<%BANNER%>

Use of exercise-related mental imagery by middle-aged adults

University of Florida Institutional Repository
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PAGE 1

USE OF EXERCISE-RELATED MENTAL IMAGERY BY MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS By BANG HYUN BRYAN KIM A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Bang Hyun Bryan Kim

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iii ACKNOWLDEGMENTS I would like to thank all th e people who allowed this exploration of exercise imagery exploration in middle aged adults to oc cur. First, I want to thank the Lord for always being my strength and courage, especi ally at times when I felt weak and wanted to give up. Next, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., who afforded me countless hours of time, effort, and support, and motivated me to continue working harder and to push myself further than I thought possible. Also I would like to thank Dr. Heather Hausenblas, Dr. Christina McCrae, Dr Michael Sachs, Dr. Emily Roper and Dr. Chris Stopka for their commitment to my th esis. They were open minded in supporting me in my research endeavors and in unde rstanding the differences in research possibilities. Additi onally, I would like to thank Li ving Well and Gator Masters Swim Club for their permission to recruit participants. I would also like to thank my colleagues who helped me in my analysis stage and spent tireless hours reading and coding intervie ws. I would also like to thank my family and JJ for their endless support and help throughout the making of my thesis and my life. Lastly, I would like to tha nk everyone whom I met thr oughout my years at Florida and will continue to meet in my journey. All hold a special place in my heart.

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLDEGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................vi LIST OF FIGURES..........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................vi ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Study Rationale.............................................................................................................2 Statement of Purpose....................................................................................................7 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................9 Introduction to Mental Imagery....................................................................................9 Theories of Mental Imagery.......................................................................................10 Psychoneuromuscular Theory.............................................................................10 Symbolic Learning Theory..................................................................................11 Bioinformational Theory.....................................................................................13 Dual Coding Theory............................................................................................14 Functions of Imagery..................................................................................................15 Variables Influencing the Use of Imagery..................................................................20 Gender Differences in the Use of Imagery..........................................................21 Imagery Ability...................................................................................................21 Types of Imagery........................................................................................................22 Exercise Imagery........................................................................................................23 Measurement of Exercise Imagery.............................................................................26 Exercise Imagery Questionnaire..........................................................................26 Exercise Imagery Inventory................................................................................27 Study Rationale...........................................................................................................29 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................30 Participants.................................................................................................................31 Study Measures...........................................................................................................31

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v Procedure....................................................................................................................33 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................34 Interview Analysis......................................................................................................36 Issues of Reliability, Validity/Trustworthiness..........................................................39 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................41 Functions of Exercise Imagery...................................................................................42 Comparative Analyses................................................................................................53 High Imagery User, Active Exerciser, and High Self-Efficacy participants: Active Participants...........................................................................................53 Low Imagery User, Less Active Exerciser, and Low Self-Efficacy participants: Less Active Participants..............................................................62 Summary of Group Comparison.................................................................................67 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................69 Integration and Extension of Previous Studies....................................................69 Active vs. Less Active Groups............................................................................73 Study Limitations................................................................................................76 Applied Implications...........................................................................................77 Summary..............................................................................................................78 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM................................................................................85 B DEMOGRAPHIC AND EXERCI SE PARTICIPATION FORM..............................87 C THE EXERCISE IMAGERY QUESTIONNAIRE....................................................88 D LEISURE-TIME EXERCISE QUESTIONNAIRE...................................................89 E BARRIERS EFFICACY SCALE...............................................................................90 F EXERCISE IMAGERY INTERVIEW GUIDE.........................................................91 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................96 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................104

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vi LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 National Average: Recommende d Physical Activity by Age....................................4 3-1 Descriptive Results from the Ba rriers Self-Efficacy, LTEQ, and the EII measurements.............................................................................................................36 4-1 Analysis of Where/When Participan ts (n=30) Used Exercise Imagery...................41 4-2 Analysis of Where/When Active/Less Ac tive Participants (n=15) Use Exercise Imagery......................................................................................................................54

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vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Procedure Outline using a Do minant-less-dominant Design...................................30 5-1 Participants Conceptual Framework........................................................................79 5-2 High Imagery User, High Exerciser, Hi gh Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework..81 5-3 Low Imagery User, Low Exerciser, Lo w Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework....83 5-4 Gender Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery.............................................84 5-5 Age Group Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery.......................................84

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viii Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science USE OF EXERCISE-RELATED MENTAL IMAGERY IN EXERCISE BY MIDDLEAGED ADULTS By Bang Hyun Bryan Kim May 2006 Chair: Peter Giacobbi, Jr. Major Department: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology Mental imagery is emerging as an important topic of study for those interested in exercise and health psychology. Recent st udies have documented important cognitive (e.g., technique) and motivationa l (e.g., appearance, health, self-efficacy) functions of mental imagery with various populations and have provided additional theoretical advances. Despite the importance of these fi ndings, few studies have explored how adult exercisers use mental imagery. Therefore the purpose of this st udy was to explore the content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. Thirty adults (M=48.13, SD=8.33) that included 11 males and 19 females participated in this study which was ch aracterized as a mixed-method dominant-lessdominant design. In phase one, all partic ipants completed the Exercise Imagery Inventory, the Leisure-Time Exercise Ques tionnaire, and the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. From these measures participants in phase two were grouped into two categories using a median split on the participants’ scores from each of the surveys: high levels of

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ix activity, high self-efficacy, and frequent user of exercise im agery versus low levels of activity, low self-efficacy, and infr equent user of exercise im agery. During phase two all 30 participants were interviewed to gain a more in-depth understanding of how, why, and what the participants imagined with regard to exercise beha vior. The results of grounded theory analytic procedures revealed seve n higher-order themes for the entire sample: exercise technique, appearance images, heal th outcomes, plans and strategies, stress levels/emotions, confidence enhancing images, and motivational images: these themes fit nicely into cognitive and motivational fr amework of mental imagery. Further comparisons between the active and less activ e categories of participants using the constant comparative method revealed indivi duals who were charac terized as active, highly efficacious, and frequent users of mental imagery repor ted greater use of all forms of mental imagery and provided more detailed and vivid descriptions of their mental images as compared to their less active count erparts. Additional differences emerged with regard to the perspective taken as well as when and where each group engaged in mental imagery. These results are the most in-d epth assessment of adults’ use of exercise imagery to date and provide numerous theoretical and applied implications.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Before every shot I go to the movies inside my head. Here is what I see. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then, I see the ball going there; its path an d trajectory and even its behavior on landing. The next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous imag e into reality. These home movies are a key to my concentration and to my positive appro ach to every shot. (Nicklaus, 1976) In the quote above, Jack Nicklaus (1976) described how mentally rehearsing his golf shots was critical to his success. He a nd many other world class athletes have used mental imagery as an aid in learning important skills, to e nhance their performance, and cope with stress (Weinberg &Gould, 2003). As Weinberg and Gould (2003) have expl ained, only in the last 20 years have researchers been studying mental imagery in sport and exercise settings. Research and anecdotal accounts have shown that mental imagery has be en one aspect of mental preparation used by athletes for years (W einberg & Gould, 2003). Jack Nicklaus for example, claimed that hitting a good golf shot is 10% swing, 40% st ance and setup, and 50% the mental picture of how the swing shoul d occur (Nicklaus, 1976) As studies have shown, athletes use imagery not only to help their perfor mance but also make their experiences more enjoya ble (Hall, 1995). Recently, researchers have begun to study me ntal imagery in exercise settings (Hall, 1995; Hausenblas, Hall, Rodgers, & Munroe, 1999; Gammage, Hall, & Rodgers, 2000; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, Fallon, & Hall, 2003). As speculat ed by Hall (1995) and confirmed in recent studies, mental imagery conducted before, during, or after individuals

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2 engaging in exercise behavior, can increase individuals’ self-efficacy and motivation to exercise (Gammage et al.,2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Hausenblas et al., 1999; Hall, 1995). From these initial findings, it is pos sible and even probable that imagery may have a beneficial effect on individuals in ex ercise settings as we ll (Hall, 1995; Gammage et al., 2000; Hausenblas et al., 1999). As a result, exercise imagery should be studied in depth to help the individual conjure up pos itive forms of imagery to promote physical activity behavior. Therefore, the present st udy focused on the use of exercise imagery by middle-aged adults. Study Rationale According to the Center for Disease C ontrol and Prevention (CDC) (2004), regular physical activity substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseas e factors, including coronary heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death, and decreases the risk for stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pr essure. Exercise also helps to control weight, contributes to healthy bones, musc les, and joints, reduces falls among middleaged adults, helps to relieve the pain of arthritis, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and increases the feelings of we ll being (CDC, 2004). Exercise is also associated with fewer hospitalizations, phys ician visits, and medications. Moreover, physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial. People of all ages benefit from participating in regular, mode rate-intensity physical activity, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking five or more times a week (CDC, 2004). Despite the benefits of physic al activity, more than 50% of American adults do not get enough physical activity to provide health be nefits. Twenty-five percent of adults do not engage in any leisure time physical activit y (United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2000). Research al so suggests that at least 30% of adults

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3 are inactive, and that approximately 50% of those who start an exercise program will drop out within a year (Dishman, 2001). Th is is causing a serious problem as more people are becoming inactive and health rela ted problems such as obesity and cardiac arrests are increasing in the United States (CDC, 2004). Today, baby boom cohorts are over the age of 35, increasing the median age of the population to 35.5 (United States Bureau of Census: USBC, 2000). According to Kart and Kinney (2001, p. 42), baby boomers are de fined as people who were born after World War II, typically between 1946 and 1964. This age group is si gnificant to this study because most of the participants were 40 years and older. It is important to note that 25% of the entire populat ion of the United States is 40 years old and above and this large cohort will represent the elderly in a c ouple of decades (USBC, 2000). The aging of the older population that is expected to o ccur over the next two decades has important issues for local, state, and federal agencies (Kart and Ki nney, 2001, p. 45). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventi on (2004), the United Stat es is on the verge of a longevity uprising. By 2030, the number of older Americans will have more than doubled to 70 million, or one in every five Americans (CDC, 2004). The growing number and proportion of middle-aged adults places increasing demands on the public health system and on medical a nd social services. Chronic diseases exact a particularly heavy economic burden on middle-aged adults due to associated long-term illness, decreased quality of life, and greatly increased health care costs. Much of the illness, disability, and death associ ated with chronic disease are avoidable through known prevention measures such as practicing a hea lthy lifestyle and regular physical activity

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4 (CDC, 2004). However, finding inexpensive and effective ways to promote physical activity behaviors with individuals is an enormous challenge. Table 1 shows the different statistics among age groups in recommended physical activity, insufficient physical activity, inactivity, and no le isure-time physical activity (CDC, 2003). The recommended physical activity for adults according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (2003) is de fined by moderate-intensity activities in a usual week (i.e., brisk walking, bicycling, va cuuming, gardening, or anything else that causes small increases in breathing or heart rate ) for at least 30 minut es per day, at least 5 days per week; or vigorous-intensity activitie s in a usual week (i.e., running, aerobics, heavy yard work, or anything el se that causes large increases in breathing or heart rate) for at least 20 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week or both. This can be accomplished through lifestyle activities (i.e ., household, transportation, or leisure-time activities). Insufficient physical activity is defined as doing more than 10 minutes total per week of moderate or vigorous-inten sity lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time activity), but less than the recommended level of activity. For the definition of inactive, it is less than 10 minutes total per w eek of moderate or vigorous-intensity lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time Table 1-1: National Average: Recommended Physical Activity by Age. 2003 18–24 25–34 35–4445–65 Recommended 56.9 50.1 47.9 42.8 Insufficient 33.2 38.7 39.9 41.1 Inactive 9.9 11.3 12.2 16.1 National Average No Leisure-Time Physical Activity* 18.4 21.7 22.2 25.8

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5 activity). And lastl y, the definition for no leisure-time physical activity is no reported leisure-time physical activities (i.e., any physical activities or exerci ses such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walki ng) in the previous month (CDC, 2003). As shown in table 1, the recommended physic al activity declines from 56.9 percent in the age group of 18-24 to 42.8 percent in the age group of 45-65. Also, there is an increase of insufficient physical activity, inactivity, and no leisure-time physical activity as age increases. Since patterns show that as an adult gets older, his or her physical activity participation will decrease as th eir inactivity will increase, there might a difference of an adult’s usage of exercise imag ery as age increases as well. No previous research has been done in exploring the us age of exercise imagery in different age groups, and this study will try to explore if there are any differences and how it might effect one’s particip ation in exercise. Both Hall (1995) and Hausenblas et al. ( 1999) have suggested that imagery might be a useful intervention tool to increase exercise behavior Hall (1995) also argued that exercise imagery might play a role in motiv ation for exercise behavior. By imagining themselves participating in an activity that they enjoy and achieving goals such as better physical appearance and improvement of techni que, exercisers may be more motivated to maintain an exercise program. Based on Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory, Hall (1995) proposed that imagery may increase motivation through its influence on selfconfidence and outcome expect ancy. Hall (1995) suggested that as exercisers image themselves accomplish a certain outcome; both the likelihood of that outcome or goal (outcome likelihood) and the importance of that outcome (outcome value) may be influenced. These two variables in turn lead to positive outcome expectancies. If one’s

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6 outcome expectancy is increased, then motiva tion to exercise may also increase thereby increasing actual ex ercise behavior. There is some support to Hall’s (1995) proposal that exercise imagery might influence exercise motivation through its infl uence on self-efficacy. Hausenblas et al. (1999) showed that female exercisers repor ted over 75% of aer obic exercise class participants used exercise imagery for both motivational and cognitive purposes. From this study, the Exercise Imager y Questionnaire – Ae robics Version (EIQ -AV; Hausenblas et al., 1999) was made to further study imager y use by female aerobic exercisers. As part of the construct validation for this questi onnaire, three primary factors emerged: (1) Energy, which includes being energized and relieving stress; (2) Appearance, relating both to physique and fitness; and (3) Technique, which invol ves imagining correct form and body position during exercise. Of these three functions of imagery, appearance imagery was most frequently employed (Hause nblas et al., 1999; Gammage et al., 2000). In addition, Appearance and Energy imagery are considered motivational in nature, whereas Technique imagery clearly has a cogni tive function. Therefore, as in sport, imagery in exercise settings may serve both motivational and cognitive roles (Hausenblas et al., 1999). Unfortunately, there has been no research to date focused on the use of mental imagery by middle-aged adults within exerci se settings. Exercise imagery research conducted within the last several years has fo cused almost exclusively on female college students (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Giacobbi et al., 2003). T hus the present study will expand previous research by focusing on the use of exercise imagery with adults. Also, because most of our knowledge in exercise imagery is relatively new and most of the

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7 research is based on questionnaire studies (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Gammage et al., 2000), this study will utilize qu antitative and qualitative procedures (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) to assess the use of exercise imagery with middle-aged adults. The rationale for this approach is based upon the need for the development of comprehensive theoretical framework related to the psychological characteristics of adults in exercise settings. The research approach being adopted here will be ideally suited for these purposes since social scien tific researchers are best served when systematic attempts are made to descri be, analyze, and then measure phenomenon (Strean, 1998). Also, starting with qualit ative methods and progressing toward more precise, quantitative methods may yield a bette r picture of social scientific events (Klinger, 1973). Therefore, this study will involve using qualitative interview techniques to provide personal in-depth descriptions of exercise imagery in adults. Statement of Purpose The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend the findings of Giacobbi et al. (2003) and examine the content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. More specif ically, this study was intended to examine when, where, how, what, and why middle-ag ed adults use imagery focused on their exercise behaviors whether any age differen ces existed. A secondary purpose of this study was to develop a grounded theory (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1998) based on the participants’ experience s that will provide comprehensive information about the use of mental imagery in exercise settings. More specifically, this study was intended to compare and contrast the various uses of mental imagery among adults who meet established guidelines for weekly exercise, were highly self-efficacious in the exercise domain, and who frequently engage in exerci se related imagery versus those who do not

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8 meet established guidelines for exercise, were lower in exercise self-efficacy, and less frequently engage in exercise related imagery.

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9 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction to Mental Imagery Mental imagery resembles a perceptual expe rience but occurs in the absence of an appropriate stimuli for the relevant percepti on (Finke, 1989; McKellar, 1957). Imagery is mostly known by echoes or reconstructions of actual perceptual experiences, such as one’s past or future experiences (Thomas, 2001) Thus, imagery is strongly implicated in memory (Yates, 1966; Paivio, 1986), motiva tion (McMahon, 1973), and has been studied extensively in sport and physical activity se ttings (Feltz & Landers, 1983). Researchers in the sport and exercise sciences often vi ew imagery as a form of mental simulation (Weinberg & Gould, 2003) and it is often called visualization. Imagery has also been referred to as a qua si-sensory experience that mimics real events, situations or experiences (White and Hardy, 1998). We can be aware of an image, be able to feel movements or experience an image using all sensory modalities without actually experienci ng the real thing. Imagery differs from dreams because individuals are wide-awake a nd conscious when images are developed. Everyone has the ability to develop and use imagery but people va ry in the extent to which they are skilled or choose to use imagery (Hall, 2001). Betts (1909) was perhaps the first to forma lly study mental imagery. He examined the spontaneous use of imagery in a variety of tasks, including simple association and discrimination judgments. Betts found that all of these tasks required mental imagery but speculated that imagery might be more benefici al to some tasks than others. Since Betts’

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10 time there has been an enormous growth in mental imagery that will be reviewed in upcoming sections. What follows is a review of modern theories of mental imagery and studies that test these theories. Theories of Mental Imagery Psychoneuromuscular Theory Carpenter (1894) proposed the psychoneur omuscular theory and proposed that imagery assists the learning of motor skills by innervating neuromuscular pathways in a manner similar to when individuals actual ly performed the activity. When someone vividly imagines an event, muscles show movement patterns similar to the way they would when actually performing the skill. While these neuromuscular movements are similar to those produced during actual perf ormance, they are significantly lower in magnitude. Thus, although the magnitude of the muscle activity is reduced during imagery, the activity is a mirror image of the actual performance pattern. According to Jacobson (1931), motor imag ery is basically suppressed physical activity. He reported that the imagined move ment of arm bending created small muscular contractions in the flexor muscles of the arm. In research with downhill skiers, Suinn (1972; 1976) monitored the electrical activity in skiers’ leg muscles as they imagined skiing the course. He found that there was muscular activity when they imagined themselves skiing. Muscle activity was highest when skiers were imagining themselves in difficult courses, which would actually re quire greater muscle activity. Bird (1984) examined EMG recordings of athletes in various sports and showed significant relationship between the EMG of their imagin ed sport activity and their actual sport activity.

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11 Some researchers have been criti cal of the research supporting psychoneuromuscular theory (Hall, 2001). Th ey suggest that many of these studies did not have control group participants. More definitive research appears necessary to empirically verify that imagery actually works as predicted by this theory. Symbolic Learning Theory Sackett (1934) suggested th at imagery may function as a coding system to help people understand and gain movement patter ns. He argued that imagery can help individuals understand their move ments. Actions are symbolically coded as a mental map or blue print (Vealey & Walter, 1993); wh ile imagery strengthens this blueprint, enabling actions to become mo re recognizable and automatic. According to this theory, skills that are more cognitive in nature (e.g., playing chess) are more easily coded than pure motor skills (e.g., lifting weights). One way that individuals learn skills is to become familiar with that skill and learn wh at needs to be done in order to become successful. By making a motor program in the central nervous system, a mental blueprint is formed for successfully completing the movement. Sackett (1934) demonstrated support fo r the symbolic learning theory on a cognitive task (a finger maze) that could be symbolized. Three groups of twenty subjects each learned a finger maze under the same c onditions. Afterwards, each group was given a different set of instructions regarding rehe arsal. After seven days, the groups relearned the maze under different circumstances. One gr oup was told to draw the maze pattern as much as they wanted during the interval and subjects in this group we re required to make five drawings right after l earning and five directly befo re learning. Another group was told to think through a pattern as much as possible during the week but not to draw or trace the maze. The last group was told not to draw, trace or think about the maze during

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12 the interval. Verbal reports regarding th e activities during the learning, relearning, and rehearsal periods were taken. The results showed that sy mbolic rehearsal does have a beneficial influence upon re tention through drawing and th inking. When the rehearsal was in the form of thinking through the patter n, 80% of the subjects st udied the pattern in visual terms and 20% empl oyed in the verbal mode. Hird, Landers, Thomas, and Horan (1991) co mpared the effects of different ratios of physical to mental practice on the perf ormance of tasks classified as cognitive (pegboard) or motor (pursuit motor). Sevent y-two participants were randomly assigned to one of the six conditions that included different amounts of combined mental and physical practice. Their results showed that physical practice was more effective than mental practice in improving pegboard and pursu it motor performance. However, mental practice was effective in improving performance when compared with no practice at all. This finding supports symbolic -learning theory, which showed that mental practice was relatively effective in enhancing tasks that are cognitive. However, mental practice was effective to a lesser extent in tasks that were predominately motor. This was possible due to the limited number of cognitive component s in tasks that were predominately motor such as weight lifting (Hird et al., 1991). Symbolic-learning theory may explain how imagery helps in situations where physical practice may be limited by due to expens e, time constraints, fatigue, or potential for injury (Hird et al., 1991). However, va rious combinations of physical and mental practice or mental practice alone are not an effective alternative to physical practice. Rather, mental practice can be used as an effective supplement to physical practice (Hird et al., 1991).

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13 Bioinformational Theory Lang (1977, 1979) proposed the bioinfor mational theory to explain the psychophysiology of imagery especially in a nxiety and phobia disorders. Based on the assumption that an image is a functionally organized set of propositions stored in the brain, the model states that a description of an image contains two main types of statements: stimulus and response propositions. Stimulus propositions are statements that de scribe specific stimulus features of the situation to be imagined. For example, a swimmer at a major competition might imagine the crowd, his starting block, locker room conditions, and his teammates. Response propositions are statements that describe the imager’s response to the particular situation and are designed to produce phys iological activity. For exam ple, response propositions in swimming might involve a swimmer feeling the water with his body, and feeling his heart beating and muscles cramping up as the lactic acid builds up. The important point in the bioinformational theory is that response propositions are a fundamental part of the image structure in La ng’s theory. In this sense mental imagery is not only a stimulus in the person’s head to which he or she responds but also contains response propositions created for more physiological responses (Bakker, Boschker, & Chung, 1996; Budney, Murphy, & Woolfolk, 1994) From this standpoint, mental imagery scripts are recommended to contain bo th stimulus and response propositions to create a more vivid image than stimulus propos itions alone. Also, it has been argued that the differences between stimulus and response propositions are functionally similar to the differences between external and internal imagery (Hale, 1994). For instance, Hale (1982), Harris and Robinson (1986) showed that imagery from an internal perspective produced more EMG activity than from an external perspective.

