and a manipulation check regarding ease of thought maintenance during the exercise. Throughout the body weight squats, participants were randomly assigned to one of five treatment conditions: Free Imagery, Guided Imagery, Self Focused Imagery, Visual Imagery, and a Control Group with No Imagery. Results of an ANOVA indicated that participants in those treatment groups containing an External Component (Guided and Visual) performed significantly more squats than those in treatment groups with no External Component (Control, Free, and Self-Focused). Implications are discussed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material