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14 Although this theory is an improvement over the psychoneuromuscular theory and the symbolic learning theory, it has little explanation with regard to the motivational functions served by imagery (Hall, 2001). It also does not address th e role of imagery in connecting an action with other forms of info rmation processing such as language (Hall, 2001). Dual Coding Theory According to Paivio (1986), the dual coding theory states that two discrete coding systems are involved in language processing. These coding systems are independent but partly interconnected symbolic systems speci alized for encoding, organizing, storing, and retrieving. One system, the image (or imager y) system, is specialized for processing, perceptual information with nonverbal objects and events and for making mental images for such events. The other system, the verbal (or linguistic) system, is used for processing linguistic gestures and genera ting speech. Annett (1994) proposed a dual coding model that is more detailed to the motor domain. He called the model, action language-imagination (ALI). In his model, th ere are two main routes in which a person can get information about a skill; these skills are matched up to demonstration and verbal instruction and are based on two independent encoding channels; the motor channel, which is specialized for encoding human acti ons, and the verbal channel, which encodes linguistic information and speech, including in scriptions. A link is connected between the two channels to describe and generate an action, and to act on verbal commands. This link according to Annett (1994) is called the action-lang uage bridge and explains how encoding information in both action a nd languages systems should produce better learning rather than encoding in only one of the systems. Hall, Moore, Annett, and Rodgers (1997) gave some evidence for this ex planation. They investigated the recall of

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15 movement patterns presented by demonstration or guided movement without any vision. Participants studied the patterns using one of three strategies-imagery, verbal labeling, imagery and verbal labeling-or no rehearsal strategy (control conditi on). Results in this study showed that more patterns were recalled if the participant used a combination of imagery and verbal labeling compared to imagery alone. Kim, Singer, and Tennant (1998) also show ed support for the dual coding theory. Their study compared the relative effectiven ess of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic imagery in a golf-putting task. Sixty partic ipants were randomly assigned to one of the five conditions: (1) visual imagery, whic h the participants watched a ten minute videotape that contained gol f putting stroke demonstra tions without any verbal instructions, (2) auditory imagery, which the part icipants listened to an audio taped set of instructions, (3) kinesthetic im agery, which the participants listened to specific action instructions (e.g., backswing, hit the ball) presented with a tape record er, (4) irrelevant imagery, which the group was provided with general imagery inform ation about thinking of all kinds of animals for ten minutes, and (5 ) control group, which th e participants were asked to count numbers from 1 to 600. Their re sults showed that aud itory and kinesthetic imagery lead to better retention performan ce accuracy than with vi sual, irrelevant, and control conditions. Auditory imagery, wh ich would call for the dual coding of the information according to the ALI model, led to better retention performance accuracy than to kinesthetic imagery for the performance measures. Functions of Imagery Paivio (1985) proposed a framework focused on how imagery can influence physical performance. He suggested that im agery serves at two functions: cognitive and motivational and these functions operate at a sp ecific or general level. A rehearsal of

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16 skills or an image of a specific motor skill would be a cognitive function operating in a specific level (cognitive specific imagery; CS). An example of a cognitive skill would be a swimmer imagining about his underwater t echnique. A cognitive function operating in a general level (cognitive general imagery; CG ) would include using imagery to rehearse entire game plans, strategies of play, and r outines. For instance, a quarterback imagining specific strategies throughout a football game would be an example of cognitive general imagery. The motivational function, at the specific level, involves imagining one’s goals and the activities needed to achieve these goals (motivational specific imagery; MS). MS imagery may include a 100-meter hurdler imag ining winning the Olympics and receiving the gold medal in front of millions of people. At the general level (motivational general imagery; MG), images relate to the genera l physiological arousal and affect. A golfer might include a quick relaxation technique by imaging a quiet place between shots to keep him calm. Hall, Mack, Paivio, and Hausenblas (1998) recently identified two components of motivational ge neral imagery specific to sport. Motivational generalarousal imagery (MG-A) is related to stre ss and arousal while motivational generalmastery imagery (MG-M) is related to images of being in control, confident and mentally tough. Based upon the above theoretical review, an important empirical question for sport scientists has been to determine the most effective use of imagery to enhance, supplement, or replace physical practice. A va st of majority of st udies addressing this question have supported the dual functions of imagery in sport settings (Munroe, Giacobbi, Hall, & Weinberg, 2000). The majority of the studies have examined the use of CS imagery (Hall, 2001). Rawlings, Rawlings, Chen, and Yilk (1972) found that

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17 imagery practice is as effective as physical practice and reported best to worst order in performance is physical practi ce, imagery practice and cont rol conditions. Considering the results of these studies, it is accepted that CS imagery assists the learning and performance of motor skills (Driskell, Coppe r, & Moran, 1994; Hall, Schmidt, Durand, & Buckolz, 1994), but not as good as physical practice (Hall, 2001) Durand, Hall and Haslam (1997) found that a combination of physical and imagery pr actice is usually no better than 100 % physical prac tice. Also, it is often possi ble to substitute some CS imagery practice for physical practice without affecting learning and performance. This has important implications for athletes. A lthough athletes should not substitute imagery practice for physical practice, sometimes there ar e situations such as travel, injury, where it is only possible to engage in mental rehearsal or mental imagery. In these situations, by using imagery, athletes may be able to ma intain their usual levels of practice and perhaps gain some of the positive benefits of physical practice. However, an important future research question to be addressed is whether similar recommendations could be made for individuals within exercise settings. Hall (2001) questioned the theoretical discussions concerned with the optimum amount of CS imagery practice that should be added to physi cal practice. He suggested that research on the functional equivalence of imagery and action might provide some guidance to this issue. The concept of f unctional equivalence can be simplified in the context of performing motor skills because both types of activity, imagining and performing the activity, are char acterized by the need to gene rate a temporally extended event on the basis of memory (Hall, 2001). Fr om this perspective, imagery can be seen

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18 as the process of a “pure” event generation whereas action essentially needs the combination of this generative process to the articulatory syst em (Vogt, 1995). Two general approaches have been studied to look at the functional equivalence issue (Hall, 2001). Some researchers have examined the neurophysiological basis of motor imagery. This approach involves examining changes in EEG activity in both motor and sensory areas with the use of imag ery. The second approach has compared the effects of imagery practice and physical pract ice on learning and perf ormance. Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Rmer (1993) have show n that CS imagery practice should be treated similarly to physical pr actice. He also claimed that there is no optimal level of practicing CS imagery. Rather, athletes and ex ercisers are encouraged to use CS imagery as much as possible when doing a physical act ivity. CS imagery is viewed as a way to train the mind in conjunction while physically training the body, and not as a replacement for physical practice. In other words, im agery can be like a vitamin supplement to physical activity, one that c ould give individuals an e dge in improving performance (Vealey & Walter, 1993). In addition to using imagery to rehearse specific skills (CS imagery), many athletes report using imagery to prepare entire game plans, routines, and strategies of play (Madigan, Frey, & Matlock, 1992). This is ca lled cognitive general (CG) function of imagery. There have not been any controlled studies but in case re ports, athletes have shown the performance benefits of CG im agery for rehearsing slalom canoe races (MacIntyre & Moran, 1996), f ootball players (Rushall, 1988 ) and artistic gymnastic routines (White & Hardy, 1998).

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19 When one imagines their goals, such as winning or positive reinforcement for good performance, they are usi ng motivational-specific (M S) imagery. Bandura (1997) remarks how imagery may influence the self -standards against which performance is appraised and evaluated. When athletes use comparable images with their performances, they have more realistic self -standards and are less likely to give up when they fail. Martin and Hall (1995) suggested that when it comes to enhancing motivation, imagery and goals may go hand in hand. Also, Munr oe, Hall and Weinberg (1999) found out by interviewing varsity athletes th at, goal setting is the first effective step in an intervention program, and the next rational st ep should be for athletes to use these goals as a basis for mental imagery. In order to develop, maintain, or regain confidence in sport, one should imagine performing in a confident manner (Mortiz, Hall, Martin, & Vadocz, 1996). This is called motivational general mastery (MG-M) imager y. Bandura (1997) argues that confidence is a nondescript term that refers to strength of belief but fails to identify what the assurance is about. In contrast self-efficacy is the belief of one’s capability that he or she can perform a certain behavior and execu te actions required to produce specific accomplishments or goals. Bandura also propo sed that positive visualizations enhance self-efficacy by preventing negative visualizatio ns in situations where one may begin to question their own abilities. Again, the imp lications for these findings within exercise settings remain to be fully explored but it seems intuitive that exercisers could benefit from the use of imagery in a variety of ways. Additionally, we are only beginning to understand the content and func tion of mental imagery used by regular and non-regular exercisers (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Pe nfield, In Press).

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20 As MG-M imagery is related to self-conf idence and self-efficacy, there is evidence that MG-A imagery is related to arousal and anxiety. Some athletes use MG-A to increase arousal levels (Caudill, Weinber g, & Jackson, 1983; Munroe et al., 2000; White & Hardy, 1998). It has also been shown that competitive anxiety can be influenced by the use of imagery (Gould & Udry, 1994; Or lick, 1990), but this has been difficult to empirically assess. Overall, research shows that athletes use imagery for both cognitive and motivational reasons. Why they use imagery depends on their goals or what they hope to attain. For instance, imagery use may differ if they want to rehearse a specific skill or a whole game plan, increase self-efficacy, or incr ease their arousal levels. Since most of the research has been done in th e context of sport, a logical ne xt step is to extend this line of inquiry to exercise settings. Variables Influencing the Use of Imagery Mental imagery has also been widely used in sport settings. Many athletes report using imagery in both training and compe tition and even non-elite athletes make considerable use of imager y (Barr & Hall, 1992; Hall, R odgers, & Barr 1990; Salmon, Hall, & Haslam, 1994). A number of variables are known to infl uence how imagery would be effective when used by an athlete or an exerciser wh ich include the specific activity, performer’s skill level, gender, and imagery ability (Hal l, 2001). Each of these issues will be discussed here. For the purposes of this review the discussion that follows will only focus on gender issues and imagery ability sin ce these two areas of investigation appear to be most pertinent to the study of imagery.

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21 Gender Differences in the Use of Imagery Within sport settings there is no evidence that imagery is more effective for one gender than the other in spor t and only minor differences have been noted between men and women on their reported use of imagery (H all, 2001). But, within exercise settings, gender does seem to be a determinant of exer cise imagery use. Gammage et al. (2000) reported that women used appearance imag ery significantly more than men while men reported the use of technique imagery more frequently than women. Gammage et al. (2000) explained how weight training is comp etitive in nature and men tend to exercise for more competitive reasons than women. Additionally, females tend to engage in exercise behavior to attain cer tain cultural ideals with rega rd to their shape and figure and therefore these motives for exercise may im pact how women use exercise imagery. Imagery Ability Athletes’ ability to use mental imagery, in terms of vividness and controllability, is a distinguishing factor between novice and elite athletes or su ccessful and less successful performers (Hall, 2001). Rodgers et al. (1991) supported this by administering the Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ; Hall & Pongrac, 1983) to figure skaters both before and after a 16-week imagery-training pr ogram. This study investigated the effects of an imagery (IM) training program on abil ity, use, and figure skating performance and compared the influence of IM training to th at of verbalization training. Twenty-nine figure skaters were divided into IM and ve rbal training groups and were assessed for movement IM ability, their use of IM, a nd free skating performance prior to and following a 16-wk training program. A 3rd group of 11 aged served as controls. Results showed that the IM group was more likely to use IM before practice sessions, to use IM after practice sessions, to visualize parts of their jumps more easily, and to see themselves

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22 winning competitions more often. They could al so "feel" (i.e., kinesthetically imagine) themselves skating better than the other groups The results also suggested that those skaters who became better at visual IM also became more successful at completing their program elements, particularly the more difficult ones. Goss, Hall, Buckolz and Fishburne (1986) also administered MIQ to study three kinds of imagery ability groups: low visu al/low kinesthetic (LL), high visual/low kinesthetic (HL), and high visual /high kinesthetic (HH). Partic ipants were taught to learn simple movements to a criterion performance le vel and were then test ed on their retention and reacquisition of these movements after a week. The results showed that imagery ability is related to the lear ning of movements. The LL group took the most trials to learn the movements and the HH group learned the move ments in the least number of trials. The same trend was found in the reacquisiti on stage but the support was weaker for a relationship between imagery ability and re tention. Findings support the position that high imagery ability facilitates the acquisition, but probably no t the short-term retention, of movements. Types of Imagery Internal imagery refers to imagining the execution of a technique or skill from a first-person perspective (Weinberg & Goul d, 2003, p. 286). From this perspective you would only see what you actually execute as if there was a camera on top of your head or as if you were actually performing the skill. For example, if you imagined walking in the woods, you would be able to see the whole environment around you such as the trees, birds, and houses, but you would not be ab le to imagine anything out of your normal range of vision. The images would also emphasi ze the feel of movement since it is a first person perspective (Wei nberg & Gould, 2003).

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23 External imagery is when you imagine yourself from an external perspective or as if you were watching yourself perform the sk ill on a movie screen (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). For example, if a basketball player imagined shooting from an external perspective, he would not only see himself s hoot, but see all the ot her players run, jump, block, and be able to see the crowd. But ther e would be little emphasis on the kinesthetic feel of the movement because the basketball player is simply watching himself perform it. Overall, many people may switch back and forth between internal and external imagery perspectives (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). The more important issue is whether the individual is able to mentally create cl ear, controllable images regardless of whether they are from an internal or external perspective. Exercise Imagery Since the vast majority of research on im agery has been in sport and athletes, the study of exercise related imagery is relative ly new. Hall (1995) was the first to propose that exercisers might use mental imagery. He also proposed that imagery may be a powerful motivator for exercisers through its impact on self-efficacy expectations. He thought that regular exercisers may imagin e themselves engaging in their individual physical activity, enjoying their workouts, a nd achieving their goals Such images may then enhance an exercisers self-effi cacy and motivation to exercise. Past research has found that exercisers use imagery for three main reasons; energy, appearance, and technique (Gammage et al., 2000; Hausenblas et al., 1999). Energy imagery refers to images that are associated with increased feelings of energy and relief of stress. Appearance imagery is related to images of a leaner, fit, and healthy body. Lastly, technique imagery refers to the proper execution of body positioning when doing

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24 a certain exercise. Energy and appearance should be most closely associated with motivation, while technique imagery is related with a cognitive func tion. Hausenblas et al. (1999) asked 144 aerobic exercisers who were mostly full time female college students about their use of imagery. Although not directly asked where they used imagery, it is clear that most of the participants used imagery in conjunction with their exercise (i.e., just before, during, and just after). They also used imagery in othe r places such as work, school, and home and at various times throughout the day such as befo re going to bed and when studying. It was also hypothesized that exercisers might use imag ery when injured to ob tain benefits while doing rehabilitation, similar to inju red athletes (Hall, 2001). Three studies (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Rodgers, Hall, Blanchard, & Munroe, 2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003) found that exercisers use imagery for three primary reasons: energy, appearance, and technique. In other words, exercisers might use imagery to reach goals such as losing or maintaini ng weight, improving technique and appearance, and developing a social image. Of these three exercise functions, appearance imagery was most frequently used (Hausenblas et al ., 1999). Seeing that imagery might be used for motivational purposes, one can see how imagery might be related to other social cognitive variables like self-e fficacy, that are known to influe nce exercise participation. Hall (1995) proposed that exercise imagery migh t be an important source of self-efficacy and efficacy expectations can come from many sources such as performance accomplishments, physiological arousal, verbal persuasion, observing others, and mental imagery (Hall, 1995). In support of these view s, Hausenblas et al. (1999) found that over 75% of aerobic exercise class participants reported using exercise imagery for both

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25 motivational and cognitive purposes. They al so found that as exercise imagery is increased, so too did the participants’ se lf-efficacy. So by increasing self-efficacy through imagery, it may be possible to indi rectly increase motiva tion to exercise. According to Hausenblas et al. (1999) th e content of exercisers’ images are quite varied due to individual di fferences and their responses were organized into nine categories: body image, techniques/strate gies, feel good about oneself, motivation, general exercise, fitness/hea lth, music, goals, and maintaining focus. These contents reveal the reasons why exercisers are us ing imagery (e.g., body image corresponds with the appearance function of exercise imagery). A similar descriptive study regarding exercise imagery was conducted Giacobbi et al. (2003) study. In this study, 16 female re gular exercisers were interviewed to understand the content and func tion of their exercise related imagery. Using major quotations from the interviews and grounded theory procedures (Strauss & Corbin, 1990), the results revealed the following higher order themes: exercise technique, aerobic routines, exercise context, appearance images, competitive outcomes, fitness/health outcomes, emotions/feelings associated with ex ercise, and exercise self efficacy. Several participants said that appearance related im ages served as an important motivation in starting and sustaining exercise behavior. This idea supporte d the results of Hausenblas et al. (1999) study and again sugge sted that exercisers might use imagery as a function of their goals and aspiratio ns such as an improved appearan ce, and fitness benefits. Also, appearance related images might have importa nt motivational functions for exercisers. Overall, this study offered future research ers a descriptive and exploratory means of assessing exercisers use of imagery (Giac obbi et al., 2003).

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26 Measurement of Exercise Imagery Exercise Imagery Questionnaire The Exercise Imagery Questionnaire (E IQ) developed by Hausenblas et al. 1999 was originally validated on female aerobics part icipants. The EIQ is a 9-item measure, in which participants rate the frequency of thei r imagery use on a 9-point scale (1 = never and 9 = always). The measure consists of th ree subscales, each made up of three items: appearance, technique, and en ergy. Appearance is a motivat ional function that focuses on imaging about a fit-looking body. An example of an appearance item is “I imagine a ‘fitter-me’ from exercising.” Energy imager y is also closely associated with one’s motivation and it focuses on images related to getting psyched up or feeling energized from exercising. An example of an energy item is “To take my mind off work, I imagine exercising. The last subscale, technique imag ery, is more cognitive in nature and focuses on performing skills and techniques correctly with good form. An example of technique imagery will be “When I think about exerci sing, I imagine my form and body position.” Estimates of internal consistency, or Cronb ach’s alphas, in previous research have indicated reliable results fo r the EIQ subscales (Hausenblas et al., 1999: appearance = .84; energy = .90; technique = .86; Rodge rs, Hall, Blanchard, & Munroe, 1999; appearance = .87; energy = .88; technique = .90) and the scale demonstrated acceptable factorial validity. By administering the EIQ to regular aerobics exercise rs, results showed that participants used imagery for three primary reasons: to imagine increased energy levels and relief from stress; to imagine appearance related images associated with a leaner, fitter look; and to imagine correct execution of technique while exercising. Analyses also

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27 revealed that individuals who exercised re gularly used more appearance, energy, and technique imagery. The EIQ was revolutionary in creating a survey-based assessment of exercise imagery. However, the EIQ was developed a nd validated with a sample of aerobics participants making it hard to generalize to ot her exercise groups (Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Penfield, In Press; Hall, 1998). Hall (1998) suggested that a more general measure of exercise imagery was needed to allow for th e valid and reliable assessment for exercise imagery with individuals who participate in other forms of exercise (e.g., swimmers, weight lifters). Giacobbi et al., (2003) expressed another con cern related to the factor structure of the EIQ as this measure only includes a ppearance, technique and emotion-related imagery but other dimensions such as health outcomes, exercise context, beliefs and perceptions about completing workouts, and im ages associated with increased exercise self-efficacy are not measured by the EIQ. Specifically, because self-efficacy has been linked to the initiation (Armstrong, Sallis, H ovell, & Hofstetter, 1993; McAuley, Bane, & Mihalko, 1998), and maintenance (Marcus & Owen, 1992; Marcus, Pinto, Simkin, Audrain, & Taylor, 1994) of exercise behavi or and because fitness and health related images elicit important motivational processes within exercise setti ngs (Giacobbi et al., 2003), the Exercise Imagery Inventory was subsequently developed and will now be elaborated upon. Exercise Imagery Inventory The Exercise Imagery Inventory (EII) was created by Giacobbi et al. (In Press) and originally consisted of a 41item measure developed from previous relevant exercise psychology literature (Hall, 1995; Hausenblas et al., 1999; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Rodgers

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28 & Gauvin, 1998; Rodgers et al., 2001). The sc ale was anchored on a 7-point Likert scale with 1 indicating rarely and 7 meaning of ten and a three-stage measurement study was implemented with the EII with 1,737 research participants who par ticipated in varying levels of exercise. During phase one the measure was created and administered to 504 undergraduate students. The re sults of exploratory factor analysis supported a 19-item measure that resulted in four interpreta ble factors accounting for 65% of the response variance. These were labeled as Appear ance/Health Imagery (8 items), Exercise Technique (5 items), Exercise Self-efficacy (3 items), and Exercise Feelings (4 items) and were consistent with our a priori expectations. In phase two, a separate sample of par ticipants were administered the 19-item version of the EII while fourand five-factor s were tested using confirmatory factor analysis. The rationale for testing fou rand five-factor models was that the Appearance/Health imagery items appeared to be conceptually different and may in fact correlate differentially with ex ternal variables (e.g., exercise behavior). The results of this analysis demonstrated n early identical fit indices for both mode ls suggesting support for the more parsimonious four-factor model. Lastly, in phase three the researchers recruited a diverse sample of adults throughout the age span, and administered th e EII along with measures of exercise behavior (Leisure Time and Exercise Qu estionnaire: Godin & Shephard, 1985) and a measure exercise self-efficacy (Exercise Self Efficacy: McAuley, 1992). The major purposes of phase three were to replicate pha se two and assess corr elations with other relevant measures (i.e., exercise self-efficacy and behavior). Overall results supported a four-factor model to explain the underlying structure of th e 19-item scale. The four

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29 exercise imagery factors were labeled App earance/Health imagery, Exercise Technique, Exercise Self-efficacy, and Exercise Fee lings. The EII also demonstrated positive correlations with exercise behavior and se lf-efficacy as individuals who reported using engaging in more leisure-time exercise also us ed more exercise imagery for all subscales particularly Exercise-Technique. Study Rationale As discussed throughout this literature review, the study of exercise imagery is a new area of inquiry especially compared to the vast amount of research conducted in sport settings (Hall, 2001). While previ ous exercise imagery investigations have demonstrated links between exercise behavior exercise self-efficacy, and mental imagery (Gammage et al., 2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi et al., In press; Hausenblas et al., 1999) the majority of these st udies were conducted with college-aged individuals. Much information remains to be investigated with regard to how, why, and under what circumstances individuals use exercise rela ted imagery. The poten tial application of mental imagery within exercise settings is va st and I would argue that middle-aged adults in particular could enhance thei r exercise behavior with this mental technique. However, before such intervention studies can be impl emented it is important for researchers to systematically investigate the specific use of mental imagery by adults who engage in varying levels of exercise. It is my hope the current study wi ll lead to future intervention efforts intended to foster exercise behavior.

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30 CHAPTER 3 METHODS The present study used a mixed-me thod dominant-less-dominant design (Giacobbi, Poczwardowski, & Hager, 2005). Fi gure 3-1 describes both the dominant and less dominant portions of this design. Speci fically, the less dominant portion involved administration of the surveys described be low while the dominant portion consisted of qualitative interviews. Figure 3-1: Procedure Outline usi ng a Dominant-less-dominant Design Participants Completion of study Asked to do interview YES NO Interview Dominant: PHASE II Purposive Sampling EII (Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Penfield, 2005) Self-Efficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992) LTEQ (Godin & Shephard, 1985) Less Dominant: PHASE I Demographics Questionnaire

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31 Participants Thirty community dwelling adults between the ages of 35 to 65 (M = 48.13; SD = 8.33) participated in this study and include d 11 males and 19 females. Out of the 30 participants, eleven were between the ages of 35 – 45 while 19 of the participants were between the ages of 46 – 65. Out of the 30 participants, twenty-one participants described themselves as Caucasian, seven as Asians, one as Latino, and one African American participated in this study. When asked about their highe st education achieved, fourteen participants answered that they had a master in arts or science, ten answered that they had a bachelor in arts or science, five answered that they ha d a doctor of philosophy degree, and one answered that they had a high school diploma. The participants engaged in a wide ra nge of aerobic and anaerobic exercise activities (e.g., running, walking, swimming, wei ght lifting, and the use of cardiovascular machines) and none of them had any conditions that would limit them from daily activities and/or exercising. Study Measures Demographic Questionnaire. A demographic questionnai re was administered to assess each participant’s age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, the participants were asked to indicate their phone number email address, and physical address along with an indication of whether they would participate in an interview if asked. The Exercise Imagery Inventory (EII). The EII is a 19-item scale developed through a construct validation approach (Giac obbi et al., 2005). It consists of the following four subscales: Exercise Technique Exercise Self-efficacy, Exercise Feelings, and Appearance/Health images (See Appendix C) Evidence for the validity of the EII has been demonstrated through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis with

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32 separate samples of college students and a dults throughout the age span. Additionally, assessments with the EII subscales, exercise behavior, and exercise self-efficacy have yielded positive and si gnificant associations that range d between .10 and .46. Giacobbi et al. (2005) reported subscale re liabilities for the EII were .91 for the Appearance/Health imagery scale, Exercise Self-efficacy .76, Exer cise Technique .88, and Exercise Feelings .81. The scale is anchored on a 7-point Like rt scale with 1 indicating rarely and 7 meaning often. The Leisure-Time Exerci se Questionnaire (LTEQ). The LTEQ (See Appendix D) is a three-item scale that as ks respondents to rate how of ten they engage mild (i.e., minimal effort), moderate (i.e., not exhausti ng, light sweating), and strenuous (i.e., heart beats rapidly) leisure-time exercise during a typical w eek (Godin & Shephard, 1985). The LTEQ allows researchers to calculate a total MET score by weighting the intensity level and summing for a total sc ore using the following formula: 3(mild), +5(moderate), and +9(strenuous). The LTEQ is a reliable a nd valid self-report measure of exercise behavior in adults (Godin, Jobin, & Bou illon, 1986; Jacobs, Ainsworth, Hartman, & Leon, 1993). Exercise Self-Efficacy The barriers self-efficacy s cale (See Appendix E) was used to assess participants’ self-efficacy toward s exercise (McAuley, 1992). This 12-item scale asks respondents to indi cate their confidence in overcoming comm only described barriers to engage in exercise behavior a nd has demonstrated reliability and validity (McAuley, 1992).

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33 The participants indicate their confidence on a scale of 0% (no conf idence at all) to 100% (completely confident); their respons es are summed and divided by the total number of items to provide a total score that can range between 0% to 100% with higher scores indicating greater self-efficacy to overcome barriers to exercise. Procedure At the beginning of phase one, all particip ants were given a brief introduction about the purpose of this study and information about how their data will be used and issues related to confidentiality. Procedures rega rding confidentiality and informed consent were all part of the trus t and rapport building process between the interviewee and interviewer (Fontana & Frey, 2000). Approval to recruit participants was obtained from the University of Florida Institutional Re view Board (IRB Protocol #2004-U-97). After the surveys were completed during phase one th e participants were contacted and asked if they would be willing to be interviewed. All participants agreed to the interview. Interview Guide. At the beginning of this interv iew, a brief introduction about the purpose of this study, the use of the interv iew data, procedures for tape recording, confidentiality and anonymity of responses was assured. Then, consistent with the procedures of Hall et al. (1998), Munroe et al. (2000), and Giacobbi et al. (2003) the participants were read the followi ng definition of exercise imagery: Imagery involves mentally seeing yourse lf exercising. The image of your mind should approximate the actual physical activity as close as possible. Imagery may include sensations like hearing the mu sic, feeling yourself move through the exercises, and feeling your heart beating. Imagery can also be associated with emotions. Some examples are imagini ng yourself getting psyched up or energized and feeling exhilarated after a workout. Imagery can also be used as a motivation to exercise. Some examples of motiv ational imagery are staying focused on exercise and not being distra cted, setting exercise plans and goals such as imaging achieving goal of losing weight. Imagery can also be used to imagine proper form, technique, and routines.

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34 Next, using an interview guide develope d by Giacobbi et al. (2003), general openended questions and specific probes were employed to follow up on the participants’ responses regarding exercise imagery (See Appendix F). The probes were developed by the author in order to obtain more specific in formation concerning the relevant issues that arose throughout the interview pr ocess (Patton, 1990). At th e end of the interview, the participant was given the opportunity to expres s any comments or questions that they felt important and not covered from the interview. Data Analysis Phase I: Study Measures The author took a subset of 35 to 65 year olds (N=401) from the Giacobbi et al. (2005) study and computed a median for the EII, and the Barriers self efficacy scale. The results of this anal ysis revealed a median of 89.44 for the EII and 49.73 for the Barriers self-efficacy scale. According to the guidelines from the Ce nter of Disease Control and Prevention (2003), most adults should do aerobic exercise three to five times a week for about 30 to 45 minutes of moderate intensit y. These guidelines were used to classify individuals as those who participate in recommended or insu fficient amounts of ex ercise (CDC, 2003). If a participant scored three days or more of strenuous activity or fi ve days or more of moderate activity they were categorized as a high exerciser. If the participant scored lower than three days of strenuous activity or lower than five days of moderate activity, they were considered as a low exerciser. Any participant who scored in mild activity alone was also considered a low exercise r. Based upon these characterizations the participants were then placed into one of two categories in order to make comparisons from their interview data (phase II): high imagery user, high exercise self-efficacy, high exerciser versus low imagery user, low exer cise self-efficacy, and low exerciser.

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35 Table 3-1 shows the participants scores on all study measures. A median score of 49.73 on the Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale (M cAuley, 1992) was used to categorize participants as high versus low self-efficacy. Nineteen participants scored above the computed median of 49.73 and were considered participants who had a high level of selfefficacy to barriers while eleven of the participants scored below the median and were considered people who had a low level of se lf-efficacy to barriers. With regard to exercise participation if th e participant reported lower th an three days of strenuous activity or lower than five da ys of moderate activity, they were considered as a low exerciser. Any participant who scored in m ild activity alone was also considered a low exerciser. Twenty participants reported th at they exercised on a high level. Ten participants reported that they exercised in a low level. Out of the 30 participants, twenty-one exercisers reported that they exerci sed in a strenuous leve l of exercise (range: 2 – 7 days) while six participan ts reported that they exercise d at a moderate level (range: 3 – 5 days). Three participants reported that they exercised at a mild level of exercise (range: 2 – 6 days). Finally, with regard to exercise imagery, any pa rticipant who scored higher than 89.4 on the EII was considered as high exercise imagery user while any participant who scored lower th an 89.4 were considered as a low exercise imagery user. In summary, fifteen participants met the crit eria of the active group and eight participants met the criteria for the less act ive group. The remaining partic ipants (n=7) scored neither high nor low in one or more of the three assessments. These characterizations then provided a means to compare individuals’ interv iew responses as will be described in the next section.

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36 Table 3-1: Descriptive Results from th e Barriers Self-Efficacy, LTEQ, and the EII measurements Measure Mean Standard Deviation Barriers Self-Efficacy 58.03 24.22 Strenuous Level 3.2 days 2.57 Moderate Level 0.77 days 1.59 LTEQ Mild Level 0.37 days 1.25 Exercise Imagery Inventory 97.11 21.14 Interview Analysis Phase II: Interview Analysis. Guided theory analytic procedures guided the collection and analysis of a ll interview data (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim by the author. After all the interviews were transcribed, the author th en focus coded each interview emerging data themes and quotes that the author thought was relevant to the study. A comparison between the high profile group versus the lo w profile group (i.e., high exerciser, high self-efficacy, and high imagery user vs. low ex erciser, low self efficacy, and low imagery user) was done in the analysis. Grounded theory procedures allow researchers to construct and generate a new th eory grounded in data collected with specific individuals. The researcher did not begin with predetermi ned ideas; rather the theory was allowed to emerge during the research process. The sp ecific approach taken here was to utilize inductive procedures during the initial codi ng process whereby specific utterances from each participant were coded and given labels based upon the nature of the responses. A secondary part of the analysis was to use de ductive procedures in order to make sense of the data with regard to the extant literature This inductive-deductive approach has been employed frequently in the sport and exerci se psychology literature (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Rees & Hardy, 2000).

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37 The goal of grounded theory analysis was to interpret raw data to detect concepts and relationships between concepts and then to organize the data into a theoretically descriptive diagram (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). In this st udy, a progressive series of analytic steps were involved that began w ith a careful line-by-line analysis of each interview transcript conducted by the research er and other trained qualitative researchers (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990, 1998). From the development and recommendations of Strauss and Corbin (1998) and Charmaz (2000) the following steps took pl ace during the grounded theory analysis: 1. Each interview was audiotape record ed. Each interview was transcribed verbatim and combined with extensive notes taken by the lead researcher. The primary investigator summarized the transcribed interviews. 2. The researcher then conducted a thorough reading of all interview transcripts. The researcher became familiar with the participants’ interviews and underwent line-by-line coding in order to pull out raw data themes in the form of quotations from the participants (Charmaz, 2000). Strauss and Corbin (1998) perceived coding to be the analytic procedures by which data are fractured, conceptualized, and integrated to develop theory. The la beled raw data themes were grouped into categories by comparing labels with similar themes and assigning a classification that the researcher felt best captured the substance of the topic. The emergent categories were then discussed during resear ch meetings until theoretical saturation was reached. 3. During the process of lin e-by-line coding, “sensitizing concepts” were used as starting points from the interview text to further our understanding of exercise imagery in middle-aged adults and begin th e process of building a theory (Giacobbi et al. 2003). Sensitizing concepts served as “points of departure” from which to study the data (Charmaz, 2000) and are an im portant part of the deductive analysis taken during the latter stages. For exampl e, previous sport imagery research and exercise imagery research served as a sensitizing concept in the present investigation (Munroe et al., 2000, Hause nblas et al., 1999, Giac obbi et al., 2003). Additionally, Paivio’s (1985) extensive theorizing was used to interpret the major functions of exercise imagery. It has s hown that motivational processes might be involved by the use of mental imagery by ex ercisers and the limited research in exercise imagery appears to support this notion (Hausenblas et al., 1999, Giacobbi et al., 2003). However, the previous theory and research offers only a starting point from which to study the use of exercise im agery by middle-aged adults. Therefore, specific instances of exercise imagery disc ussed by the participants were examined

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38 for a range of possible motivational and cogni tive functions similar to but different from the ways athletes and regular exercisers use mental imagery. 4. Following the line-by-line coding, the re searcher built a set of categories, each of which were mentioned on one or more occasions by the participants. Grounded theory allows researchers to generate th eory through close insp ection and analysis of qualitative data (Henwood & Pidgeon, 1992). By doing this, a constant comparative method was used to find similarities and differences in the participants’ responses (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). This involved making constant comparisons between pa rticipants who had high or low self efficacy as determined by the Barrie rs Self-Efficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992), participants who were high or low exer cisers determined by the LTEQ (Godin & Shephard, 1985), and participants who used different types of mental imagery as measured by the EII (Giacobbi et al., in pr ess). Constant comparison was also done with different participants, information in the form of quotations derived from the same participant, incidents experienced by the same or different participants, data coming from a general dimension or cat egory, and data coming from different dimensions with other dimensions (Giac obbi et al., 2003). Gi acobbi et al. (2003) explained how this constant comparison allowed for a close examination of how, where, when, and why individuals used exercise imagery. 5. Axial coding was then performed to re late categories to subcategories along the lines of their properties and components (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). This involved amplification on the raw data themes into the more general and abstract dimensions. Selective coding also occurred at this stage to integrate and refine categories, which allowed for the formation of a larger theoretical structure (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). In terms of the presen t study, the researcher closely analyzed specific incidents described by the part icipants in order to understand the conditions of using exercise imagery and to find if there were multiple functions, consistencies, and/or inconsistencies with in and among the individuals (Giacobbi et al., 2003). 6. Research group meetings with a qualit ative data research er were conducted throughout the data collecti on and analytic process (D ale, 1996). During these meetings, several interviews were re ad whereby one person would read the participant’s statements a nd another would read the in terviewer’s questions. The major purposes of these meetings were for those unaffiliated with this study to play “devils advocate” and to examine the resear chers’ clarifications and understandings of the interview text (Dale, 1996). This process worked as a social validation process that allowed the researchers to remain open with their ideas and beliefs about the evolving thema tic framework (Pollio, Henley, & Thompson, 1997). 7. With previous research on mental imag ery in sport and exer cise have revealed important findings (Hausenblas et al., 1999, Giacobbi et al., 2003), the researchers’ past experiences, ideas, and beliefs about this phenomenon were nearly impossible to separate from the analysis of the transcripts (Charmaz, 1990: Charmaz, 2000). Charmaz (1990) describes that as long as researchers are not “wedded” to their

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39 prior knowledge and preconceived ideas, it is actually advantageous for the grounded theorist to use previous belief s about a phenomenon because it allows greater emphasis to be placed on the developm ent of new theories that emerge from the data (p. 1165). In this study, all interv iew transcripts were inductively analyzed during most of the analysis. Every effo rt was made to precisely represent each participant’s experiences using mental imag ery associated with exercise (Giacobbi et al., 2003). After the in ductive analysis, previous research on mental imagery helped interpret the data w ith regard to the present li terature through the use of sensitizing concepts and cons tant comparisons. Labels we re created that described higher-order themes largely derived fr om previous research (e.g., exercise appearance). Thus, consistent with prev ious writings by grounded theorists, a combination of an inductive and deductiv e analytic procedures were used during the analysis of the interview transc ripts. (Charmaz, 2000; Rees & Hardy, 2000, Giacobbi et al., 2003). 8. Coding continued until theoretical saturation was reached. Theoretical saturation occurred when no further prope rties, components, or relationships emerged during analysis (S trauss & Corbin, 1998). 9. A conceptual framework was construc ted beginning with the raw data themes from the interviews and progressing to fi rst order and higher order themes. From the conceptual framework, a grounded theory was developed to show relationships, meanings, interpretations, and the perceive d and theoretical results of exercise related imagery in middle-aged adults. Issues of Reliability, Validity/Trustworthiness Several procedures were taken to establis h trustworthiness, validity, and reliability in the current study. Rapport was built th rough an informal opening session and body signs such as nodding, and/or with words of thanks, support, and praise in accordance with Ct’s (1999) recommendations. An in troduction of the study and the researcher and why it was being conducted also served as an opening introduction. Each interview began with the participant filling out the in formed consent form and a demographic form regarding questions like th eir age, sex, and what kinds of exercise they participated in. This served to familiarize the participants with the format of the interview and allowed them to feel comfortable conversing with the researcher. Participants were assured of their confidentiality and anonymity at the beginning of the interview. They were also

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40 told that they did not have to answer any questions that th ey felt uncomfortable answering. Participants were encouraged to think back in thei r lives and share any thoughts or perceptions they had regarding imagery in exercise settings. The researcher continued to assist the discussion thr oughout the interview by using words of acknowledgement, nodding, smiling and probes to thoughts and ideas that the researcher felt important. Many methods were employed to estab lish reliability and validity, thereby verifying the precision of the interview da ta (Sparkes, 1998). First, the author had meetings with his advisor and a research as sistant trained in qualitative methods on a regular basis to discuss the interview results (Maxwell, 1996). This allowed for the triangulation of the data by multiple coders w ith the ability to investigate discrepant findings (Sparkes, 1998). Second, research gr oup meetings were conducted between the principal investigator and anot her individual trained in quali tative methods. This allowed the principal investigator to remain flexib le and unbiased during the process of coding and developing theory (Pollio et al., 1997). Da le (1996) and Sparkes (1998) showed that a research groups closely para llel an external inspecti on which serve to establish credibility and dependability of qualitative data. Finally, a researcher unaffiliated with the present study who possessed previous trai ning and experience with qualitative data analysis was given twenty eight random quot es from the interviews and seven higher order themes created by the author. This i ndividual was then asked to match the quotes and higher-order themes with a list of labe ls presented in the results below. This independent audit resulted in 79% agreement betw een the analysis presented in this thesis and the auditors’ findings.

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41 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The analysis consisted of higher-order them es that came from an inductive analysis of the interviews (Giacobbi et al., 2003) and comparison examples from each category. The first part of the result section consists of where and when the participants used exercise imagery. Table 3 summarizes these findings. The second part of the analysis focuses on the major functions of imagery and is represented diagrammatically between Figures 5-1 to 5-3. This model was adapted from Giacobbi et al. (2003) an d served as a sensitizing concept for my analysis. What follows is an explanation about where and when exercise imagery was used and then a description of the more specific content or major functions imagery served for the participants. Table 4-1: Analysis of Where/When Part icipants (n=30) Used Exercise Imagery As shown in Table 3, 11 participants ( 37%) reported that th ey used exercise imagery in exercise environments (e.g., gy m, swimming pool), 15 participants (50%) Where Number of Participants (n=30) In Exercise Environments 11 Out of Exercise Environments 15 In and Out of Exercise Environments 4 When Prior to Exercise 12 During Exercise 9 Prior/During/After Exercise 9

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42 reported using imagery both in and out of ex ercise environments while 4 (13%) reported using imagery both in and out of the exercise context. With regard to when they used imagery, 12 participants reported using imager y prior to exercise, nine reported using imagery during exercise, and an additional nine indicated that they used imagery before, during, or after exercise participation. Functions of Exercise Imagery Figure 5-1 shows a conceptual framework that represents the inductive analysis of the participants’ quotations. As shown, seven higher-order themes of exercise imagery were revealed though inductive analysis. These were labeled: exercise technique, appearance images, health outcomes, plans/st rategies, stress levels/emotions, confidence enhancing images, and motivating images. Additionally, two supplemental themes were labeled as self-images, perspective, and fina l thoughts. Also shown in Figure 5-1 are the theoretical linkages between the major cogni tive and motivational f unctions of imagery proposed by Paivio (1985) with the higher-order themes reported below. As described in the previous chapter, Paivio’s (1985) work se rved as a sensitizing concept from which to analyze the present data. Each of these themes will be described below along with exemplar quotations. Exercise Technique Inductive analysis from the raw data themes and deductive analysis from previous exercise imagery res earch resulted in the emergence of exercise technique. In sport settings, research has consistently shown that athletes use cognitive specific imagery to improve technique. Sim ilarly, almost all the participants (n=26) reported using some kind of imagery related to technique. One pa rticipant reported the importance of using technique imagery while wo rking out in the gym. He said, “I also try to imagine using proper form for each re p, such as bending your arms at the proper

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43 angle, keeping your back still, lifting the bar smoothly.” One participant reported how she thought about her techique when she was biking. She quoted, “I guess I do a lot of thinking when I’m biking. Cause I also thi nk about my form, how I pedal and how I try to create the least resistance to get the fastest kind of momentum.” Another participant thought about he r elbows when she was swimming. She reports, “I think oh well, you’re dropping your elbow, get your el bow up, and then I try to picture the technique that you ’re supposed to use.” On e participant thought about technique imagery to create th e least stress to her body. She said, “When exercising, I try to keep my body aligned properly to get the most out of the exercise without stressing my body…” One participant thought about her h eart rate when running on the treadmill. She said “…I think about my h eart rate, I’m trying to increas e my effort level while I’m walking sometimes, and burning more calories, and playing with the incline, and with the speed on the treadmill.” This participant though t technique when he swam and also when he played golf. He reports, “When I think about technique, like in swimming, I try to think about trying to perfecting my stroke and to get the maximum out of my workout. In golf, I try to imagine the swing and follow throu gh and to try to get the shot I’m trying to achieve…” Other responses like thinking about heel to toe when running, most efficient steps, doing the right stretching tec hniques, thinking about posture taking long smooth strokes, and having good mechanics with speed and contro l were also recorded with relation to technique. These quotes will be supported in the following sections of high exerciser, high imagery user, and high self-efficacy group and low exerciser, low imagery user, and low self-efficacy group.

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44 Appearance Images Twenty-five participants us ed imagery with concerns of appearance when exercising. A close analys is showed that many participants thought about their younger self when thinking about appearance. This one participant thought about her appearance images as a motivator to exercise as if she thinks about her appearance it would help her “think about the benefits of exercise, how it will make me skinner and healthier.” This participant repo rted how she motivates herself to exercise by recalling her appearance from 30 years ago. “P hysical appearance I do think about it too. It is the same kind of deal like the health th ing. I recall my past self and think about how I looked 30 years ago. I also keep on remi nding myself of how I look now and try to keep in shape for my future.” One partic ipant thought about being thinner and the only way to look thinner was to exercise more and have a strict diet. She reports, I picture myself thinner, keep doing this and I’ll get thinner, you know and I think most women think about nowadays which is why people are exercising and with all this diet stuff going on, low carb, high carb, antioxidant, south beach, Atkins, I don’t think anyone knows what to do, less in and more exercise, works no matter what you eat. Reports of losing weight, trying to fit in certain size dresses, and looking younger were constant responses among female partic ipants. Like this one participant thought about a certain bathing suit she would think a bout and how it would be nice to fit in that bathing suit. She reports, I picture myself looking better in my bathi ng suit, by doing this exercise than when I do when I’m swimming. Ok, those are ones to do to lose weight and get in shape and swimming, I love to do it and I’m good at it and want to look better in a bathing suit…so I picture my self with weight loss… Also, participants thought about fitting in a dress like this par ticipant thought about “…fitting in certain size dresses without covering up the bulges.” Also this participant thought about how nice she would feel when she sw am if she lost her baby fat. She said,

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45 “I would definitely picture myself swimmi ng and using how much better I was going to feel and much better I was going to look once I got rid of the baby fat and got into shape and felt good about myself again, so that would be 35 up until now, 17 years.” This participant both had an image of fitting in a ce rtain dress and also th inking about her past. Imagining what I look like 20 years ago a nd wanting to get back to that kind of body style. Middle age has caught up a littl e bit and that’s certainly a motivator knowing that there’s clothes I’d like to wear again that are in my closet and are a little tight, and wanting to keep on looking as young as possible. Not wanting to get old before my time. One participant thought about her present self and how she thought about future images to prevent herself of becoming fat in the future. She reports, I just think about my present physical appe arance and also my future appearance. Kind of preventing of not becoming who I don’t want to be. So I think about a healthy me in present time and I really tr y to think about not getting fat and just being healthy. Some male participants thought about th eir body tone and muscle growth when thinking about exercise imagery. For exam ple this one participant thought about he “thought myself become stronger and have bi gger muscles…” Also, another participant thought about his muscles when thinking about exercise. He reports, “Every time I go do weights and look in the mirror, I try my best to focus on my chest area as I feel much better if I have a bigger chest…” Other responses like thinking about getting younger, figh ting with gravity, having a healthy looking face, thinner thighs, skin care models, toned body, and thinking about more definition. These main themes will be supported with quotes in the following sections of high exerciser, high imager y user, and high self-efficacy group and low exerciser, low imagery user and low self-efficacy group.

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46 Health Outcomes Twenty-five participants indi cated that they thought of some kind of health image when thinking about ex ercise. Most of the participants thought about how to stay healthy and how to prev ent diseases from occurring. Some thought about their parent’s health or genetic family health and how it affected them to keep on exercising so they can prevent the disease to co me into them. Like this participant, who she thought about her family history of chr onic diseases and how thinking about that helped her to keep on exercising. She said, I think well my mom died young of pancreatic cancer not of a stroke or heart attack or anything…I’m more aware of my chol esterol level…I mean anyone can become a diabetic if you’re obese enough and don’t exercise and anybody can have stroke, so I kind of, so that’s in the back of my mind, yea, high blood pressure Another participant had similar thoughts about how prone she is to diseases especially as she ages and how that mo tivated her to exercise. She reported, Trying to kind of visualize my heart rate, being lower when I workout rather than going higher as I work harder just so it doesn ’t get out of control, train to visualize myself as being healthier because I’m doi ng this, I’m 50 so I’m thinking about risks of stroke, and heart disease and all that, a nd this is a good thing to prevent me from having these problems. I’m trying to get out of my workout, so that I can spend a little less time and still get the same bene fits, kind of my goal at this point. This participant also had similar thoughts of how sh e constantly thought about diseases and having a freedom of illness from it. She quoted, “Oh, I really think about my health when I am exercising…I have im ages of like lower blood pressure, freedom from illness, aerobic conditioning, and stress relief…” Other responses like thinking about preven tion of injury, being more alert with energy, lowering heart rate, what to do to stay healthy, heart beat a nd blood pressure, and improved endurance and fitness. These quot es will be supported in the following sections of high exerciser, high imager y user, and high self-efficacy group and low exerciser, low imagery user and low self-efficacy group.

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47 Plans/Strategies Seventeen participants indicate d that they used some sort of cognitive general image related to exercise. Most of these participants were exercisers who did weight training and used plans or t hought about programs in their head before they would start a workout. Like this part icipant where he said, “…Would think about all the exercises…would do on that certain day, such as working on my chest, what kinds of exercises will I work today, bench, incline, chest files…” This participant also had similar thoughts. He quoted, “…Like when I work out, a few hours before, I would start thinking about what areas of muscle I would ‘hit’, and I know what regiment I will be doing, and the only difference would be what I’ll be doing in the gym that particular day.” He also quoted how he planned out very specifically before a workout. I would just like to know what I’ll be doing, what areas of body I work out to, primarily because I want to work out the same muscle for one week…before I go to the gym, like what area of body I’m going to working on that day. I already know what I’m going to be doing, once I determin e what area. So the next thing would be, am I going to heavy or light, am I going to try different exercises, more reps, less reps, those kinds of things I think about once I get to the gym… This participant made a checklist of what exercises he wanted to do before he went to the gym. He quotes, I do a checklist, like what body parts I’m goi ng to do today. You see, since I go to the gym everyday, I try to exercise different body parts each day. So if one day I’m just exercising my chest, the next I’ll try to exercise my legs, and the back or abs, or arms and so on. So each day, I try to s ee what exercises are available in the gym and think about each specific exercise, like you know, if I’m doing bench, how many reps of how much weight and how many sets. Also one participant planned a different wo rkout before she exer cised so it would not be boring. She quoted, I’m trying to plan my schedule where I can go regularly, now I’m thinking about how I can change the workout around and not get bored. I’ve actually scheduled a meeting with the trainer so that I can ki nd of customize the workout and help me come up with ways to do that, cause I don’t know what to change and in the routine

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48 to make it better for me. And then sometim es when I leave I think about what I can do next time to be different and keep this moving. Another participant thought about having someone next to her when she did the stair master. She reported, When I’m on the step machine or stair master, I usually try to visualize somebody beside me and we are competing agai nst each other. You know how running machines or stair masters can get really bor ing especially if y ou are just looking at a TV screen while you are exercising, so I try to imagine that I am somewhere else like climbing up the pyramids or running on a beach. One participant thought about getting into the rhythm when she ran by thinking about a certain song. She stat ed, “I think about a certain song that really motivates me…when I’m thinking about this song, especi ally when I am running and I’m bored, it will keep my rhythm and therefore help me to keep on finishing my run.” One participant thought about the specific certain step s she took when she when biking. She states, I try to concentrate on pulling through the bottom of the stroke like wiping mud off your shoe, and pulling up through the top of the stroke. I will be aware of my cadence, and what gear I’m using. I try to experience the feel in my feet and legs while you shift through gears as I climb or descend. And most importantly I let my muscles be relaxed. One participant used goal setting by stating, “I like to set goals when I run…if I ran 3 miles today, I am going to set a goal to run 3.2 miles the next time I run on the treadmill.” Stress Levels/Emotions This kind of imagery is the motivational general arousal images associated with exercise, such as st ress reliever or stress cr eator. Twenty-four participants stated that they used some kind of imagery that related to their emotions. Many participants had the same thoughts of how thinking of exercise during the day reduced their stress like this participant, “… That’s definitely mental health thing, yeah,

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49 cause I have a desk job, and uh the doctor ev en told me that you be better off building houses, than sitting doing no activ ity all day, sit in front of th e computer, so, it’s just like a stress reliever.” This partic ipant used to consume alcohol as a stress reliever but now, thinking and doing exercise has become his stress reliever. He explains, It just relieves tension. Before I used to exercise, I would just drink beer every night, when I’m working because of my st ressful job. I work 11 hours a day and 4 hours in weekends sometimes so I get wound up at the end of the day. So I would drink a lot to relieve my stress. A six p ack wouldn’t even last 2 days. Now I only drink socially on weekends. Because back then, alcohol was my relieving stress, now I relieve stress by working out. I think it works better. Out of the 24 participants, five stated that thinking of imagery created some kind of stress. Like this participant, “Thinking of exercise is ok, but it is not ok when I want to workout and cannot because of time constrai nts. This causes great stress for me sometimes and I would feel real ly guilty throughout the day.” This participant also had similar ideas. It has been helpful in a way that keeps me focused and maintains my focus towards exercise. I think without setting goals or thinking about accomplishing them I don’t think I would be very healthy. Now, it has been harmful sometimes when I really think about exercise, and I just don’t have the time to do it. That’s when it gets pretty stressful. One participant said how th inking about a joyful exerci se experience motivated her to exercise. She stated, “Exercise is very enjoyable to me so imagining exercising triggers a joyful memory that I wa nt to experience again and again.” One participant reported th at thinking of imagery wa s a starting block of her becoming a better person. She quoted, I exercise because I imagine myself as a be tter person after I exercise. I have that constant vision in my head that somehow I will be a better person after I exercise…Imagery is what motivates a pe rson to exercise. I think facilities around the world are also aware of this principle. I mean when I walk into a gym, I see posters of men and women in great shape. Then I start to conjure up images of my own. What would I look like after I exercise? Would I l ook like them? I think that

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50 these posters act as a trigger in helping me think of a better newer me. Like I’ve been saying from the beginning, imagery is the starting point of my exercise. Confidence Enhancing Images In order to develop, main tain, or regain confidence in sport, one should imagine performing in a confident manner (Mor tiz, Hall, Martin, & Vadocz, 1996). Paivio (1985) described this function in imagery called motivational general mastery (MG-M) imagery. Since we are only beginning to understand the content and function of mental imagery us ed by regular and non-regular exercisers (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Penfield, In Press), it was important to find if exercisers used imagery in regard to confidence. Twenty participants reported using imagery in relation to confidence. This participant thought how confiden ce helped him to stay in shape. He said, “I’m more confident of myself, and I feel I can do more th ings. And I seem to be able to concentrate much better when I’m physically in shape. So it’s related physi cally and mentally. Cause when I’m physically in shape, I tend to be more mentally in shape as well.” This participant also thought how imagery was a confidence booster. He quotes, I think imagery is a great confidence booste r. Especially when lifting weights, you won't accomplish something you've never done before unless you're confident you can do it. I think when you can picture yourself succeeding, your mind gets more comfortable with it and ther efore the more you picture it, the more automatic it becomes to you, and that’s how it may become a confidence booster! Motivational Images Thirteen participants reported using exercise imagery in regard with their motivational levels. One participant claimed that getting bigger and stronger motivated him to go to the gym more. He stated, I actually like weight training, I like to go to the gym and sometimes I wonder what keeps you from doing it, since I like to do it, and so thinking about going in and doing the reps and getting my arms stronge r and everything, it does give me more confidence when I feel better and when I do it and feel better and then I have more confidence.

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51 This one participant will get motivated by th inking about exercise while he was at work. He quotes, When I'm sitting and I'm typing and writing a grant and I'm getting a little bored or a little tired of that what I probably do and its not consciously doing it, its unconscious motivation I will get up and I will walk around and as I'm walking around Ill thinking about the workout I’ll have at swim, not so much swimming, but the relaxation I get from swimming. Losing weight was a big motivator fo r this participant. She said, Losing weight is a big motivator and actua lly the feeling after exercise now is starting to become I think a bigger motivator So I before I go, I try to remember that even though I’m tired I am going to feel better then when I go do it, rather than saying, ah, I’ll do it tomorrow and just go home. One participant thought about the terrible outcomes when not exercising and that was a motivator for her. She said, “I imagin e the terrible effects of not exercising and that is really motivational to me.” Perspective With regard to perspective taken (e.g., internal vers us external), 16 participants reported using prim arily an internal perspective, 9 reported external, while 5 reported both. For instance, this participant reported using internal imagery by actually using senses like smelling the air. She reports, I will usually visualize a place where I usuall y have an enjoyable ride, what it looks like, what it smells like, how it feels. I enjoy being there, noticing the greens and browns of the landscape, and feel the wa rmth of the sun and the coolness of the breeze. I can still smell the aromas or scents that I smelled at that time. I can smell the flowers, pine exhaustion fumes, and the car pollution. Nine participants reported using imagery from an external perspective, like how this participant reported seeing herself bike from a mirror persp ective. She said, “I use an external imagery perspective as if I were watching myself in a mirror on the bike pedaling perfectly and building intensity.”

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52 Final Thoughts At the end of the interview, th e participant was asked if they had anything to add. Eighteen part icipants provided extra thought s and suggestions that they felt was important with regard of exercise imagery. These ideas included teaching imagery to exercisers and how it will bene fit to them, using positive imagery, and to people who are not that active should stop th inking about food and start thinking about exercise. Here is an interesting quot e that one participant reported. I think the body imagery can encourage exer cising a lot. Especially for obese people or people who want to lose wei ght. Many people worry about mass media’s influence on the stereoty pical body image, but those images egg many couchpotatoes, such as me, to actually go out and exercise to have better appearance... One other participant had similar thoughts. By using exercise imagery, it should mo tivate you to get up off your chair and do exercise. People who are not active s hould stop seeing themselves eating good food or drinking and should start findi ng ways and thinking about how they can lose weight. That way there will be some motivation to start exercising… This participant requested to exercisers that motivation was the starting block to a good exercise program. My advice is to just be motivated. You ju st have to be able to do something and that image would come naturally…let’s say when I’m working out, you don’t think about, you know there is no text saying, be nd your arm 90 degrees and it’s not like that. You see your arm bending, you don’t see in text. You think of an image, you don’t think in text. Everyone does. Motiva tion is the hardest part. Most people don’t exercise cause they are not motivated. That’s such a clich. Of course you are not motivated, you just don’t want to do it. And when you are not motivated to do it, you can’t imagine yourself doing it. So you have to be motivated. Once you are motivated enough, the image will come naturally. Everybody has that capability. A couple of participants had conflicts with trainers in their gym and hoped if they would pay more attention to their exercise. This participant had a conflict with her trainer which effected her motivation to go to the gym. I just had a slight confrontat ion with a trainer. That lost a lot of my motivation to go…so what I want to say to exercise l eaders is that just saying I’m doing well

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53 doesn’t really matter to me…I feel th ey’re saying that cause it is their job…however in the case of th e conflict I had my motivation was quite effectively stuffed, because the trainer didn’t ask why I di dn’t wanted to participate he just told me to do it…and then he just went to en couraged others while totally ignoring me. Comparative Analyses The quotations and labels above consisted of first-person descriptions from all the participants’ data and served to answer res earch purpose one. The second purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the various uses of mental imagery among adults who meet established guidelines for weekly exer cise, were highly self-efficacious in the exercise domain, and who frequently engage in exercise related imagery versus those who do not meet established guidelines for exer cise, were lower in exercise self-efficacy, and less frequently engage in exercise relate d imagery. Figures 5-2 and 5-3 highlight the major functions of imagery reported by both groups of participants respectively. High Imagery User, Active Exerciser, and High Self-Efficacy participants: Active Participants Fifteen participants scored high on all three preliminary assessments and these individuals consisted of ten females and five males. Additionally, nine of the high scorers were between the ages of 46 to 65 while the remaining six were 35 to 45 year olds. What follows is a summary of when and where participants in each category used imagery followed by more in-depth descriptio ns of the content and function of imagery reported. When/Where. As shown in Table 4, seven activ e participants reported that they used imagery out of exercise environments, fi ve reported the use of imagery in and out of exercise environments, and 3 used imagery only in the exercise environment. These individuals used imagery before, during, and after exercising. With regard to the less active group, seven out of the ei ght participants reported that they used imagery out of the

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54 exercise content only prior to exercisi ng. The remaining analysis consisted of descriptions of exercise imagery between thos e individuals characterized as active versus those who were less active. Figures 5-2 and 53 represent the major functions of imagery reported by the active and inactive participants respectively. Table 4-2: Analysis of Where/When Active/Le ss Active Participants (n=15) Use Exercise Imagery. Where Number of Less Active Participants Number of Active Participants In Exercise Environments 0 3 Out of Exercise Environments 7 7 In and Out of Exercise Environments 0 5 When Prior to Exercise 7 7 During Exercise 0 3 Prior/During/After Exercise 0 5 Exercise Technique. All the participants reported that they used some kind of technique imagery. One participant thought ab out his form when he was biking and how he could create the less resistance when he pedaled. “I guess I do a lot of thinking when I’m biking. Cause I also think about my form how I pedal and how I try to create the least most resistance to get the fastest ki nd of momentum.” Th is other participant thought about her biking form, When I’m cycling, I try to think about my body position on the bike, staying over the saddle, pulling up on the paddles…switching lead leg…relaxing hands, arms, upper body…feeling the burn in my quads hamstrings…imagining elongated muscles after workout… Many participants thought a bout their form in the weight room. Like this participant where he would think about his whole body form when doing weights. He quoted, “Usually I’m more involv ed with technique, making sure my back’s straight, my shoulder’s straight, and depending what areas of muscles I’ll be doing that day, using

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55 proper technique.” Also this other particip ant thought about not only his body form but how to achieve the routine smoothly. He quote d, “I also try to imagine using proper form for each rep, such as bending your arms at the proper angle, keeping your back still, lifting the bar smoothly.” This one participant thou ght about her breathing when she did imagery. She quoted, “I try to focus as much as I can on maintaining proper form, and um getting my breathing right, controlling my breathing, maki ng sure that everything works fine, that I’m properly stretched and all that.” One othe r participant quoted th at she really thought about heel to toe when running. I am very realistic about proper running form, such as the knees bent, good heel placement, no bouncing, right hand positions, very specific about my technique. It’s all natural to me since I taught stude nts and also was an athlete myself. In weight lifting, I try to th ink about good mechanics, speed, form and control. One participant thought about her stretc hing when she was doing yoga and how it improved her concentration. She quoted, After I became more attach ed to yoga, I started imagining about my technique… Each time I do the split, I im agine the muscles in my le g elongating and stretching. Thinking about my muscles stretching out causes pain, but thinking and imagining about how my muscles are stretching inside my body increases my concentration…. Another participant thought about stre tching and how it helped her relax her muscles. She quoted, “During my yoga sessi ons, I just try to relieve strain on my muscles…I think to increase my flex ibility relieving body stress, relaxation improvements and try to muscle toning…” One participant quoted how she thought about getting the most efficient steps when she was walking. “I think about my form wh en I’m walking and how I can get the most efficient steps when I walk. I also thi nk about how good it feels after my workout, how

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56 my day will be lively and how I can feel gr eat throughout the day.” Another participant used imagery in relation to technique when he felt tired and explained how it helped him to stay focused. He reported, I am especially tired or fatigue, it is r eally prone to develop some bad habits by working out when you're tired, but if you vi sualize the correct technique, you won't have the physical wear-and-tear. I also think imagery can also help you stay focused on the task at hand, such as if a weightlifter is distracted by problems going on at work, he might not lift as mu ch as he's physically capable of. Appearance Images. All of the 15 participants reported some kind of appearance images. Most of the responses were about body tone and looking younger. One participant thought about when she was young. She quoted, “I recall my past self and think about how I looked 30 y ears ago. I also keep on reminding myself of how I look now and try to keep in shape for my future.” Another part icipant thought about having a healthy face. She quoted, “I try to think of having a healthy face. I really try to think about how my facial structure looks healthy and my skin color looking healthy as well.” Another participant also thought about her facial appearance. She reported, “When you do a headstand, the blood rushes to your face and that is supposed to be good for your facial skin. At this very in stance, I usually get an image of blood rushing to my face from my feet. I also get images of skincare mode ls holding a fruit with massage cream all over their face.” One participant thought about he r younger years and explained how trying to have a young image of her kept her motivated to exercise. She said, I’ve always had this image of when I was young. About 30 years ago, I would say…back then I was really toned and pret ty…even though I didn’t workout at all! But now I got to try really hard just to keep my appearance looking healthy and strong. So looking back 30 years and havi ng a constant image of myself 30 years ago, it’s a constant reminder for me to try to stay young and pretty. Health Outcomes Twelve participants reported that they thought about health images when exercising. Many of these pa rticipants thought about having a healthy

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57 lifestyle and how exercise helps them have a healthy life. Similar to a healthy lifestyle, some participants had an image of themse lves living with no diseases and feeling younger. This one participant thought about his parent’s health problems and how he wanted to prevent it. He quoted, I want to exercise so I can prevent getting any diseases or prevent of a heart attack. I am more concerned about my health because I am getting old now, and I know that my parents at my current age had bad health problems. So I keep that on the back of my mind so I can pr event that from happening. So it’s kind of a health issue. Another participant actually felt like he felt healthier when he thought about his health. He quoted, “It’s like a maintenance work, like a preventative medicine type of work. I workout so I can prevent from getting hu rt, or sick. It makes me feel better, my self confidence goes way up…and I don’t seem to get sick very well anymore.” This other participant thought about freedom of illness when he used imagery. He said, “Oh, I really think about my health when I am ex ercising…I have images of like lower blood pressure, and aerobic conditioning.” One participant thought about being more aerobically fit. “My goal is to become more aerobically fit, so that I’m more functional as a person, I know that overall will improve my health and plus I do enjoy it.” Another participant thought about his ea ting and exercise when thinki ng about a healthy lifestyle. He quoted, “I know that a healthy lifestyle is the result of eating co rrectly and exercise…I have always done that so I exercise to maintain my image of a healthy person.” Plans/Strategies. Ten out of the fifteen participants used imagery in relation to making plans or strategies during exercise Some used plans before working out, checklists in head, relaxation ex ercises, back up plans, goal se tting, and strategies to beat their opponent. One participant used an i ndex card that had positive messages.

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58 Whenever he felt like he was losing confid ence he took a look at this card and he reported that it really helped him. Here is his quote. I wrote my life's greatest accomplishments on an index card, and I keep the card with me. In this card I thought of someth ing in my life that I didn't think I could do. Such as, bench 300 or run a marathon, or even earn a million dollars. And any time I feel like I’m losing confidence, I pul l the card out and read it. I mean it's like my best friend putting his arm around you and saying, 'You can do it.' And everytime I read it I actually feel a change in my body. One participant did a checklist in his head of the different motions required when doing his exercise. He quoted, Before I do a particular set, the 10 repe titions or whatever I sit down, look at myself in the mirror, or look at th e ground, and I’ll do a ch ecklist ok, A is your breathing right, once the breathing is under control, how you are going to get into thing, make sure you got that down, and I go through seeing myself, doing it in my head, um, and doing the exercise in my h ead, and it doesn’t hurt when I do it in my head. One participant made a relaxation exercise th at helped her relieve her muscles. She reported, I like to strategize when I’m relaxing and thinking about imagery. Enjoy the feelings of both arms being heavy, at ease, completely relaxed. Relax all the muscles of your back, spinal column, re lax the muscles of your chest, your abdomen, relax the muscles of your pelvic area...Lie or sit there for a moment enjoying the feeling of total relaxation. Th at is the kind of guide I use to relax myself when I’m at home doing nothing. She also thought about a pretty scene when she ran. She quoted, I think about a pretty scen e or environment and I thi nk about my route when I’m thinking about running. It’s a long 4 mile loop around th is neighborhood that I can image in my mind, and I can follo w the whole route in my mind. This participant reported that she needed a partner to exercise. I get very bored if I’m by myself exercising. I mean, swimming and running are boring sports anyways so I need someone to talk to, enjoy it you know. I don’t like to just go back and forth without any talk ing. I need to talk to someone, you know, be happy be able to laug h and enjoy my workout.

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59 This participant report ed that he had a backup plan ju st in case the gym was closed. I like to know what to expect…like expect the unexpected…so I try to have like a back up plan in case the gym is closed or the weather is bad…I also think about the next exercise session and how I can improve myself from the previous exercise session. One participant did goal setting before she went for a jog. I think of many different images throughout my jogging routine. Before I start jogging, I usually set my short-term goals su ch as where I will be running to and at what speed for how long. I think during the highlight of my joggi ng I start to think about other matters concerning my own self and body – such as will I be gaining a more toned body after I do this exercise or if I am thinking about matters concerning work, friends, or family, I’m us ually thinking – how am I going to solve that problem? Another participant thought about making up strategies to beat her opponent when she was playing tennis. She quotes, “I gue ss thinking about defeating my opponent, use some strategies like assessing the wea knesses of the opponent and trying to take advantage.” Emotions/Feelings. Fourteen participants reported some kind of imagery regarding emotions and feelings. Most participants t hought about relief of st ress when they thought about exercise like this participant. “I think about swimming duri ng the day, getting in the cool water and actually feeling good about myself. That is a good stress reliever.” Another participant reported that thinking about exercise might relieve stress but also might create stress. She quoted, “Imagery reliev es stress as I set goals like losing weight, or doing good in a workout, but then it cr eates stress when I try to find the time to exercise and I cannot.” This participant al so had similar views. “Imagining exercise generally relieves stress but not always…if I haven’t exercised in a few days then thinking about it does not help relieve stress.”

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60 One participant reported thinking about pleasant places to relieve her stress. I then try to let go of all th e tension and stress I had been feeling that day. I think and imagine about the places that I’ve been meaning to go to but haven’t been able to because of work. I usually imagine a place where there is no people but only the sound of the environment no sound just pe ace. These days, I imagine and think about a nice solitary beach with white sand and blue waves Another participant used exercise imagery to relieve stress while she was working. “Of course it relieves stress…when I sit in my office during the whole day I always think about exercising, thinking about sweating and breathing hard….those kinds of images help my stress levels down.” Some participants related their feelings wh en using imagery. Quot es like, “I really like to think about the benefits of using imagery. Such as f eeling great after a workout or feeling strong and big.”, “I look forward to the good feeling I have about myself after exercising.” and “I know how refr eshing it feels after a workout, I want to get that feeling and I feel so good after a workout, that I can do many things without feeling guilty. It’s like a flowing feeling where I can be more co mpatible with my life with my day.”, were all quotes taken from participants who reported feeling good after a workout. Confidence Enhancing Images Twelve participants re ported using imagery in relation to their confidence. One participan t believed that imagery can increase one’s confidence by thinking that one can ach ieve one’s goals. He reported, When I’m in the gym or doing some kind of exercise, I strive to always go beyond my previous abilities…and thinking about beforehand really gives me confidence to actually do the activity. It’s like tr ying to do 300 pound bench when I can really do 200…if I have a constant image in my head that I can really do that then even though I couldn’t bench 300 pounds, I think I coul d lift more than I did in the past. So I believe thinking abou t abilities you can’t norm ally do can really help. This participant also had si milar ideas. She stated, “I imagine it I know that I’ve achieved it and that its possibl e and its achievable in that respect I know that I’ve done it

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61 before and I can do it again.” One particip ant stated how using imagery prevented him from injuries. He said, When I first started working out, and I didn’t use imagery, some 10 years ago or something, I used to get injured more ofte n, not injured as in severe injuries, but just minor sprains and aches, that could be a fact that I wasn’t thinking too much when I was doing it, but I think it’s because I would just go th e gym with my music in my headphones really loud and say “oh, let’s do this! Dun, dun, duh, duh” so you know, it definitely helps too; so I th ink if you think about it more, the more confident you will be. This participant also stated similar ideas. He said, “Imagery makes me focused and self centered enough that even though I’m doing dangerous amounts of weight, it will help me from getting injured. I think, imagery really helps prevent injury.” This participant reported how achieving bigger weig hts in the gym gave her confidence to exercise better. She quotes, “I really get a lot of confidence after I workout. Cause after I workout I really feel good about myse lf, especially after a good workout.” Motivational Images Seven participants reported us ing imagery in relation to their motivation. Participants repor ted how feeling great after a workout motivated them to exercise again. Like this participant, I’m always feeling great after a workout. So that kind of feeling really gets me going…really motivates me to go to the gym again and feel that kind of sensation. And the more I feel that I way, the more likely I will be going to the gym and busting my… This participant had images about how she rewards and goals motivated her to exercise. I set goals before I go to the gym and also give rewards to myself if I achieve these goals. It’s a big stimulator and motivator for me as if I achie ve those goals, I get really happy and excited because I will be getting my reward! So whenever I feel unmotivated, I set goals and rewards… Other participants who used imagery in relation to motivation had remarks like, “Getting that feeling of achievement to be stimulated to workout again.” or “having a

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62 wonderful experience when working out motiv ated them to comeback to workout.” These positive experiences gave partic ipants motivation to workout again. Low Imagery User, Less Active Exerciser, and Low Self-Efficacy participants: Less Active Participants Description Eight participants scored low on all three preliminary assessments and these individuals consisted of three males and five females. With regard to age, three individuals in the less active group were between 35 to 45 while the remaining five were 46 to 65 year olds. When/Where As shown in Table 4, seven par ticipants reported using imagery out of exercise environments. Also seven partic ipants used imagery only prior to exercise. One participant thought about sk iing when she was at wor k. She quoted, “When I daze off during my work, I think about the beautiful snow covered mountai ns and I think about skiing in that kind of environment.” Also one participant report ed how he only thought about exercise only before he went to the gym. He explains, “I don’t think about doing weights until I am at the parking lot of my gy m. Then I start thinki ng of what exercises I will be doing and how long I plan to stay in the gym.” Technique Four participants reported using ex ercise imagery in relation to their technique. One participant thought about her form when she was running in the gym. She quoted, I try to think about my form and technique a lot. Like how you e xplained. I try to think about how my form looks if my back is not hunched or my arms are swinging. I try to look at the mirror wh en I’m running on the running machine and if I look silly I try to correct my technique. Also, “I run, I really think about my running technique. Like if my running position is correct and if I’m maintaining the right amount of speed a nd tension to get an exercise.”

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63 This participant though t about her form when she walked to prevent herself from injury. She quoted, “I do try to think about walking straight, ta king big strides, and thinking about whether my knees hurt or not, yo u see I have a slight case of arthritis in my knees so sometimes if I exercise too hard, the next day it will cause pain in my knees. One participant thought about a famous swimmer’s stroke that he saw on television and imagined to mimic the famous swimmer’s stroke to his. He said, I like to think about perfecting my techni que and how my stroke would compare to my stroke when I was a college swimmer. I also try to visualize Michael Phelps stroke. Since he has such a beautiful stroke, when I see him at competitions and on TV, I try to recreate his stroke to mi ne when I’m actually swimming…So when I’m swimming, I like to compare his stroke to mine, really think that I’m Michael Phelps…so thinking about perfecting my st roke and getting feedback from the coach is a great thing. One participant reported th e importance of technique in skiing and how he thought about it when he skied. I love skiing…Skiing involves high skills of perfection…in order to get that perfect form I always think about perfec ting that form…I always believe that through thinking you can ge t a better improvement in actual activity… This participant also stated how technique was important in the sports he played. I have to imagine where my hand is going a nd stuff, so I imagine more of technique and not as much as when I would win a nd stuff. For ping-pong, I think about my stroke a lot. The useful f unctionality wise, it’s the sa me thing, but right now, it’s clearer now, than before. Also, a participant reported using imager y to make movements easier than she actually could do. She said, “I imagine stretchi ng and moving more easily than I actually am able to move…” Appearance Four participants reported using imagery concerned with appearance. One participant thought about her appearance and how she would like to look healthier and younger. She said, “I imagine myself as a healthy middle aged woman with no injuries and also think about be ing younger.” This participant also had similar ideas. “I

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64 really think about my appearance…I try to think about the benefits of exercise, how it will make me skinner and healthier.” Also one participant thought about his appearance after he had a big meal and felt guilty of eating too much. He stated, I do think about how to get rid of this fa t once I eat it! But then again I do think about what I’m eating and how it will make a difference to my stomach if I don’t exercise after a meal…I would think about my stomach when I’m eating and if I don’t exercise. So I guess that’s kind of thinking about my appearance prior to exercise. One participant thought about the effects of when she would not exercise. She stated. I do fear that if I don’t exercise, I will tu rn fat and be one of those people who are in McDonalds eating hamburge rs. I fear that. And in order not to be an obese person, I need to exercise. She also was concerned about her bo dy appearance after she exercised. As I said before every time before I work out I try to think about an improved physical appearance. Also after working out I try my best to encourage myself, by saying you lost a lot of weight today becau se you sweated a lot and that means you lost a lot of calories a nd those extra pounds on your thighs and buttocks! Health Outcomes Four participants reported usi ng imagery in relation to their health. One participant thought about her health and how exercise could prevent her from disease. “Since I am an exercise phys iology major, thinking about my health is always a concern when I’m thinking about my exercise…especially when I’m jogging, I think about my heartbeat going up…my in creased blood pressure, temperature and sweat.” This participant also had similar id eas. “I’m thinking about 20 years from now, I don’t want to be at a point wher e I can’t walk or not be able to touch the floor or get up and down, so I guess more and more I’m using ex ercise to think about health as I age.” Another participant was concerned of her weight when she exercised. One thing I’m very conscious of is weight and the statistics on obesity and I don’t want to become one of those and my husband is very much involved in that,

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65 working on his PhD, so I have someone ar ound me that I learn all these statistics from and I don’t want to become one of them and I know the consequences are and poor health, that’s influence from him Another participant thought about exercising more after he injured his back. Since my back is a lot better and I’ve been going to physical therapists and I’ve been having all sorts of ex ercises that I do for my b ack now, and I do think about the back, the stretching and everything to keep my back stronger, I think that now I've come around too, I thinking more about I have got to start exercising so. Plans/Strategies Four participants who were in the low category reported thinking about a plan or strategy when exercising. Th is participant created a mental map of what he wanted to do that day in the gym. When I go into my gym, I take a look ar ound I think to myself, what exercises I’m going to do today, and how many reps I’ll be doing for each exercise. I create a mental map across the gym and see what exercises I’m doing first and what I should do next One participant set goals duri ng her exercise regime. I do set goals, um, and I try visually imagin e myself what it would be to achieve the goal…like we did a half marathon this past year, and so we se t that goal, and we did it, but it was mostly just I’m going to do it, so now next year, we’re going to do, and we are going to shave 30 minutes off, of what we done before. One participant imagined before bed pla nning out exercises wit hout any pain. She quoted, “The night before I workout, I imagin e myself working out and being done with my routine without any pain.” Emotions/Feelings Although some participants repor ted using exercise imagery as a stress reliever, it was interes ting to notice that most particip ants thought that thinking of exercise was a stress creator. Overall, five participants stated that using imagery in regard to exercise created stress. Like this participant who quoted, “I guess it is helpful by motivating myself to exerci se, but I guess it also can be harmful if you think about something and you don’t see the results. Like if you imagine the perf ect workout, but the

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66 body does not always respond the way it did in the past, which can be discouraging.” This participant felt stressed when she imag ined about the results she wanted, but in reality when she could not reac h it, it created stress. She quoted, “It sure does, when I think about a better se lf appearance and when I don’t see re sults. Especially if I work out really hard for about a month, and I don’t see results, I get stressed.” Although most participants repo rted imagery as a stress creator, this participant had mixed thoughts about exercise imagery. She reported, Thinking about exercise it is a stress reliev er or it can be a st ress reliever, probably you can make it stressful too, if you’re thin king, oh I got to do this, I got to do, I don’t want to do, but I got to, have to do it, then that can provide extra stress, a different kind of stress, but extra stress, but it certainly is a great stress reliever for what’s going on at work and in your life, sure. Confidence Enhancing Images Three participants reported imagery in relation to confidence. This participan t reported how going to the gym and achieving weights that she could not do before and thinking about th em motivated her and gave her confidence. I like to go to the gym and sometimes I w onder what keeps you from doing it, since I like to do it, and so thinking about goi ng in and doing the reps and getting my arms stronger and everything, it does give me more confidence when I feel better and when I do it and feel better a nd then I have more confidence. Although some of the particip ants thought using imagery was a confidence builder, many of the participants did not see imagery in relation to confidence. This participant said she never thought that imagery can relate to her confidence. Sh e said, “I never had the experience where I would th ink about an exercise just to raise my confidence.” Motivational Images Three participants used imagery in relation to motivation. One participant used music as a motivation t ool to exercise. She quoted, “I always see myself exercising and moving to a strong beat …music always makes me imagine a fast paced elliptical workout.” This participant needed a partner to exercise with for

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67 motivation to exercise. She stated, “I’ll usua lly walk at least a hour a day, but, if we end up going together to a class, we go in there and do the class, and I would say, I’m a very social exerciser, I don’t want to things by myself, I have no interest in that” Another participant thought about how th inking about losing weight mo tivates her to exercise. She quotes, “My biggest motivation is getti ng a skinner self, which is a never ending process, but when I do think about the benefits of exercise an d how exercise will help me lose weight, I tend to think about a beautiful sk inny me!” This pa rticipant also had similar ideas before she went to the gym. She stated, “Trying to achieve something like running longer or faster, those are the motiva tions during exercise, but before I go to the gym, my big motivator is thinking, Ok! Let’ s go lose some weight!” One participant reported that thinking about a healthy body helped her motivat e to exercise. She quoted, “Exercising itself doesn’t give a motivation but future health, a nd healthier body image, gives me motivation.” Summary of Group Comparison As described above, the time and place par ticipants in the active group reported using imagery differed from the less active group. Specifically, the more active group reported using imagery in and out of the exercise environment unlike the less active group who used imagery only out of the exer cise context. While differences were observed with regard to where and when the participants report using imagery, minimal differences that involved the content of the images were observed. It is interesting however the individuals in the active group a ppeared to provide more descriptions and especially more vivid descriptions of their images than the less act ive group. Finally, age and gender differences were obs erved and are graphically disp layed in Figures 5-4 and 55. As shown, 60% of all male participants used technique imager y the most while the

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68 female participants used appearance images the most (47%). In addition, 70% of the respondents in the 35 to 45 year old group re ported using technique imagery the most while the 46 to 65 year olds used appearance and health imagery mo re. It is noteworthy that only the 46 to 65 year olds repor ted imagery focused on health outcomes.

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69 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend the findings of Giacobbi et al. (2003) and exam ine the content and function of exercise imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. More specifically, this study examined when, where, how, what, and why middle-aged adults used imagery focused on their exercise behaviors. Another purpose of this study was to compare the various uses of mental imagery among individua ls with different character istics using the Exercise Imagery Inventory (EII, Giacobbi, Hausenblas and Penfield, in pr ess), Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ: Godin & Shephard, 1985), and the Exercise SelfEfficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992). As explaine d, each participant was categorized as either active (High scores in EII, LTEQ, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale) or less active (Low scores in EII, LTEQ, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale) in phase one. These characterizations then allowed for direct co mparisons in phase two. Overall, the study results are in accordance with theoretical predictions of Hall (1995) and Paivio (1985) as well of the research findings of Hausenblas et al. (1999), Gammage et al. (2000) and Giacobbi et al. (2003). Findings from this research will be discussed in terms and contributions to the extant research on exercise imagery, study limitations, and future research directions. Integration and Extension of Previous Studies Participants in this study engaged in ment al imagery both and in and out of exercise environments. Most of the participants used imagery prior to exercise usually in the

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70 morning, while others used imagery during a nd after exercise. Several participants reported using imagery before exercise and also reported that they usually planned a workout or thought about exercise prior to for motivational purposes. With regard to the content of the participants’ images, the re sults showed the content and function of exercise imagery to be consistent with pr evious research (Gia cobbi et. al., 2003). Specifically, the major content of the partic ipants’ images were coded as technique imagery, appearance, images, health outcomes, plans/strategies, emotions/stress levels, confidence enhancing images, and motivating im ages. Similarly, Giacobbi et al. (2003) found the content of female aerobics participan ts consisted of exerci se technique, aerobic routines, exercise context, appearance images, competitive outcomes, fitness/health outcomes, emotions/feelings, and exercise self-efficacy. In addition to these consistencies, appearance-related images se rved as important motivators to sustaining exercise behavior, especially for younger female participants in this study and previous research (Hausenblas et al. 1999; Gammage et al., 2000; Giacobbi et al. 2003). This finding is reasonable as most of the participan ts were female in pr evious investigations and the pressure placed on women to ma intain a physically ideal body weight and appearance is crucial (McAuley & Burman, 1993; Silberstein, Stre igel-Moore, Timko, & Rodin, 1988). Likewise, an additional consiste ncy with previous work (Gammage et al., 2000) was that most of the male participants reported using technique related images while females focused mainly on health and ap pearance imagery. Others have suggested that differential images between males and female are due to motivational aspects of exercise as men tend to exercise more for competitive reasons, both against themselves and others as compared to women (Bi ddle & Bailey, 1985; Markland & Hardy, 1993;

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71 Mathes & Battista, 1985). According to Gamma ge et al., (2000), we ight training culture can be very competitive, as individuals attempt to lift more weight and work harder than others around them. With this type of competitive exercise motive, men may image themselves perfecting their form and techni que and in turn lifting more weight. As discussed in the literat ure review, Paivio (1985) proposed a framework focusing on how imagery might influence physical performance. The results shown in this study were somewhat consistent with Paivio’s fr amework as the content of the participants images were in accord with the motivational and cognitive functions of imagery predicted by Paivio (1985). Specifically, technique and pl ans/strategies were consistent with the cognitive functions of imagery while appearan ce, health, and stress levels/emotions were associated with the motivational functions. The theoretical linkages between the major cognitive and motivational functions of im agery proposed by Paivio (1985) with the higher-order themes reported here are graphica lly displayed in Figur es 5-1 through 5-2. While the findings from this study confirme d previous research there were three important extensions that deserv e attention here. First, the va lue of health related images of the participants in this study cannot be underestimated. The vivid descriptions provided the potential for health improvement in exercise and how exercise imagery focused on health outcomes impacted particip ants’ motivation were astonishing. It would appear that health related images are an important source of motivation for older adult exercisers and should be incorporated into future intervention studies. While health related images were reported by Giacobbi et al’s participants, there wa s a stark contrast in the number of participants who discussed these images here a nd in the level of specificity

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72 reported in this study. For instance, 83% of the participants re ported health related images while only 31% reported such images in Giacobbi et al (2003). Second, it would appear the more active individuals in this study engaged in exercise imagery more often and with more vivid images than their less active counterparts. These latter findings are importa nt because a theoreti cal linkage between exercise imagery, motivation, and self-efficacy is suggested. Indeed such a linkage was recently discussed by Munroe-Chandler and Gammage (In Press) who provided a theoretical model that focuses on how imagery may impact exercise behavior. In short, they predicted that exercise imagery invol ves of five components: antecedents (e.g., experience of exerciser, goals setting, and impression motiv ation), major cognitive and motivational functions of imagery, cognitive and behavioral outcomes of imagery, selfefficacy beliefs, behavioral outcomes, and cognitive outcomes. In addition, a range of moderating factors that include gender, activity type, exercise frequency, age, and physical health status to name a few were included in the model. These factors are predicted to moderate relationships between self-efficacy beliefs a nd behavioral/cognitive outcomes. In the current study, the antecedents offered by Munroe-Chandler and Gammage (In Press) were evaluated with re gard to when and where exercise imagery was used. Similarly, all five functions of imagery were supported but additional more specific uses of imagery were documented (e.g., technique, health outcomes) and selfefficacy expectations were assessed. The fi ndings presented here also suggest that mental imagery contribute to the long-term maintenance of exercise behavior through a complex interplay between motivation, self-efficacy, and behavior.

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73 A third way this study extended previous ex ercise imagery research was the focus here on age and activity level comparisons. Sp ecifically, the author made an effort to compare age groups in terms of when and wh ere they used imagery and the specific content of their images. The interviews revealed th e younger age group (35 – 45 years old) thought about technique the most while the older age group (46 – 65 years old) thought about health images the most. These differences suggest motivational differences for engaging in exercise between younger and older individuals and warrant future research. One important issue in this study was th e finding regarding pl ans, routines, and strategies used by exercisers. Previous research has shown that many athletes strategize or rehearse entire game plans and use those st rategies to excel in their respective sport (Munroe et al., 2000). The re sults here showed how more than half (63%) of the participants reported using some kind of plan or routine with regard to their exercise imagery. For instance, planning out a wor kout before exercise, imagining someone competing next to me, doing checklists in th e head while exercising, and setting up goals during a workout program were all poignant po ints made by participants citing that these aspects were important motivators. While th ese findings are consistent with previous qualitative work in exercise imagery by Gi acobbi et al. (2003), none of the current measures of exercise imagery have subscales re lated to routines or strategies (Giacobbi et al., 2005; Hausenblas et al., 1999). Active vs. Less Active Groups This study might be considered unique in a way that there was an attempt to categorize each participant to either an Active or Less Active group according to the results of three assessments: LTEQ, EII, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale. By creating

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74 these two groups, the author c ould identify and compare the si milarities and differences among their usage of imagery. On a bigger note these results can be referred and applied to future studies by trying to learn th e thoughts and responses used by active group participants and apply those id eas and concepts to people w ho are not that motivated to exercise or have a low exercise level. Results showed clear differences between high exerciser, imagery user, and selfefficacy participants versus low exerciser, imagery user, and self efficacy participants when and where they used imagery. Less than half (47%) of the participants who were categorized in the high exerciser, imager y user, and self-efficacy group reported using imagery out of exercise environments and pr ior to exercise. These participants use imagery when they wake up at home or when th ey park in the gym, th ey think about what exercises they will be doing and plan out a sc heme of what they want to do that day. More than half (53%) of the participants in the high category reported using imagery in and out of exercise environments and used im agery prior, during, and after exercise. The results show how people who are active exerci sers, imagery users, and have high selfefficacy use imagery regardless of time and place. On the other hand, 88% of the participants in the Low cate gory reported using imagery onl y prior to exercise and only out of exercise environments. These result s reveal that participants who reported low levels of exercising, using imagery and self-efficacy do not use imagery in exercise environments and also not during or after exercise. One of main differences noticed between the active and less active groups was the general way participants responded to the ques tions asked during their interview. When interviewed, the responses of the participants in the act ive group were descriptive,

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75 expressive and vivid. Many of the participan ts in the active groups also thought about the benefits and positive consequences related to imagery and even at times when they felt ‘down’ or ‘stressed’. Also, many of these pa rticipants had no hesitations reporting what, when, why, where, and how they used imager y. The goals and expectations responded were clear, challengeable but attainable and mo st of the participants were confident that they could reach their goals. The author bare ly made an effort to probe questions and it seemed to the author that th e participants in this group felt very confident of their imagery use in exercise. Most of the participants in the less active group did not show much interest in imagery. The author sometimes had to make an effort to probe them with more questions as their responses were mostly short and simp le (e.g. yes, no, I think so). Most of the responses were undecided, unclear and most of them had a difficult time reporting their overall use of imagery. Also it was interesting to see that most of these participants at first reported not using imagery, but as the interview progressed, they began talking about what they would think before, during, and af ter exercise. Many of these participants reported having high goals and objectives, but ha rdly any of them did not have plans or routines to achieve those goals. Lastly, mo st of the participants knew how beneficial imagery could be, but did not know or did not use imagery as frequently. In summary, it is interesting to note what the differences were between the active and less active groups. Clear and vivid versus fuzzy and unclear images, positive versus negative images, descriptive a nd expressive versus straight forward and simple images, are just a few of many differences noted be tween the groups. The framework (Figure 52) from the active group might be a good tool for enlightening the low profile group for

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76 using imagery such as using MG-M imagery to improve confidence, staying focused, and remaining positive. As well, the framework can be used as an educational tool to teach exercisers the richness of imagery content. Low profile exercisers should learn to be positive in nature, accurate, vivid, and include all sensory modalities (Munroe et al., 2000). Study Limitations Despite being an innovative study involving qualitative and quantitative methods, a few limitations from this study must be revealed. One limitation of this study was determining which participants were consider ed active versus less active. Since there were no previous studies determining what scores were high and low for the EII and Barriers Self-Efficacy measures, the author reli ed on median splits and Center of Disease Control guidelines regarding exercise behavior Although the majority of the participants had absolute scores to clearly put them in to a category, some pa rticipants may have scored closer to the median making it more di fficult to clearly classify them as high in self-efficacy or imagery use. Therefore, the comparisons between these groups may not have been sensitive enough. A second limitation was that results were based on relatively a small sample. Nevertheless, in spite of a small sample, similarities and differences were shown between active and le ss active individuals, t hose in different age groups, and between males and females. Fina lly, the sample here consisted of mainly Caucasian and Asian participants. Future researchers may wish to focus on AfricanAmericans and Hispanics since individuals fr om these racial and ethnic groups were not adequately represented.

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77 Applied Implications Exercise imagery has tremendous potential as an interven tion tool (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi et al., 2005; Hall, 1995; Haus enblas et al., 1999; Munroe-Chandler & Gammage, In press). Murphy and Jowdy (1992) quoted, “Many myths and misconceptions have gathered around the use of imagery…Future research needs to be directed toward a better unde rstanding of the roles that imagery plays in human performance so that we can help all persons to optimally utilize their innate capacities (p. 245). Dishman (1994) has pointed out that despite continuing research addressing exercise adherence and the development and assessment of possible interventions; adherence rates have not a ppreciably increased from the late 1980s, suggesting that current interventions are not very effective. Given that exercise imagery has motivational functions (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Munr oe et al., 2000; & Gi acobbi et al., 2003) researchers need to determine if imagery is an effective intervention to enhance exercise adherence. That is why in this study, there was a compar ison between high exercisers, imagery users, and self-efficacy participants versus low exercisers, imagery users, and self-efficacy participants. By comparing these two categories, one can compare the differences between the two extremes and tr y to find different intervention methods on how to increase exercise adherence with pe ople who are less active. Researchers should also be encouraged to explore the relati onships between exercise imagery and other variables that influence exer cise participation and adhere nce. Although some research suggest that exercise imagery is related to self-efficacy (Rodgers et al., 2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi et al., 2005), focus should no w turn to whether exercise imagery can directly or indirectly imp act exercise behavior.

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78 Summary In summary, this study was intended to i nvestigate exercise imagery use by middleaged adults. This study represents a descrip tive basis for research in exercise imagery by using grounded theory analysis and the deve lopment of three conceptual frameworks. More specifically, exploring th e information regarding the four W’s in imagery: where, when, why, and what and incor porating Paivio’s four functi ons of imagery (CS, CG, MS, MG) among middle-aged exercisers, this study provides a descriptive resource for researchers interested in a pplied uses for exercise imag ery. The present study also examined the different characteristics between a high exercise, imagery, and self-efficacy participants and a low exercise, imagery, and self-efficacy participants By creating these comparisons, we now have a better view of what active and le ss active participant imagine with regard to their exercise behavior.

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79 Figure 5-1: Participants Conceptual Framework Exercise Technique N=26 Appearance Images N=25 Raw Data Themes Proper exercise form Biking, running, think about long strides and good technique Best technique to have least stress on body Thinking about heart rate when running Visualize the perfect stroke Perfecting stroke in golf and swimming Thinking about heel to toe when running Most efficient steps Doing the right stretching techniques Think about posture Long and smooth stroke Good mechanics, speed, form and control Looking skinner and healthier Comparing from 30 years ago and thinking about how to keep in shape for future Looking thinner by thinking of diet Fitting in certain size dresses, bathing suits Trying to look ten years younger Lower body fat, better body physique Thinking of future image Getting bigger muscles Being 50 and trying to fight with gravity Staying in shape Healthy looking face, skin color Thinking of a healthy middle aged women Thinner thighs Thinking about skincare models More toned body Thinkin g a b out definition Health Outcomes N=25 Thinking about family history health Prevent from diseases Freedom from illness Feeling refreshed, motivate to prevent injury Lower Blood Pressure, Lower Cholesterol Being more alert, more energy Having a healthy lifestyle Lowering Heart rate Think of what to do to stay healthy Flexible muscles, healthy looking face Think of improving fitness and endurance Think about heart beat, blood pressure, temperature Cognitive Specific (CS) Motivational Specific (MS)

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80 Figure 5-1. Continued Confidence Enhancing Images N=20 After seeing results Running longer, faster, losing weight Confidence in self If results are good gives confidence Knowing what can be achieved Confidence in self Getting stronger gives confidence Accomplishing bigger weights Plans/Strategies N=17 Stress Levels/Emotions N=24 Unconscious motivation Feeling after workout To become a better person Motivate myself to work longer hours and come in weekends Thinking of certain songs motivates me to exercise Beginning thinking about workout gives motivation to do workout Social exercising Tension reliever Relief of stress Reliving stress that happened in the day Creates stress sometimes when do not see results Stress when not able to work out that day Sensations felt during exercise Feeling after workout Feel a sense of achievement Feeling better of self Imagery makes exercise an enjoyable experience Motivational Images N=13 Cognitive General (CG) Motivational General Arousal (MG-A) Motivational General – Mastery (MG-M) Set goals in gym What kind of practice to do and what set Imagine someone competing against me Back up plans Checklist in head Plan out workout before Relaxation exercises, imagery running course Socialize when exercising Using certain songs Finishing routine without pain Think of trying to stay calm Plan out workout before Goal setting

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81 Figure 5-2: High Imagery User, High Exerciser, High Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework Thinking about long strides when biking Proper exercise form Good mechanics, speed, form and control Thinking about heel to toe when running Best technique to avoid injuries Most efficient steps Think of past and how to keep in shape for future Thinking about body tone, definition Muscles getting bigger, stronger Trying to fight with gravity Healthy looking face, skin color Thinking about skincare models Looking slimmer Trying to look ten years younger Being more alert, more energy Freedom from illness Healthy looking face Think about how much weight to lose Being functional Having a healthy lifestyle Healthy younger self Exercise Technique N=15 Appearance Images N=15 Health Outcomes N=12 Raw Data Themes Higher Order Themes: Major Themes of Exercise Imagery (n=15) Cognitive Specific (CS) Motivational Specific (MS)

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82 Figure 5-2. Continued Think about daily events Relaxation Relief of stress Sensations felt during exercise Feeling refreshed after workout Plans/Strategies N=10 Stress Levels/Emotions N=14 Sensations felt during exercise Confidence builder Sense of achievement Seeing the results Images of success, rewards and goals Confidence in self Accomplishing bigger weights Strong enough to try a new exercise Think if exercise is achievable Sense of achievement Seeing the results Images of success, rewards and goals Motivated to succeed Motivation to go workout Confidence Enhancing Images N=12 Motivational Images N=7 Cognitive General (CG) Motivational General Arousal (MG-A) Motivational General – Mastery (MG-M) Plan before working out Checklist in head Relaxation exercises, imagery running course Socialize when exercising Back up plans Thinking about certain songs Goal setting Strategies to beat opponent

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83 Figure 5-3: Low Imagery User, Low Exerciser, Low Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework Proper exercise form Moving more efficiently Mimic famous swimmer’s stroke Make movements easy Looking younger and healthier Feeling guilty after eating Thinking about body appearance Looking slimmer Prevention from injury/disease Thinking about weight Thinking about past injuries Exercising without pain Creating a mental map Goal setting Finishing routine without pain Creates stress sometimes when do not see results Stress when not able to work out that day Feeling good after workout Exercise Technique N=4 Appearance Images N=4 Health Outcomes N=4 Plans/Strategies N=4 Stress levels/Emotions N=5 Building confidence through exercise Does not really build confidence Confidence Enhancing Images N=3 Thinking about music and the beat Thinking about exercising with partner Healthier body image Motivational Images N=3 Raw Data Themes Higher Order Themes: Major Themes of Exercise Imagery (n=8) Cognitive Specific (CS) Motivational Specific (MS) Cognitive General (CG) Motivational General Arousal (MG-A) Motivational General – Mastery (MG-M)

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84 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 TechniqueAppearanceHealth Male Female Figure 5-4: Gender Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 TechniqueAppearanceHealthNone 35-45 46-65 Figure 5-5: Age Group Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery

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85 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT FORM PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE DOCUMENT CAREFULLY TO: All Research Participants FROM: Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., BH Bryan Kim RE: Informed Consent STUDY TITLE: The Use of Exercise-Related Mental Imagery by Middle-Aged Adults PURPOSE OF THIS STATEMENT: The purpose of this statement is to summarize the study I am conducting, explain what I am asking you to do, and to assu re you that the information you and other participants share will be kept completely confidential to the extent permitted by law. Specifically, nobody besides the Principal Investigator will be able to identify you in this study and your name will not be used in any research reports that result from this project. WHAT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DO: If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to fill out the Exercise Imagery Inventory, Leisure Time Exer cise Questionnaire, Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale, and participate in one 30 to 40 minute interview from June 15th 2004 till February 16th 2006. The interview will be audio tape-recorded and you will be asked a series of que stions about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in imagery related to exercise. You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Your responses to the questionnaires and the interview will be kept comple tely confidential to the extent permitted by law. Your interview will be transcribed by a research assistant a nd the questionnaires and tape-recorded interviews will be kept in my office in a locked file cabinet. After your in terview is transcribed, the tape will be destroyed. TIME REQUIRED: Approximately 50 minutes. RISKS AND BENEFITS: There are no risks expected from participating in this study. As a result of your participation, you may develop insights about yourself that could help you exercise. No more than minimal risks are anticipated from participation in this study. COMPENSATION: No compensation is given as a result of this study. CONFIDENTIALITY: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your transcribed interview will be assigned a code number and all surveys will be kept in my office (Room 124 Florida Gym) in a locked file cabinet. Your name will not be used in any report. VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You should not feel compelled in any way whatsoever. There is no penalty for not participating. RIGHT TO WITHDRAW: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. WHOM TO CONTACT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS STUDY: Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, 100 Florida Gym, PO Box 118207, Gainesville, FL, 32611; ph. (352) 392-0584; email. pgiacobbi@hhp.ufl.edu BH Bryan Kim, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, 2725 SW 27th Ave. #A-8, Gainesville, FL 32608; ph. (352) 375-3475; email. kimbh@ufl.edu

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86 WHOM TO CONTACT ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS AS A RESEARCH PARTICIPANT IN THE STUDY: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florid a, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph. 392-0433. AGREEMENT: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Participant:_____________________________________________Date:___________ Principal Investigator:____________________________________Date:____________

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87 APPENDIX B DEMOGRAPHIC AND EXERCISE PARTICIPATION FORM Demographics and exercise participation Date _______ Sex (circle one): Male Female Age_________ Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian African-A merican Native American Asian (Specify)________ Pacific Islander Hispanic Other (Specify) Highest Educational Level Achieved __________________ What physical activities or ex ercise do you participate in? Would you be kind enough to allow me to inte rview you in the near future? Yes or No If yes, may I call you? What is your phone number?_______________________ or Email Address-___________________

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88 APPENDIX C THE EXERCISE IMAGERY QUESTIONNAIRE The following questions deal with imagery and exercise participation. Imagery involves “ mentally ” seeing yourself exercising. The image in your mind should approximate the actual physical activity as closely as possible. Imagery may include sensations like hearing the aer obic music and feeling yourself move through the exercises. Imagery can also be associated with emotions (e.g., getting psyched up or energized), staying focused (concentrating on aerobic class and not being distracted), setting exercise plans/goals (e.g., imaging achieving goal of losing weight), etc. There are no right or wrong answers so please answer as accurately as possible. Please answer the following questions with regard to how often you use m ental imagery (rarely to often). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Rarely Often 1. I imagine a “fitter-me” from exercising_____. 2. I imagine completing my workout_____. 3. When I think about exercising, I imagine the perfect technique_____. 4. I imagine being more relaxed from exercising_____. 5. I imagine a “leaner-me” from exercising_____. 6. I imagine having the confidence to exercise_____. 7. When I think about exercising, I im agine my form and body position_____. 8. I imagine how I will feel after I exercise_____. 9. I imagine being toned from exercising_____. 10. I imagine having the confidence to complete my workout_____. 11. I imagine being healthier from exercising_____. 12. I imagine losing weight from exercising_____. 13. When I think about exercising, I im agine doing the required movements_____. 14. I imagine becoming more fit_____. 15. I imagine the perfect exercise technique_____. 16. I imagine getting in better shape_____. 17. I imagine reducing my st ress from exercising_____. 18. I imagine a “firmer-me” from exercising_____. 19. I imagine feelings associated with exercising_____.

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89 APPENDIX D LEISURE-TIME EXERCISE QUESTIONNAIRE Instructions. This is a scale that measures your leisure-time exercise (i.e., exercise done in your free time). Considering a typical week, please indicate how o ften (on average) you engage in strenuous, moderate, and mild ex ercise for more than 20 minutes. Please write 0 if you did not perf orm any physical activity that corresponds to the question. 1. Strenuous exercise: heart beats rapidly (e.g ., running, basketball, jogging, hockey, squash, judo, roller skating, vigorous swimming, vigorous long distance bicycling, vigorous aerobic dance classes, heavy weight training). How many times during a typica l week do you perform strenuous exercise for 20 minutes or longer? _________ 2. Moderate exercise: not exhausting, light sweating (e.g., fast walking, softball, tennis, easy bicycling, volleyball, badminton, easy swimming, dancing). How many times during a typi cal week do you perform moderate exercise for 20 minutes or longer? _________ 3. Mild exercise: minimal effort, no sweating (e.g., easy walking, yoga, archery, fishing, bowling, lawn bowling, shuffleboard, horseshoes, golf). How many times during a typi cal week do you perform mild exercise for 20 minutes or longer? _________

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90 APPENDIX E BARRIERS EFFICACY SCALE The items below reflect common reasons preven ting people from particip ating in exercise sessions or, in some cases, dropping out or quit ting exercise altogeth er. Using the scale below, please indicate how confident you are exercising in the even t that any of the following circumstances were to occur. Pl ace you answer in the space provided after each answer. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% No Confidence at all Somewhat C onfident Completely Confident For example, if you have complete confidence that you can continue to exercise, even it you are bored by the activity, you would circle 100%. However, if you are absolutely sure that you could not exercise if you faile d to make or continue to make progress you would circle 0% ( no confidence at all ). I believe that I can exercise 3 times per week if: 1. The weather is very bad (hot, humid, rainy, cold)_______ 2. I was bored by the program or activity.______ 3. I was on vacation._____ 4. I felt pain or discomfort when exercising._____ 5. I had to exercise alone._____ 6. Exercise was not enjoyable or fun._____ 7. It became difficult to ge t to the exercise location._____ 8. I didn’t like the particular activity program that I was involved in._____ 9. My work/school schedule conflic ted with my exercise session._____ 10. I felt self-conscious about my appearance when I exercised._____ 11. The instructor did not offe r me any encouragement._____ 12. I was under personal stress of some kind._____

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91 APPENDIX F EXERCISE IMAGERY INTERVIEW GUIDE *Part A: Introduction and Demographics Information Thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview project. Shall we begin? We are talking to exercisers such as yourse lf about imagery use. The purpose of our study is to better understand imagery use by ex ercisers. I want to emphasize that your interview information will remain confidential. In the presentation of results, we will be focusing on group data. We may want to use se lected quotes from the interviews in order to illustrate important ideas. These will be strictly anonymous, and we will ensure that your identity is protected. We are using a ta pe recorder to get complete and accurate information, and to make the interview process more efficient. If you have any questions as we go along please ask them. Also, ask for clarification if at any time you do not unders tand what I am asking. Since you may have to think back in time, you might not be able to immediately remember some things. Take your time to recall; pauses are fine. If you s till cannot remember after thinking back, then let me know, but please do not guess. Do you have any questions now about what I have talked about so far? Ok. Then let’s get started. The interview will be broken up into several parts. First, I will describe what imagery is. Second, I am going to ask you about some background information on your exercise involvement. Third, I will ask several questions related to your imagery use and exercise participation. Finally, at the end of the interv iew there will be an

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92 opportunity for you to add anything that you fe lt was important and not covered in the questions asked. Are you ready to begin? *Part B: Introduction to imagery I will now give a definition of what imagery is. Imagery involves mentally seeing yourself exercising. The image in your mind should approximate the actual physical activity as closely as possible. Imagery ma y include sensations like hearing the music, feeling yourself move through the exercises, and feeling your heart beating. Imagery can also be associated with emotions. Some examples are imagining yourself getting psyched up or energized and f eeling exhilarated after a work out. Imagery can also be used as a motivation to exercise. Some ex amples of motivationa l imagery are staying focused on exercise and not be ing distracted, setting exerci se plans and goals such as imaging achieving goal of losing weight. Imag ery can also be used to imagine proper form, technique, and routines. Do you have any questions regardi ng what imagery is? Do you use imagery in relation to exercise? *Part C: Exercise and Imagery Use Questions 1. I would like to know when you imagine yourself exercising. Could you describe in as much detail as possible when you have imagined yourself exercising? Probes: At what time of the day do you imagine yourself exercising? Do you imagine yourself exercising when you are not actually exercising? How long (in minutes) do you imagin e yourself exercising in a day? Are there any other times when you imagine yourself exercising?

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93 What are you doing when you image yourself exercising? 2. I would now like to know what you imagine about exercise. Please describe in as much detail as possible what you imagine about exercising. Probes: Do you imagine yourself becoming healthy? Do you imagine your Physical Appearance? To keep yourself going during the day, do you imagine exercising? To relieve your stress, do you imagine exercising? To get energized during the day, do you imagine exercising? 3. When you think about exercising, do you imagine perfecting your technique? When you thing about exercising, do you imagine your form and body position? Probes: 1. Was there anything else in your im agery use that was significant? 2. I need to fully understand what it was about each thing you mentioned in regards to your imagery use. So thinking back, what was it about...? *Part D: General Imagery Questions 1. Does imagining yourself exercise motivate you to exercise? How does imagining yourself exercise motivate you to exercise? 2. Does imagining yourself exercise gi ve you the confidence to exercise? How does imagining yourself exercising give you confidence to exercise? 3. Are your imagines clear and vivid and controllable? *Part E: Internal and External Imagery Questions

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94 I would now like to describe two types of imagery perspectives. The first is an internal perspective, which is imagining th e execution of a skill from your own vantage point. As if you had a camera on your h ead, you see only what you would see if you actually executed the particul ar skill. For example, as a jogger running through the woods, you would see the surround ing area such as trees, bushes, and water, but you would not imagine anything out of your nor mal range of vision. Because internal imagery is done from a first person perspectiv e, the images would emphasize the feel of the movement. As a jogger, you would feel your heart beating, your shoes hitting the ground, the stride as you jog, the sweat comi ng down your brow. The second type is an external perspective. In ex ternal imagery you view yourself from the perspective of an external observer. It is as if you are watching yourself in th e movies or on videotape. For example, if you were a weight lifter or ae robic participant imagining from an external perspective, you would see everything th at is going on in the gym or studio. 1. Do you use an internal imagery persp ective? Do you use an external imagery perspective? 2. How has imagery use been benefici al to your exercise participation? 3. How has imagery use been harmfu l to your exercise participation? 4. Thinking back in time, how long have you been imagining yourself exercising? 5. How was your imagery changed over time? Has it improved? Are you images more vivid or clear? Do you im age more now or in the past? 6. Do you think that you could benefit from imagery training? *Part F: Conclusion

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95 As I mentioned when we began the inte rview you would have the opportunity to add anything that you felt was important and not covered in the que stions asked. Do you have suggestions or final t houghts? What advice do you have to offer others on how imagery use can influence their exercise a ttitudes and behaviors? What advice do you have to offer exercise leaders (or fitne ss professionals) regarding imagery use and exercise? Thank you for your help.

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96 LIST OF REFERENCES American College of Sports Medicine (A CSM) (2003). ACSM guidelines for healthy aerobic activity. Retrieved April 23, 2005, from http://acsm.org/pdf/guidlines.pdf Annett, J. (1994). The learning of motor skills: Sports scie nce and ergonomics perspectives. Ergonomics, 37 5-15. Armstrong, C. A., Sallis, J. F., Hovell, M. F ., & Hofstetter, C. R. (1993). Stages of change, self-efficacy, and the adoption of vigorous exercise: A prospective analysis. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 15, 390-402. Bakker, F. C., Boschker, M. S. J., & C hung, T. (1996). Changes in muscular activity while imagining weight lifting using stimulus or response propositions. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 18 313-324. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Barr, K., & Hall, C. (1992). The use of imagery by rowers. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 23, 243-261. Betts, G. H. (1909). The distribution and functi ons of mental imagery. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College. Bird, E. (1984). EMG quantific ation of mental rehearsal. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 59 899-906. Biddle, S.J., & Bailey, C.L. (1985). Motives for participation and attitudes towards physical activity of adult partic ipants in fitness programs. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, 831-834. Budney, A. J., Murphy, S. M., & Woolfolk, R. L. (1994). Imagery and motor performance: What do we really know? In A. A. Sheikh & E .R. Korn (Eds.), Imagery in sports and physical performance (pp. 97-120). Amityville, NY: Baywood. Carpenter, W. B. (1894). Principles of mental physiology. New York: Appleton.

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97 Caudill, D., Weinberg, R., & Jackson, A. (1983). Psyching-up and track athletes: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Sport Psychology, 5, 231-235. Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded Theory: Objectiv ist and constructivist methods. In D. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.) Handbook of qualitative methods ( 2nd ed ., pp. 509535). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Centers for Disease Control and Prev ention (CDC) (2003). National Average: Recommended Physical Ac tivity by: Age. Retrieved April 28, 2005, from http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/PASurveillan ce/DemoCompareResultV.asp#result Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C DC) (2004). Physical activity – Designing and building healthy places. Retrieved August 9, 2004, from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces /healthtopics/physactivity.htm Ct, J. (1999). The influence of the family in the development of talent in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 13, 395-417. Conroy, D. E., Motl, R. W., & Hall, E. G. ( 2000). Progress toward cons truct validation of the Self-presentation in Exercise Questionnaire. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 22, 21-38. Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Dale, G. A. (1996). Existential phenomenol ogy: Emphasizing the experience of the athlete in sport psychology research. The Sport Psychologist, 10, 307-321. Dishman, R.K. (1994). Introduction: Consensu s, problems, and prospects. In R.K Dishman (Ed.), Advances in exercise adherence (pp. 1-28). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Dishman, R. K. (2001). The probl em of exercise adherence: Fighting sloth in nations with market economies. Quest, 53 279-294. Driskell, J. E., Copper, C., & Moran, A. (1994). Does mental practice enhance performance? Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 481-491. Durand, M., Hall, C., & Haslam, I. R. (1997) The effects of combining mental and physical practice on motor skill acquisition: A review of the literature and some practical implications. The Hong Kong Journal of Spor ts Medicine and Sports Science, 4, 36-41. Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-R mer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, 363406.

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101 McAuley, E., Bane, S. M., & Mihalko, M. S. (1998). Measuring exercise related selfefficacy. In J. L. Duda (Ed.), Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology Measurement (pp. 371-390). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology McAuley, E., & Burman, G. (1993). The Soci al Physique Anxiety Scale: Construct validity in adolescent females. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 25 1049-1053. McKellar, P. (1957). Imagination and thinking London: Cohen & West. McMahon, C.E. (1973). Images as motives and motivators: A historical perspective. American Journal of Psychology, 86 465-90. Mortiz, S., Hall, C., Martin, K., & Vadocz, E. (1996). What are confident athletes imagining? An examination of image content. The Sport Psychologist, 10, 171-179. Munroe, K. J., Giacobbi, P. R., Hall, C.R ., & Weinberg, R. (2000). The four w’s of imagery use: Where, when, why, and what. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 119-137. Munroe, K., Hall, C., Simms, S., and Weinberg, R. (1998). The influence of type of sport and time of season on athletes’ use of imagery. The Sport Psychologist, 12, 440449. Munroe, K., Hall, C. R., & Weinberg, R. S. (1999, October). The relationship of goal setting and imagery: A qualitative analysis. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Psychom otor Learning and Sport Psychology, Edmonton, Canada. Munroe-Chandler, K. J. & Gammage, K. L. (In Press). Now see this: A new vision of exercise imagery. E xercise and Sport Science Reviews. Murphy, S.M., & Jowdy, D.P. (1992). Imagery a nd mental practice. In T.S. Horn (Ed.), Advances in sport psychology (pp. 221-250). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Nicklaus, J. (1976). Play Better Golf New York: King Features. Noel, R. C. (1980). The effect of visuomotor behavioral rehearsal on tennis performance. Journal of Sport Psychology, 2, 221-226. Orlick, T. (1990). In pursuit of excellence (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Paivio, A. (1985). Cognitive and motiva tional functions of imagery in human performance. Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences, 10, 22S-28S. Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual coding approach New York: Oxford University Press.

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102 Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Pollio, H. R., Henley, T., & Thompson, C. B. (1997). The phenomenology of everyday life. New York: Oxford University Press. Rawlings, E. I., Rawlings, I. L., Chen, S.S., & Yilk, D. (1972). The facilitating effects of mental rehearsal in the acquisi tion of rotary pursuit tracking. Psychonomic Science, 26, 71-73. Rees, T., & Hardy, L. (2000). AN investigation of the social support experiences of highlevel sports performers. The Sport Psychologist, 14, 327-347. Rodgers, W. M., & Gauvin, L. (1998). Heteroge neity of incentives for physical activity and self-efficacy in high active and moderately active women exercisers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1016-1029. Rodgers, W. M., Hall, C. R., Blanchard, C. M., & Munroe, K. J. (1999). The relationship between imagery and obligatory exercise. Paper presented at the Canadian Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psyc hology Conference, Edmonton, Canada. Rodgers, W. M., Hall, C. R., Blanchard, C. M., & Munroe, K. J. (2000). Refinement and validation of the Exercise Imagery Questionnaire. Manuscript submitted for publication Rodgers, W. M., Hall, C. R., & Buckholtz, E. (1991). The effect of an imagery training program on imagery ability, imagery us e, and figure skating performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 3, 109-125. Rushall, B. S. (1988). Covert modeling as a procedure for alteri ng an elite athlete’s psychological state. The Sport Psychologist, 2, 131-140. Rybash, J. M., Roodin, P. A., & Santrock, J. W. (1985). Adult development and aging (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: William Brown Publishers. Sackett, R. S. (1934). The influences of sym bolic rehearsal upon the retention of a maze habit. Journal of General Psychology, 10, 376-395. Salmon, J., Hall, C., & Haslam, I. (1994). The use of imagery by soccer players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 6, 116-133. Silberstein, L.R., Streigel-Moore, R.H., Ti mko, C., & Rodin, J. (1988). Behavioral and psychological implications of body dissati sfaction: Do men and women differ? Sex Roles, 19, 219-232. Sparkes, A. C. (1998). Validity in qualitat ive inquiry and the problem of criteria: Implications for sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 12, 363-386.

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103 Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications Inc. Strean, W. B. (1998). Possibilities for qua litative research in sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 12 333-345. Suinn, R. M. (1972). Behavioral re hearsal training for ski racers. Behavior Therapy, 3, 519. Suinn, R. M. (1976, July). Body thinking: Psychology for Olympic champs. Psychology Today 38-43. Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (1998). Mixed methodology: combining qualitative and quantitative approaches Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Thomas, N. (2001). Mental imagery. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2001 Edition) Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved June 25, 2004, from http://plato.stanford.e du/archives/win2001/entries/mental-imagery. United States Bureau of Census. (USBC) (2000). Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000 (120th ed.). Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) (2000). Healthy people 2010 (Conference Edition, in Two Vo lumes). Washington, DC: Author. Vealey, R. S., & Walter, S. M. (1993). Im agery training for performance enhancement and personal growth. In J. M. Williams (Ed.), Applied sport psychology: Personal growth to peak performance (2nd ed., pp. 200-224). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. Vogt, S. (1995). On relations between perc eiving, imagining and performing in the learning of cyclical movement sequences. British Journal of Psychology, 86, 191216. Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D. (2003). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. White, A., & Hardy, L. (1998). An in-depth anal ysis of the uses of imagery by high-level slalom canoeists and artistic gymnasts. The Sport Psychologist, 12 387-403. Wrisber, C. A., & Ragsdale, M. R. (1979). Cognitive demand and practice level: Factors in the mental rehearsal of motor skills. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 5, 201-208. Yates, F.A. (1966). The art of memory London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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104 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Bang Hyun Bryan Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, on June 25, 1979. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he also was on the varsity men’s swim team. He competed in two Olympics for Korea during his undergraduate ye ars and also represented the University of Florida in four NCAA swimming champions hips. After graduating from Florida, Bryan continued his education by pursuing a Master of Science degree in applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida. During his graduate years, he still continued to swim and represented Ko rea at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He also currently has the national reco rd in the 400 meter Individual Medley. Bryan is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sport and exercise psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylva nia. He is also currently a teaching assistant at Temple University, teachi ng basic instruction programs.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0013960/00001

Material Information

Title: Use of exercise-related mental imagery by middle-aged adults
Physical Description: ix, 104 p.
Language: English
Creator: Kim, Bang Hyun ( Dissertant )
Giacobbi, Peter R. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology thesis, M.S   ( local )
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Applied Physiology and Kinesiology   ( local )

Notes

Abstract: Mental imagery is emerging as an important topic of study for those interested in exercise and health psychology. Recent studies have documented important cognitive (e.g., technique) and motivational (e.g., appearance, health, self-efficacy) functions of mental imagery with various populations and have provided additional theoretical advances . Despite the importance of these findings, few studies have explored how adult exercisers use mental imagery. Therefore the purpose of this study was to explore the content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. Thirty adults (M=48.13, SD=8.33) that included 11 males and 19 females participated in this study which was characterized as a mixed-method dominant-less-dominant design. In phase one, all participants completed the Exercise Imagery Inventory, the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, and the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. From these measures participants in phase two were grouped into two categories using a median split on the participants' scores from each of the surveys: high levels of activity, high self-efficacy, and frequent user of exercise imagery versus low levels of activity, low self-efficacy, and infrequent user of exercise imagery. During phase two all 30 participants were interviewed to gain a more in-depth understanding of how, why, and what the participants imagined with regard to exercise behavior. The results of grounded theory analytic procedures revealed seven higher-order themes for the entire sample: exercise technique, appearance images, health outcomes, plans and strategies, stress levels/feelings, confidence enhancing images, and motivational images. Further comparisons between the active and less active categories of participants using the constant comparative method revealed individuals who were characterized as active, highly efficacious, and frequent users of mental imagery reported greater use of all forms of mental imagery and provided more detailed and vivid descriptions of their mental images as compared to their less active counterparts. Additional differences emerged with regard to the perspective taken as well as when and where each group engaged in mental imagery. These results are the most in-depth assessment of adults' use of exercise imagery to date and provide numerous theoretical and applied implications.
Subject: adherence, barriers, EII, exercise, grounded, imagery, LTEQ, middle, mixed, qualitative
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 113 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2006.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0013960:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0013960/00001

Material Information

Title: Use of exercise-related mental imagery by middle-aged adults
Physical Description: ix, 104 p.
Language: English
Creator: Kim, Bang Hyun ( Dissertant )
Giacobbi, Peter R. ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology thesis, M.S   ( local )
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Applied Physiology and Kinesiology   ( local )

Notes

Abstract: Mental imagery is emerging as an important topic of study for those interested in exercise and health psychology. Recent studies have documented important cognitive (e.g., technique) and motivational (e.g., appearance, health, self-efficacy) functions of mental imagery with various populations and have provided additional theoretical advances . Despite the importance of these findings, few studies have explored how adult exercisers use mental imagery. Therefore the purpose of this study was to explore the content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. Thirty adults (M=48.13, SD=8.33) that included 11 males and 19 females participated in this study which was characterized as a mixed-method dominant-less-dominant design. In phase one, all participants completed the Exercise Imagery Inventory, the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, and the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale. From these measures participants in phase two were grouped into two categories using a median split on the participants' scores from each of the surveys: high levels of activity, high self-efficacy, and frequent user of exercise imagery versus low levels of activity, low self-efficacy, and infrequent user of exercise imagery. During phase two all 30 participants were interviewed to gain a more in-depth understanding of how, why, and what the participants imagined with regard to exercise behavior. The results of grounded theory analytic procedures revealed seven higher-order themes for the entire sample: exercise technique, appearance images, health outcomes, plans and strategies, stress levels/feelings, confidence enhancing images, and motivational images. Further comparisons between the active and less active categories of participants using the constant comparative method revealed individuals who were characterized as active, highly efficacious, and frequent users of mental imagery reported greater use of all forms of mental imagery and provided more detailed and vivid descriptions of their mental images as compared to their less active counterparts. Additional differences emerged with regard to the perspective taken as well as when and where each group engaged in mental imagery. These results are the most in-depth assessment of adults' use of exercise imagery to date and provide numerous theoretical and applied implications.
Subject: adherence, barriers, EII, exercise, grounded, imagery, LTEQ, middle, mixed, qualitative
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 113 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2006.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0013960:00001


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USE OF EXERCISE-RELATED MENTAL IMAGERY BY MIDDLE-AGED ADULTS


By

BANG HYUN BRYAN KIM
















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Bang Hyun Bryan Kim















ACKNOWLDEGMENTS

I would like to thank all the people who allowed this exploration of exercise

imagery exploration in middle aged adults to occur. First, I want to thank the Lord for

always being my strength and courage, especially at times when I felt weak and wanted

to give up. Next, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., who afforded

me countless hours of time, effort, and support, and motivated me to continue working

harder and to push myself further than I thought possible. Also I would like to thank Dr.

Heather Hausenblas, Dr. Christina McCrae, Dr. Michael Sachs, Dr. Emily Roper and Dr.

Chris Stopka for their commitment to my thesis. They were open minded in supporting

me in my research endeavors and in understanding the differences in research

possibilities. Additionally, I would like to thank Living Well and Gator Masters Swim

Club for their permission to recruit participants.

I would also like to thank my colleagues who helped me in my analysis stage and

spent tireless hours reading and coding interviews. I would also like to thank my family

and JJ for their endless support and help throughout the making of my thesis and my life.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone whom I met throughout my years at Florida

and will continue to meet in my journey. All hold a special place in my heart.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L D E G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

LIST OF TABLES .............. ................. ........... ................... ........ vi

L IST O F F IG U R E S .... ...... ................................................ .. .. ..... .............. vii

A B STR A C T ..................... ................................... ........... ................. viii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

S tu dy R atio n ale ................................................... ................ .. 2
State ent of Purpose .................. .................................... ................ .7

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ......................................................... .............. 9

Introduction to M ental Im agery ........................................................ ............. ..9
Theories of M mental Im agery .............................................. ............................. 10
Psychoneurom uscular Theory ........................................ ......... ............... 10
Sym bolic L earning Theory ........... .......... ................................. ... ............ 11
Bioinform national Theory ................................................................ ................ 13
Dual Coding Theory ........................................... .. ...... ................. 14
Functions of Im agery ............................................... .. .... ................. 15
Variables Influencing the U se of Im agery.............................................................. 20
Gender Differences in the Use of Imagery........................................................21
Im ag ery A b ility .................................................. ................ 2 1
Types of Im agery .................. ............................... ........ ... .......... 22
Exercise Im agery ......................... ....... ........ .. ........ ......... 23
M easurem ent of Exercise Im agery .............................................. ... .......... ...26
E exercise Im agery Q uestionnaire............................................... .....................26
Exercise Im agery Inventory ........................................ .......................... 27
S tu d y R atio n ale ..................................................................................................... 2 9

3 M E T H O D S ........................................................................................................... 3 0

P a rtic ip a n ts ........................................................................................................... 3 1
S tu d y M e a su re s ..................................................................................................... 3 1









P ro c e d u re .......................................................................................3 3
D ata A nalysis................................................... 34
Interview A analysis ......................................................................... ... ............ 36
Issues of Reliability, V alidity/Trustw orthiness ........................................ ...............39

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................4 1

Functions of Exercise Im agery ........................................................ ............. 42
Com parative A nalyses .................. ...... .... ............ ....................... .. 53
High Imagery User, Active Exerciser, and High Self-Efficacy participants:
A active P participants ........................... ..................... ........ ..... .. ........ .... 53
Low Imagery User, Less Active Exerciser, and Low Self-Efficacy
participants: Less Active Participants............... .............................................62
Sum m ary of G roup Com parison........................................... .......................... 67

5 D ISC U S SIO N ............................................................................... 69

Integration and Extension of Previous Studies.................................................69
A ctive vs. Less A ctive G roups ........................................ ........................ 73
Study L im stations ...................................... ................. .... ....... 76
A p p lied Im p location s ........................................ ............................................7 7
Sum m ary .............. ................. .... ...... ........... ........... 78

APPENDIX

A IN FORM ED CON SEN T FORM ..................................................... .....................85

B DEMOGRAPHIC AND EXERCISE PARTICIPATION FORM ...........................87

C THE EXERCISE IMAGERY QUESTIONNAIRE ......................... ..................88

D LEISURE-TIME EXERCISE QUESTIONNAIRE ...............................................89

E BARRIERS EFFICACY SCALE................. ...................................90

F EXERCISE IMAGERY INTERVIEW GUIDE......................................91

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ........................................................................ .....................96

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. ............... 104
















LIST OF TABLES


Table pge

1-1 National Average: Recommended Physical Activity by Age.................................4

3-1 Descriptive Results from the Barriers Self-Efficacy, LTEQ, and the EII
m easurem ents..................................... ................................ ..........36

4-1 Analysis of Where/When Participants (n=30) Used Exercise Imagery .................41

4-2 Analysis of Where/When Active/Less Active Participants (n=15) Use Exercise
Im ag ery ........................................................... ................ 54
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure p

3-1 Procedure Outline using a Dominant-less-dominant Design .................................30

5-1 Participants Conceptual Fram work ............................................. ............... 79

5-2 High Imagery User, High Exerciser, High Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework ..81

5-3 Low Imagery User, Low Exerciser, Low Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework ....83

5-4 Gender Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery ............... .............. 84

5-5 Age Group Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery ......................................84















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

USE OF EXERCISE-RELATED MENTAL IMAGERY IN EXERCISE BY MIDDLE-
AGED ADULTS


By

Bang Hyun Bryan Kim

May 2006
Chair: Peter Giacobbi, Jr.
Major Department: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Mental imagery is emerging as an important topic of study for those interested in

exercise and health psychology. Recent studies have documented important cognitive

(e.g., technique) and motivational (e.g., appearance, health, self-efficacy) functions of

mental imagery with various populations and have provided additional theoretical

advances. Despite the importance of these findings, few studies have explored how adult

exercisers use mental imagery. Therefore the purpose of this study was to explore the

content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged adults between the ages 35

to 65. Thirty adults (M=48.13, SD=8.33) that included 11 males and 19 females

participated in this study which was characterized as a mixed-method dominant-less-

dominant design. In phase one, all participants completed the Exercise Imagery

Inventory, the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, and the Exercise Self-Efficacy

Scale. From these measures participants in phase two were grouped into two categories

using a median split on the participants' scores from each of the surveys: high levels of









activity, high self-efficacy, and frequent user of exercise imagery versus low levels of

activity, low self-efficacy, and infrequent user of exercise imagery. During phase two all

30 participants were interviewed to gain a more in-depth understanding of how, why, and

what the participants imagined with regard to exercise behavior. The results of grounded

theory analytic procedures revealed seven higher-order themes for the entire sample:

exercise technique, appearance images, health outcomes, plans and strategies, stress

levels/emotions, confidence enhancing images, and motivational images: these themes fit

nicely into cognitive and motivational framework of mental imagery. Further

comparisons between the active and less active categories of participants using the

constant comparative method revealed individuals who were characterized as active,

highly efficacious, and frequent users of mental imagery reported greater use of all forms

of mental imagery and provided more detailed and vivid descriptions of their mental

images as compared to their less active counterparts. Additional differences emerged

with regard to the perspective taken as well as when and where each group engaged in

mental imagery. These results are the most in-depth assessment of adults' use of exercise

imagery to date and provide numerous theoretical and applied implications.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Before every shot I go to the movies inside my head. Here is what I see. First, I
see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the
bright green grass. Then, I see the ball going there; its path and trajectory and even
its behavior on landing. The next scene shows me making the kind of swing that
will turn the previous image into reality. These home movies are a key to my
concentration and to my positive approach to every shot. (Nicklaus, 1976)

In the quote above, Jack Nicklaus (1976) described how mentally rehearsing his

golf shots was critical to his success. He and many other world class athletes have used

mental imagery as an aid in learning important skills, to enhance their performance, and

cope with stress (Weinberg &Gould, 2003).

As Weinberg and Gould (2003) have explained, only in the last 20 years have

researchers been studying mental imagery in sport and exercise settings. Research and

anecdotal accounts have shown that mental imagery has been one aspect of mental

preparation used by athletes for years (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). Jack Nicklaus for

example, claimed that hitting a good golf shot is 10% swing, 40% stance and setup, and

50% the mental picture of how the swing should occur (Nicklaus, 1976). As studies have

shown, athletes use imagery not only to help their performance but also make their

experiences more enjoyable (Hall, 1995).

Recently, researchers have begun to study mental imagery in exercise settings

(Hall, 1995; Hausenblas, Hall, Rodgers, & Munroe, 1999; Gammage, Hall, & Rodgers,

2000; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, Fallon, & Hall, 2003). As speculated by Hall (1995) and

confirmed in recent studies, mental imagery conducted before, during, or after individuals









engaging in exercise behavior, can increase individuals' self-efficacy and motivation to

exercise (Gammage et al.,2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Hausenblas et al., 1999; Hall,

1995). From these initial findings, it is possible and even probable that imagery may

have a beneficial effect on individuals in exercise settings as well (Hall, 1995; Gammage

et al., 2000; Hausenblas et al., 1999). As a result, exercise imagery should be studied in

depth to help the individual conjure up positive forms of imagery to promote physical

activity behavior. Therefore, the present study focused on the use of exercise imagery by

middle-aged adults.

Study Rationale

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2004), regular

physical activity substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease factors, including

coronary heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death, and decreases the risk for

stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Exercise also helps to control

weight, contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints, reduces falls among middle-

aged adults, helps to relieve the pain of arthritis, reduces symptoms of anxiety and

depression, and increases the feelings of well being (CDC, 2004). Exercise is also

associated with fewer hospitalizations, physician visits, and medications. Moreover,

physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial. People of all ages benefit from

participating in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity, such as 30 minutes of brisk

walking five or more times a week (CDC, 2004).

Despite the benefits of physical activity, more than 50% of American adults do not

get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. Twenty-five percent of adults do

not engage in any leisure time physical activity (United States Department of Health and

Human Services [USDHHS], 2000). Research also suggests that at least 30% of adults









are inactive, and that approximately 50% of those who start an exercise program will

drop out within a year (Dishman, 2001). This is causing a serious problem as more

people are becoming inactive and health related problems such as obesity and cardiac

arrests are increasing in the United States (CDC, 2004).

Today, baby boom cohorts are over the age of 35, increasing the median age of the

population to 35.5 (United States Bureau of Census: USBC, 2000). According to Kart

and Kinney (2001, p. 42), baby boomers are defined as people who were born after

World War II, typically between 1946 and 1964. This age group is significant to this

study because most of the participants were 40 years and older. It is important to note

that 25% of the entire population of the United States is 40 years old and above and this

large cohort will represent the elderly in a couple of decades (USBC, 2000). The aging of

the older population that is expected to occur over the next two decades has important

issues for local, state, and federal agencies (Kart and Kinney, 2001, p. 45). According to

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004), the United States is on the verge

of a longevity uprising. By 2030, the number of older Americans will have more than

doubled to 70 million, or one in every five Americans (CDC, 2004). The growing

number and proportion of middle-aged adults places increasing demands on the public

health system and on medical and social services. Chronic diseases exact a particularly

heavy economic burden on middle-aged adults due to associated long-term illness,

decreased quality of life, and greatly increased health care costs. Much of the illness,

disability, and death associated with chronic disease are avoidable through known

prevention measures such as practicing a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity









(CDC, 2004). However, finding inexpensive and effective ways to promote physical

activity behaviors with individuals is an enormous challenge.

Table 1 shows the different statistics among age groups in recommended physical

activity, insufficient physical activity, inactivity, and no leisure-time physical activity

(CDC, 2003). The recommended physical activity for adults according to the Center of

Disease Control and Prevention (2003) is defined by moderate-intensity activities in a

usual week (i.e., brisk walking, bicycling, vacuuming, gardening, or anything else that

causes small increases in breathing or heart rate) for at least 30 minutes per day, at least 5

days per week; or vigorous-intensity activities in a usual week (i.e., running, aerobics,

heavy yard work, or anything else that causes large increases in breathing or heart rate)

for at least 20 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week or both. This can be

accomplished through lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time

activities). Insufficient physical activity is defined as doing more than 10 minutes total

per week of moderate or vigorous-intensity lifestyle activities (i.e., household,

transportation, or leisure-time activity), but less than the recommended level of activity.

For the definition of inactive, it is less than 10 minutes total per week of moderate or

vigorous-intensity lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time

Table 1-1: National Average: Recommended Physical Activity by Age.

2003 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-65

Recommended 56.9 50.1 47.9 42.8

National Insufficient 33.2 38.7 39.9 41.1
Average Inactive 9.9 11.3 12.2 16.1
No Leisure-Time Physical Activity* 18.4 21.7 22.2 25.8









activity). And lastly, the definition for no leisure-time physical activity is no reported

leisure-time physical activities (i.e., any physical activities or exercises such as running,

calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking) in the previous month (CDC, 2003).

As shown in table 1, the recommended physical activity declines from 56.9 percent

in the age group of 18-24 to 42.8 percent in the age group of 45-65. Also, there is an

increase of insufficient physical activity, inactivity, and no leisure-time physical activity

as age increases. Since patterns show that as an adult gets older, his or her physical

activity participation will decrease as their inactivity will increase, there might a

difference of an adult's usage of exercise imagery as age increases as well. No previous

research has been done in exploring the usage of exercise imagery in different age

groups, and this study will try to explore if there are any differences and how it might

effect one's participation in exercise.

Both Hall (1995) and Hausenblas et al. (1999) have suggested that imagery might

be a useful intervention tool to increase exercise behavior. Hall (1995) also argued that

exercise imagery might play a role in motivation for exercise behavior. By imagining

themselves participating in an activity that they enjoy and achieving goals such as better

physical appearance and improvement of technique, exercisers may be more motivated to

maintain an exercise program. Based on Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory, Hall

(1995) proposed that imagery may increase motivation through its influence on self-

confidence and outcome expectancy. Hall (1995) suggested that as exercisers image

themselves accomplish a certain outcome; both the likelihood of that outcome or goal

(outcome likelihood) and the importance of that outcome (outcome value) may be

influenced. These two variables in turn lead to positive outcome expectancies. If one's









outcome expectancy is increased, then motivation to exercise may also increase thereby

increasing actual exercise behavior.

There is some support to Hall's (1995) proposal that exercise imagery might

influence exercise motivation through its influence on self-efficacy. Hausenblas et al.

(1999) showed that female exercisers reported over 75% of aerobic exercise class

participants used exercise imagery for both motivational and cognitive purposes. From

this study, the Exercise Imagery Questionnaire Aerobics Version (EIQ-AV; Hausenblas

et al., 1999) was made to further study imagery use by female aerobic exercisers. As part

of the construct validation for this questionnaire, three primary factors emerged: (1)

Energy, which includes being energized and relieving stress; (2) Appearance, relating

both to physique and fitness; and (3) Technique, which involves imagining correct form

and body position during exercise. Of these three functions of imagery, appearance

imagery was most frequently employed (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Gammage et al., 2000).

In addition, Appearance and Energy imagery are considered motivational in nature,

whereas Technique imagery clearly has a cognitive function. Therefore, as in sport,

imagery in exercise settings may serve both motivational and cognitive roles (Hausenblas

et al., 1999).

Unfortunately, there has been no research to date focused on the use of mental

imagery by middle-aged adults within exercise settings. Exercise imagery research

conducted within the last several years has focused almost exclusively on female college

students (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Giacobbi et al., 2003). Thus the present study will

expand previous research by focusing on the use of exercise imagery with adults. Also,

because most of our knowledge in exercise imagery is relatively new and most of the









research is based on questionnaire studies (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Gammage et al.,

2000), this study will utilize quantitative and qualitative procedures (Charmaz, 2000;

Strauss & Corbin, 1990) to assess the use of exercise imagery with middle-aged adults.

The rationale for this approach is based upon the need for the development of

comprehensive theoretical framework related to the psychological characteristics of

adults in exercise settings. The research approach being adopted here will be ideally

suited for these purposes since social scientific researchers are best served when

systematic attempts are made to describe, analyze, and then measure phenomenon

(Strean, 1998). Also, starting with qualitative methods and progressing toward more

precise, quantitative methods may yield a better picture of social scientific events

(Klinger, 1973). Therefore, this study will involve using qualitative interview techniques

to provide personal in-depth descriptions of exercise imagery in adults.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend the findings of Giacobbi et al.

(2003) and examine the content and function of mental imagery used by middle-aged

adults between the ages 35 to 65. More specifically, this study was intended to examine

when, where, how, what, and why middle-aged adults use imagery focused on their

exercise behaviors whether any age differences existed. A secondary purpose of this

study was to develop a grounded theory (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1998) based

on the participants' experiences that will provide comprehensive information about the

use of mental imagery in exercise settings. More specifically, this study was intended to

compare and contrast the various uses of mental imagery among adults who meet

established guidelines for weekly exercise, were highly self-efficacious in the exercise

domain, and who frequently engage in exercise related imagery versus those who do not






8


meet established guidelines for exercise, were lower in exercise self-efficacy, and less

frequently engage in exercise related imagery.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction to Mental Imagery

Mental imagery resembles a perceptual experience but occurs in the absence of an

appropriate stimuli for the relevant perception (Finke, 1989; McKellar, 1957). Imagery is

mostly known by echoes or reconstructions of actual perceptual experiences, such as

one's past or future experiences (Thomas, 2001). Thus, imagery is strongly implicated in

memory (Yates, 1966; Paivio, 1986), motivation (McMahon, 1973), and has been studied

extensively in sport and physical activity settings (Feltz & Landers, 1983). Researchers

in the sport and exercise sciences often view imagery as a form of mental simulation

(Weinberg & Gould, 2003) and it is often called visualization.

Imagery has also been referred to as a quasi-sensory experience that mimics real

events, situations or experiences (White and Hardy, 1998). We can be aware of an

image, be able to feel movements or experience an image using all sensory modalities

without actually experiencing the real thing. Imagery differs from dreams because

individuals are wide-awake and conscious when images are developed. Everyone has the

ability to develop and use imagery but people vary in the extent to which they are skilled

or choose to use imagery (Hall, 2001).

Betts (1909) was perhaps the first to formally study mental imagery. He examined

the spontaneous use of imagery in a variety of tasks, including simple association and

discrimination judgments. Betts found that all of these tasks required mental imagery but

speculated that imagery might be more beneficial to some tasks than others. Since Betts'









time there has been an enormous growth in mental imagery that will be reviewed in

upcoming sections. What follows is a review of modem theories of mental imagery and

studies that test these theories.

Theories of Mental Imagery

Psychoneuromuscular Theory

Carpenter (1894) proposed the psychoneuromuscular theory and proposed that

imagery assists the learning of motor skills by innervating neuromuscular pathways in a

manner similar to when individuals actually performed the activity. When someone

vividly imagines an event, muscles show movement patterns similar to the way they

would when actually performing the skill. While these neuromuscular movements are

similar to those produced during actual performance, they are significantly lower in

magnitude. Thus, although the magnitude of the muscle activity is reduced during

imagery, the activity is a mirror image of the actual performance pattern.

According to Jacobson (1931), motor imagery is basically suppressed physical

activity. He reported that the imagined movement of arm bending created small muscular

contractions in the flexor muscles of the arm. In research with downhill skiers, Suinn

(1972; 1976) monitored the electrical activity in skiers' leg muscles as they imagined

skiing the course. He found that there was muscular activity when they imagined

themselves skiing. Muscle activity was highest when skiers were imagining themselves

in difficult courses, which would actually require greater muscle activity. Bird (1984)

examined EMG recordings of athletes in various sports and showed significant

relationship between the EMG of their imagined sport activity and their actual sport

activity.









Some researchers have been critical of the research supporting

psychoneuromuscular theory (Hall, 2001). They suggest that many of these studies did

not have control group participants. More definitive research appears necessary to

empirically verify that imagery actually works as predicted by this theory.

Symbolic Learning Theory

Sackett (1934) suggested that imagery may function as a coding system to help

people understand and gain movement patterns. He argued that imagery can help

individuals understand their movements. Actions are symbolically coded as a mental

map or blue print (Vealey & Walter, 1993); while imagery strengthens this blueprint,

enabling actions to become more recognizable and automatic. According to this theory,

skills that are more cognitive in nature (e.g., playing chess) are more easily coded than

pure motor skills (e.g., lifting weights). One way that individuals learn skills is to

become familiar with that skill and learn what needs to be done in order to become

successful. By making a motor program in the central nervous system, a mental blueprint

is formed for successfully completing the movement.

Sackett (1934) demonstrated support for the symbolic learning theory on a

cognitive task (a finger maze) that could be symbolized. Three groups of twenty subjects

each learned a finger maze under the same conditions. Afterwards, each group was given

a different set of instructions regarding rehearsal. After seven days, the groups relearned

the maze under different circumstances. One group was told to draw the maze pattern as

much as they wanted during the interval and subjects in this group were required to make

five drawings right after learning and five directly before learning. Another group was

told to think through a pattern as much as possible during the week but not to draw or

trace the maze. The last group was told not to draw, trace or think about the maze during









the interval. Verbal reports regarding the activities during the learning, relearning, and

rehearsal periods were taken. The results showed that symbolic rehearsal does have a

beneficial influence upon retention through drawing and thinking. When the rehearsal

was in the form of thinking through the pattern, 80% of the subjects studied the pattern in

visual terms and 20% employed in the verbal mode.

Hird, Landers, Thomas, and Horan (1991) compared the effects of different ratios

of physical to mental practice on the performance of tasks classified as cognitive

(pegboard) or motor (pursuit motor). Seventy-two participants were randomly assigned

to one of the six conditions that included different amounts of combined mental and

physical practice. Their results showed that physical practice was more effective than

mental practice in improving pegboard and pursuit motor performance. However, mental

practice was effective in improving performance when compared with no practice at all.

This finding supports symbolic-learning theory, which showed that mental practice was

relatively effective in enhancing tasks that are cognitive. However, mental practice was

effective to a lesser extent in tasks that were predominately motor. This was possible due

to the limited number of cognitive components in tasks that were predominately motor

such as weight lifting (Hird et al., 1991).

Symbolic-learning theory may explain how imagery helps in situations where

physical practice may be limited by due to expense, time constraints, fatigue, or potential

for injury (Hird et al., 1991). However, various combinations of physical and mental

practice or mental practice alone are not an effective alternative to physical practice.

Rather, mental practice can be used as an effective supplement to physical practice (Hird

et al., 1991).









Bioinformational Theory

Lang (1977, 1979) proposed the bioinformational theory to explain the

psychophysiology of imagery especially in anxiety and phobia disorders. Based on the

assumption that an image is a functionally organized set of propositions stored in the

brain, the model states that a description of an image contains two main types of

statements: stimulus and response propositions.

Stimulus propositions are statements that describe specific stimulus features of the

situation to be imagined. For example, a swimmer at a major competition might imagine

the crowd, his starting block, locker room conditions, and his teammates. Response

propositions are statements that describe the imager's response to the particular situation

and are designed to produce physiological activity. For example, response propositions

in swimming might involve a swimmer feeling the water with his body, and feeling his

heart beating and muscles cramping up as the lactic acid builds up.

The important point in the bioinformational theory is that response propositions are

a fundamental part of the image structure in Lang's theory. In this sense mental imagery

is not only a stimulus in the person's head to which he or she responds but also contains

response propositions created for more physiological responses (Bakker, Boschker, &

Chung, 1996; Budney, Murphy, & Woolfolk, 1994). From this standpoint, mental

imagery scripts are recommended to contain both stimulus and response propositions to

create a more vivid image than stimulus propositions alone. Also, it has been argued that

the differences between stimulus and response propositions are functionally similar to the

differences between external and internal imagery (Hale, 1994). For instance, Hale

(1982), Harris and Robinson (1986) showed that imagery from an internal perspective

produced more EMG activity than from an external perspective.









Although this theory is an improvement over the psychoneuromuscular theory and

the symbolic learning theory, it has little explanation with regard to the motivational

functions served by imagery (Hall, 2001). It also does not address the role of imagery in

connecting an action with other forms of information processing such as language (Hall,

2001).

Dual Coding Theory

According to Paivio (1986), the dual coding theory states that two discrete coding

systems are involved in language processing. These coding systems are independent but

partly interconnected symbolic systems specialized for encoding, organizing, storing, and

retrieving. One system, the image (or imagery) system, is specialized for processing,

perceptual information with nonverbal objects and events and for making mental images

for such events. The other system, the verbal (or linguistic) system, is used for

processing linguistic gestures and generating speech. Annett (1994) proposed a dual

coding model that is more detailed to the motor domain. He called the model, action

language-imagination (ALI). In his model, there are two main routes in which a person

can get information about a skill; these skills are matched up to demonstration and verbal

instruction and are based on two independent encoding channels; the motor channel,

which is specialized for encoding human actions, and the verbal channel, which encodes

linguistic information and speech, including inscriptions. A link is connected between

the two channels to describe and generate an action, and to act on verbal commands.

This link according to Annett (1994) is called the action-language bridge and explains

how encoding information in both action and languages systems should produce better

learning rather than encoding in only one of the systems. Hall, Moore, Annett, and

Rodgers (1997) gave some evidence for this explanation. They investigated the recall of









movement patterns presented by demonstration or guided movement without any vision.

Participants studied the patterns using one of three strategies-imagery, verbal labeling,

imagery and verbal labeling-or no rehearsal strategy (control condition). Results in this

study showed that more patterns were recalled if the participant used a combination of

imagery and verbal labeling compared to imagery alone.

Kim, Singer, and Tennant (1998) also showed support for the dual coding theory.

Their study compared the relative effectiveness of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic

imagery in a golf-putting task. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to one of the

five conditions: (1) visual imagery, which the participants watched a ten minute

videotape that contained golf putting stroke demonstrations without any verbal

instructions, (2) auditory imagery, which the participants listened to an audio taped set of

instructions, (3) kinesthetic imagery, which the participants listened to specific action

instructions (e.g., backswing, hit the ball) presented with a tape recorder, (4) irrelevant

imagery, which the group was provided with general imagery information about thinking

of all kinds of animals for ten minutes, and (5) control group, which the participants were

asked to count numbers from 1 to 600. Their results showed that auditory and kinesthetic

imagery lead to better retention performance accuracy than with visual, irrelevant, and

control conditions. Auditory imagery, which would call for the dual coding of the

information according to the ALI model, led to better retention performance accuracy

than to kinesthetic imagery for the performance measures.

Functions of Imagery

Paivio (1985) proposed a framework focused on how imagery can influence

physical performance. He suggested that imagery serves at two functions: cognitive and

motivational and these functions operate at a specific or general level. A rehearsal of









skills or an image of a specific motor skill would be a cognitive function operating in a

specific level (cognitive specific imagery; CS). An example of a cognitive skill would be

a swimmer imagining about his underwater technique. A cognitive function operating in

a general level (cognitive general imagery; CG) would include using imagery to rehearse

entire game plans, strategies of play, and routines. For instance, a quarterback imagining

specific strategies throughout a football game would be an example of cognitive general

imagery. The motivational function, at the specific level, involves imagining one's goals

and the activities needed to achieve these goals (motivational specific imagery; MS). MS

imagery may include a 100-meter hurdler imagining winning the Olympics and receiving

the gold medal in front of millions of people. At the general level (motivational general

imagery; MG), images relate to the general physiological arousal and affect. A golfer

might include a quick relaxation technique by imaging a quiet place between shots to

keep him calm. Hall, Mack, Paivio, and Hausenblas (1998) recently identified two

components of motivational general imagery specific to sport. Motivational general-

arousal imagery (MG-A) is related to stress and arousal while motivational general-

mastery imagery (MG-M) is related to images of being in control, confident and mentally

tough.

Based upon the above theoretical review, an important empirical question for sport

scientists has been to determine the most effective use of imagery to enhance,

supplement, or replace physical practice. A vast of majority of studies addressing this

question have supported the dual functions of imagery in sport settings (Munroe,

Giacobbi, Hall, & Weinberg, 2000). The majority of the studies have examined the use

of CS imagery (Hall, 2001). Rawlings, Rawlings, Chen, and Yilk (1972) found that









imagery practice is as effective as physical practice and reported best to worst order in

performance is physical practice, imagery practice and control conditions. Considering

the results of these studies, it is accepted that CS imagery assists the learning and

performance of motor skills (Driskell, Copper, & Moran, 1994; Hall, Schmidt, Durand, &

Buckolz, 1994), but not as good as physical practice (Hall, 2001). Durand, Hall and

Haslam (1997) found that a combination of physical and imagery practice is usually no

better than 100 % physical practice. Also, it is often possible to substitute some CS

imagery practice for physical practice without affecting learning and performance. This

has important implications for athletes. Although athletes should not substitute imagery

practice for physical practice, sometimes there are situations such as travel, injury, where

it is only possible to engage in mental rehearsal or mental imagery. In these situations,

by using imagery, athletes may be able to maintain their usual levels of practice and

perhaps gain some of the positive benefits of physical practice. However, an important

future research question to be addressed is whether similar recommendations could be

made for individuals within exercise settings.

Hall (2001) questioned the theoretical discussions concerned with the optimum

amount of CS imagery practice that should be added to physical practice. He suggested

that research on the functional equivalence of imagery and action might provide some

guidance to this issue. The concept of functional equivalence can be simplified in the

context of performing motor skills because both types of activity, imagining and

performing the activity, are characterized by the need to generate a temporally extended

event on the basis of memory (Hall, 2001). From this perspective, imagery can be seen









as the process of a "pure" event generation whereas action essentially needs the

combination of this generative process to the articulatory system (Vogt, 1995).

Two general approaches have been studied to look at the functional equivalence

issue (Hall, 2001). Some researchers have examined the neurophysiological basis of

motor imagery. This approach involves examining changes in EEG activity in both

motor and sensory areas with the use of imagery. The second approach has compared the

effects of imagery practice and physical practice on learning and performance. Ericsson,

Krampe, and Tesch-Romer (1993) have shown that CS imagery practice should be

treated similarly to physical practice. He also claimed that there is no optimal level of

practicing CS imagery. Rather, athletes and exercisers are encouraged to use CS imagery

as much as possible when doing a physical activity. CS imagery is viewed as a way to

train the mind in conjunction while physically training the body, and not as a replacement

for physical practice. In other words, imagery can be like a vitamin supplement to

physical activity, one that could give individuals an edge in improving performance

(Vealey & Walter, 1993).

In addition to using imagery to rehearse specific skills (CS imagery), many athletes

report using imagery to prepare entire game plans, routines, and strategies of play

(Madigan, Frey, & Matlock, 1992). This is called cognitive general (CG) function of

imagery. There have not been any controlled studies but in case reports, athletes have

shown the performance benefits of CG imagery for rehearsing slalom canoe races

(MacIntyre & Moran, 1996), football players (Rushall, 1988) and artistic gymnastic

routines (White & Hardy, 1998).









When one imagines their goals, such as winning or positive reinforcement for good

performance, they are using motivational-specific (MS) imagery. Bandura (1997)

remarks how imagery may influence the self-standards against which performance is

appraised and evaluated. When athletes use comparable images with their performances,

they have more realistic self-standards and are less likely to give up when they fail.

Martin and Hall (1995) suggested that when it comes to enhancing motivation, imagery

and goals may go hand in hand. Also, Munroe, Hall and Weinberg (1999) found out by

interviewing varsity athletes that, goal setting is the first effective step in an intervention

program, and the next rational step should be for athletes to use these goals as a basis for

mental imagery.

In order to develop, maintain, or regain confidence in sport, one should imagine

performing in a confident manner (Mortiz, Hall, Martin, & Vadocz, 1996). This is called

motivational general mastery (MG-M) imagery. Bandura (1997) argues that confidence

is a nondescript term that refers to strength of belief but fails to identify what the

assurance is about. In contrast, self-efficacy is the belief of one's capability that he or she

can perform a certain behavior and execute actions required to produce specific

accomplishments or goals. Bandura also proposed that positive visualizations enhance

self-efficacy by preventing negative visualizations in situations where one may begin to

question their own abilities. Again, the implications for these findings within exercise

settings remain to be fully explored but it seems intuitive that exercisers could benefit

from the use of imagery in a variety of ways. Additionally, we are only beginning to

understand the content and function of mental imagery used by regular and non-regular

exercisers (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Penfield, In Press).









As MG-M imagery is related to self-confidence and self-efficacy, there is evidence

that MG-A imagery is related to arousal and anxiety. Some athletes use MG-A to

increase arousal levels (Caudill, Weinberg, & Jackson, 1983; Munroe et al., 2000; White

& Hardy, 1998). It has also been shown that competitive anxiety can be influenced by

the use of imagery (Gould & Udry, 1994; Orlick, 1990), but this has been difficult to

empirically assess.

Overall, research shows that athletes use imagery for both cognitive and

motivational reasons. Why they use imagery depends on their goals or what they hope to

attain. For instance, imagery use may differ if they want to rehearse a specific skill or a

whole game plan, increase self-efficacy, or increase their arousal levels. Since most of

the research has been done in the context of sport, a logical next step is to extend this line

of inquiry to exercise settings.

Variables Influencing the Use of Imagery

Mental imagery has also been widely used in sport settings. Many athletes report

using imagery in both training and competition and even non-elite athletes make

considerable use of imagery (Barr & Hall, 1992; Hall, Rodgers, & Barr 1990; Salmon,

Hall, & Haslam, 1994).

A number of variables are known to influence how imagery would be effective

when used by an athlete or an exerciser which include the specific activity, performer's

skill level, gender, and imagery ability (Hall, 2001). Each of these issues will be

discussed here. For the purposes of this review the discussion that follows will only

focus on gender issues and imagery ability since these two areas of investigation appear

to be most pertinent to the study of imagery.









Gender Differences in the Use of Imagery

Within sport settings there is no evidence that imagery is more effective for one

gender than the other in sport and only minor differences have been noted between men

and women on their reported use of imagery (Hall, 2001). But, within exercise settings,

gender does seem to be a determinant of exercise imagery use. Gammage et al. (2000)

reported that women used appearance imagery significantly more than men while men

reported the use of technique imagery more frequently than women. Gammage et al.

(2000) explained how weight training is competitive in nature and men tend to exercise

for more competitive reasons than women. Additionally, females tend to engage in

exercise behavior to attain certain cultural ideals with regard to their shape and figure and

therefore these motives for exercise may impact how women use exercise imagery.

Imagery Ability

Athletes' ability to use mental imagery, in terms of vividness and controllability, is

a distinguishing factor between novice and elite athletes or successful and less successful

performers (Hall, 2001). Rodgers et al. (1991) supported this by administering the

Movement Imagery Questionnaire (MIQ; Hall & Pongrac, 1983) to figure skaters both

before and after a 16-week imagery-training program. This study investigated the effects

of an imagery (IM) training program on ability, use, and figure skating performance and

compared the influence of IM training to that of verbalization training. Twenty-nine

figure skaters were divided into IM and verbal training groups and were assessed for

movement IM ability, their use of IM, and free skating performance prior to and

following a 16-wk training program. A 3rd group of 11 aged served as controls. Results

showed that the IM group was more likely to use IM before practice sessions, to use IM

after practice sessions, to visualize parts of their jumps more easily, and to see themselves









winning competitions more often. They could also "feel" (i.e., kinesthetically imagine)

themselves skating better than the other groups. The results also suggested that those

skaters who became better at visual IM also became more successful at completing their

program elements, particularly the more difficult ones.

Goss, Hall, Buckolz and Fishburne (1986) also administered MIQ to study three

kinds of imagery ability groups: low visual/low kinesthetic (LL), high visual/low

kinesthetic (HL), and high visual/high kinesthetic (HH). Participants were taught to learn

simple movements to a criterion performance level and were then tested on their retention

and reacquisition of these movements after a week. The results showed that imagery

ability is related to the learning of movements. The LL group took the most trials to learn

the movements and the HH group learned the movements in the least number of trials.

The same trend was found in the reacquisition stage but the support was weaker for a

relationship between imagery ability and retention. Findings support the position that

high imagery ability facilitates the acquisition, but probably not the short-term retention,

of movements.

Types of Imagery

Internal imagery refers to imagining the execution of a technique or skill from a

first-person perspective (Weinberg & Gould, 2003, p. 286). From this perspective you

would only see what you actually execute as if there was a camera on top of your head or

as if you were actually performing the skill. For example, if you imagined walking in the

woods, you would be able to see the whole environment around you such as the trees,

birds, and houses, but you would not be able to imagine anything out of your normal

range of vision. The images would also emphasize the feel of movement since it is a first

person perspective (Weinberg & Gould, 2003).









External imagery is when you imagine yourself from an external perspective or as

if you were watching yourself perform the skill on a movie screen (Weinberg & Gould,

2003). For example, if a basketball player imagined shooting from an external

perspective, he would not only see himself shoot, but see all the other players run, jump,

block, and be able to see the crowd. But there would be little emphasis on the kinesthetic

feel of the movement because the basketball player is simply watching himself perform

it.

Overall, many people may switch back and forth between internal and external

imagery perspectives (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). The more important issue is whether

the individual is able to mentally create clear, controllable images regardless of whether

they are from an internal or external perspective.

Exercise Imagery

Since the vast majority of research on imagery has been in sport and athletes, the

study of exercise related imagery is relatively new. Hall (1995) was the first to propose

that exercisers might use mental imagery. He also proposed that imagery may be a

powerful motivator for exercisers through its impact on self-efficacy expectations. He

thought that regular exercisers may imagine themselves engaging in their individual

physical activity, enjoying their workouts, and achieving their goals. Such images may

then enhance an exercisers self-efficacy and motivation to exercise.

Past research has found that exercisers use imagery for three main reasons; energy,

appearance, and technique (Gammage et al., 2000; Hausenblas et al., 1999). Energy

imagery refers to images that are associated with increased feelings of energy and relief

of stress. Appearance imagery is related to images of a leaner, fit, and healthy body.

Lastly, technique imagery refers to the proper execution of body positioning when doing









a certain exercise. Energy and appearance should be most closely associated with

motivation, while technique imagery is related with a cognitive function. Hausenblas et

al. (1999) asked 144 aerobic exercisers who were mostly full time female college

students about their use of imagery.

Although not directly asked where they used imagery, it is clear that most of the

participants used imagery in conjunction with their exercise (i.e., just before, during, and

just after). They also used imagery in other places such as work, school, and home and at

various times throughout the day such as before going to bed and when studying. It was

also hypothesized that exercisers might use imagery when injured to obtain benefits while

doing rehabilitation, similar to injured athletes (Hall, 2001).

Three studies (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Rodgers, Hall, Blanchard, & Munroe, 2000;

Giacobbi et al., 2003) found that exercisers use imagery for three primary reasons:

energy, appearance, and technique. In other words, exercisers might use imagery to

reach goals such as losing or maintaining weight, improving technique and appearance,

and developing a social image. Of these three exercise functions, appearance imagery

was most frequently used (Hausenblas et al., 1999). Seeing that imagery might be used

for motivational purposes, one can see how imagery might be related to other social

cognitive variables like self-efficacy, that are known to influence exercise participation.

Hall (1995) proposed that exercise imagery might be an important source of self-efficacy

and efficacy expectations can come from many sources such as performance

accomplishments, physiological arousal, verbal persuasion, observing others, and mental

imagery (Hall, 1995). In support of these views, Hausenblas et al. (1999) found that over

75% of aerobic exercise class participants reported using exercise imagery for both









motivational and cognitive purposes. They also found that as exercise imagery is

increased, so too did the participants' self-efficacy. So by increasing self-efficacy

through imagery, it may be possible to indirectly increase motivation to exercise.

According to Hausenblas et al. (1999) the content of exercisers' images are quite

varied due to individual differences and their responses were organized into nine

categories: body image, techniques/strategies, feel good about oneself, motivation,

general exercise, fitness/health, music, goals, and maintaining focus. These contents

reveal the reasons why exercisers are using imagery (e.g., body image corresponds with

the appearance function of exercise imagery).

A similar descriptive study regarding exercise imagery was conducted Giacobbi et

al. (2003) study. In this study, 16 female regular exercisers were interviewed to

understand the content and function of their exercise related imagery. Using major

quotations from the interviews and grounded theory procedures (Strauss & Corbin,

1990), the results revealed the following higher order themes: exercise technique, aerobic

routines, exercise context, appearance images, competitive outcomes, fitness/health

outcomes, emotions/feelings associated with exercise, and exercise self efficacy. Several

participants said that appearance related images served as an important motivation in

starting and sustaining exercise behavior. This idea supported the results of Hausenblas

et al. (1999) study and again suggested that exercisers might use imagery as a function of

their goals and aspirations such as an improved appearance, and fitness benefits. Also,

appearance related images might have important motivational functions for exercisers.

Overall, this study offered future researchers a descriptive and exploratory means of

assessing exercisers use of imagery (Giacobbi et al., 2003).









Measurement of Exercise Imagery

Exercise Imagery Questionnaire

The Exercise Imagery Questionnaire (EIQ) developed by Hausenblas et al. 1999

was originally validated on female aerobics participants. The EIQ is a 9-item measure, in

which participants rate the frequency of their imagery use on a 9-point scale (1 = never

and 9 = always). The measure consists of three subscales, each made up of three items:

appearance, technique, and energy. Appearance is a motivational function that focuses

on imaging about a fit-looking body. An example of an appearance item is "I imagine a

'fitter-me' from exercising." Energy imagery is also closely associated with one's

motivation and it focuses on images related to getting psyched up or feeling energized

from exercising. An example of an energy item is "To take my mind off work, I imagine

exercising. The last subscale, technique imagery, is more cognitive in nature and focuses

on performing skills and techniques correctly with good form. An example of technique

imagery will be "When I think about exercising, I imagine my form and body position."

Estimates of internal consistency, or Cronbach's alphas, in previous research have

indicated reliable results for the EIQ subscales (Hausenblas et al., 1999: appearance =

.84; energy = .90; technique = .86; Rodgers, Hall, Blanchard, & Munroe, 1999;

appearance = .87; energy = .88; technique = .90) and the scale demonstrated acceptable

factorial validity.

By administering the EIQ to regular aerobics exercisers, results showed that

participants used imagery for three primary reasons: to imagine increased energy levels

and relief from stress; to imagine appearance related images associated with a leaner,

fitter look; and to imagine correct execution of technique while exercising. Analyses also









revealed that individuals who exercised regularly used more appearance, energy, and

technique imagery.

The EIQ was revolutionary in creating a survey-based assessment of exercise

imagery. However, the EIQ was developed and validated with a sample of aerobics

participants making it hard to generalize to other exercise groups (Giacobbi, Hausenblas,

& Penfield, In Press; Hall, 1998). Hall (1998) suggested that a more general measure of

exercise imagery was needed to allow for the valid and reliable assessment for exercise

imagery with individuals who participate in other forms of exercise (e.g., swimmers,

weight lifters).

Giacobbi et al., (2003) expressed another concern related to the factor structure of

the EIQ as this measure only includes appearance, technique and emotion-related

imagery but other dimensions such as health outcomes, exercise context, beliefs and

perceptions about completing workouts, and images associated with increased exercise

self-efficacy are not measured by the EIQ. Specifically, because self-efficacy has been

linked to the initiation (Armstrong, Sallis, Hovell, & Hofstetter, 1993; McAuley, Bane, &

Mihalko, 1998), and maintenance (Marcus & Owen, 1992; Marcus, Pinto, Simkin,

Audrain, & Taylor, 1994) of exercise behavior and because fitness and health related

images elicit important motivational processes within exercise settings (Giacobbi et al.,

2003), the Exercise Imagery Inventory was subsequently developed and will now be

elaborated upon.

Exercise Imagery Inventory

The Exercise Imagery Inventory (EII) was created by Giacobbi et al. (In Press) and

originally consisted of a 41-item measure developed from previous relevant exercise

psychology literature (Hall, 1995; Hausenblas et al., 1999; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Rodgers









& Gauvin, 1998; Rodgers et al., 2001). The scale was anchored on a 7-point Likert scale

with 1 indicating rarely and 7 meaning often and a three-stage measurement study was

implemented with the EII with 1,737 research participants who participated in varying

levels of exercise. During phase one the measure was created and administered to 504

undergraduate students. The results of exploratory factor analysis supported a 19-item

measure that resulted in four interpretable factors accounting for 65% of the response

variance. These were labeled as Appearance/Health Imagery (8 items), Exercise

Technique (5 items), Exercise Self-efficacy (3 items), and Exercise Feelings (4 items)

and were consistent with our a priori expectations.

In phase two, a separate sample of participants were administered the 19-item

version of the EII while four- and five-factors were tested using confirmatory factor

analysis. The rationale for testing four- and five-factor models was that the

Appearance/Health imagery items appeared to be conceptually different and may in fact

correlate differentially with external variables (e.g., exercise behavior). The results of

this analysis demonstrated nearly identical fit indices for both models suggesting support

for the more parsimonious four-factor model.

Lastly, in phase three the researchers recruited a diverse sample of adults

throughout the age span, and administered the EII along with measures of exercise

behavior (Leisure Time and Exercise Questionnaire: Godin & Shephard, 1985) and a

measure exercise self-efficacy (Exercise Self Efficacy: McAuley, 1992). The major

purposes of phase three were to replicate phase two and assess correlations with other

relevant measures (i.e., exercise self-efficacy and behavior). Overall results supported a

four-factor model to explain the underlying structure of the 19-item scale. The four









exercise imagery factors were labeled Appearance/Health imagery, Exercise Technique,

Exercise Self-efficacy, and Exercise Feelings. The EII also demonstrated positive

correlations with exercise behavior and self-efficacy as individuals who reported using

engaging in more leisure-time exercise also used more exercise imagery for all subscales

particularly Exercise-Technique.

Study Rationale

As discussed throughout this literature review, the study of exercise imagery is a

new area of inquiry especially compared to the vast amount of research conducted in

sport settings (Hall, 2001). While previous exercise imagery investigations have

demonstrated links between exercise behavior, exercise self-efficacy, and mental imagery

(Gammage et al., 2000; Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi et al., In press; Hausenblas et al.,

1999) the majority of these studies were conducted with college-aged individuals. Much

information remains to be investigated with regard to how, why, and under what

circumstances individuals use exercise related imagery. The potential application of

mental imagery within exercise settings is vast and I would argue that middle-aged adults

in particular could enhance their exercise behavior with this mental technique. However,

before such intervention studies can be implemented it is important for researchers to

systematically investigate the specific use of mental imagery by adults who engage in

varying levels of exercise. It is my hope the current study will lead to future intervention

efforts intended to foster exercise behavior.















CHAPTER 3
METHODS

The present study used a mixed-method dominant-less-dominant design

(Giacobbi, Poczwardowski, & Hager, 2005). Figure 3-1 describes both the dominant and

less dominant portions of this design. Specifically, the less dominant portion involved

administration of the surveys described below while the dominant portion consisted of

qualitative interviews.

Purposive Participants
Sampling


Demographics
Questionnaire


Self-Efficacy
Scale
(McAuley,
1992)


LTEQ
(Godin &
Shephard, 1985)


Less Dominant:
PHASE I


Dominant:
PHASE II


Figure 3-1: Procedure Outline using a Dominant-less-dominant Design


EII
(Giacobbi, Hausenblas,
& Penfield, 2005)









Participants

Thirty community dwelling adults between the ages of 35 to 65 (M = 48.13; SD =

8.33) participated in this study and included 11 males and 19 females. Out of the 30

participants, eleven were between the ages of 35 45 while 19 of the participants were

between the ages of 46 65. Out of the 30 participants, twenty-one participants

described themselves as Caucasian, seven as Asians, one as Latino, and one African

American participated in this study. When asked about their highest education achieved,

fourteen participants answered that they had a master in arts or science, ten answered that

they had a bachelor in arts or science, five answered that they had a doctor of philosophy

degree, and one answered that they had a high school diploma.

The participants engaged in a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic exercise

activities (e.g., running, walking, swimming, weight lifting, and the use of cardiovascular

machines) and none of them had any conditions that would limit them from daily

activities and/or exercising.

Study Measures

Demographic Questionnaire. A demographic questionnaire was administered to

assess each participant's age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, the participants

were asked to indicate their phone number, email address, and physical address along

with an indication of whether they would participate in an interview if asked.

The Exercise Imagery Inventory (EII). The EII is a 19-item scale developed

through a construct validation approach (Giacobbi et al., 2005). It consists of the

following four subscales: Exercise Technique, Exercise Self-efficacy, Exercise Feelings,

and Appearance/Health images (See Appendix C). Evidence for the validity of the EII

has been demonstrated through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis with









separate samples of college students and adults throughout the age span. Additionally,

assessments with the EII subscales, exercise behavior, and exercise self-efficacy have

yielded positive and significant associations that ranged between .10 and .46. Giacobbi et

al. (2005) reported subscale reliabilities for the EII were .91 for the Appearance/Health

imagery scale, Exercise Self-efficacy .76, Exercise Technique .88, and Exercise Feelings

.81. The scale is anchored on a 7-point Likert scale with 1 indicating rarely and 7

meaning often.

The Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ). The LTEQ (See Appendix D)

is a three-item scale that asks respondents to rate how often they engage mild (i.e.,

minimal effort), moderate (i.e., not exhausting, light sweating), and strenuous (i.e., heart

beats rapidly) leisure-time exercise during a typical week (Godin & Shephard, 1985).

The LTEQ allows researchers to calculate a total MET score by weighting the intensity

level and summing for a total score using the following formula: 3(mild), +5(moderate),

and +9(strenuous). The LTEQ is a reliable and valid self-report measure of exercise

behavior in adults (Godin, Jobin, & Bouillon, 1986; Jacobs, Ainsworth, Hartman, &

Leon, 1993).

Exercise Self-Efficacy. The barriers self-efficacy scale (See Appendix E) was used

to assess participants' self-efficacy towards exercise (McAuley, 1992). This 12-item

scale asks respondents to indicate their confidence in overcoming commonly described

barriers to engage in exercise behavior and has demonstrated reliability and validity

(McAuley, 1992).









The participants indicate their confidence on a scale of 0% (no confidence at all) to

100% (completely confident); their responses are summed and divided by the total

number of items to provide a total score that can range between 0% to 100% with higher

scores indicating greater self-efficacy to overcome barriers to exercise.

Procedure

At the beginning of phase one, all participants were given a brief introduction about

the purpose of this study and information about how their data will be used and issues

related to confidentiality. Procedures regarding confidentiality and informed consent

were all part of the trust and rapport building process between the interviewee and

interviewer (Fontana & Frey, 2000). Approval to recruit participants was obtained from

the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB Protocol #2004-U-97). After

the surveys were completed during phase one the participants were contacted and asked if

they would be willing to be interviewed. All participants agreed to the interview.

Interview Guide. At the beginning of this interview, a brief introduction about the

purpose of this study, the use of the interview data, procedures for tape recording,

confidentiality and anonymity of responses was assured. Then, consistent with the

procedures of Hall et al. (1998), Munroe et al. (2000), and Giacobbi et al. (2003) the

participants were read the following definition of exercise imagery:

Imagery involves mentally seeing yourself exercising. The image of your mind
should approximate the actual physical activity as close as possible. Imagery may
include sensations like hearing the music, feeling yourself move through the
exercises, and feeling your heart beating. Imagery can also be associated with
emotions. Some examples are imagining yourself getting psyched up or energized
and feeling exhilarated after a workout. Imagery can also be used as a motivation
to exercise. Some examples of motivational imagery are staying focused on
exercise and not being distracted, setting exercise plans and goals such as imaging
achieving goal of losing weight. Imagery can also be used to imagine proper form,
technique, and routines.









Next, using an interview guide developed by Giacobbi et al. (2003), general open-

ended questions and specific probes were employed to follow up on the participants'

responses regarding exercise imagery (See Appendix F). The probes were developed by

the author in order to obtain more specific information concerning the relevant issues that

arose throughout the interview process (Patton, 1990). At the end of the interview, the

participant was given the opportunity to express any comments or questions that they felt

important and not covered from the interview.

Data Analysis

Phase I: Study Measures. The author took a subset of 35 to 65 year olds (N=401)

from the Giacobbi et al. (2005) study and computed a median for the EII, and the Barriers

self efficacy scale. The results of this analysis revealed a median of 89.44 for the EII and

49.73 for the Barriers self-efficacy scale.

According to the guidelines from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention

(2003), most adults should do aerobic exercise three to five times a week for about 30 to

45 minutes of moderate intensity. These guidelines were used to classify individuals as

those who participate in recommended or insufficient amounts of exercise (CDC, 2003).

If a participant scored three days or more of strenuous activity or five days or more of

moderate activity they were categorized as a high exerciser. If the participant scored

lower than three days of strenuous activity or lower than five days of moderate activity,

they were considered as a low exerciser. Any participant who scored in mild activity

alone was also considered a low exerciser. Based upon these characterizations the

participants were then placed into one of two categories in order to make comparisons

from their interview data (phase II): high imagery user, high exercise self-efficacy, high

exerciser versus low imagery user, low exercise self-efficacy, and low exerciser.









Table 3-1 shows the participants scores on all study measures. A median score of

49.73 on the Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992) was used to categorize

participants as high versus low self-efficacy. Nineteen participants scored above the

computed median of 49.73 and were considered participants who had a high level of self-

efficacy to barriers while eleven of the participants scored below the median and were

considered people who had a low level of self-efficacy to barriers. With regard to

exercise participation if the participant reported lower than three days of strenuous

activity or lower than five days of moderate activity, they were considered as a low

exerciser. Any participant who scored in mild activity alone was also considered a low

exerciser. Twenty participants reported that they exercised on a high level. Ten

participants reported that they exercised in a low level. Out of the 30 participants,

twenty-one exercisers reported that they exercised in a strenuous level of exercise (range:

2 7 days) while six participants reported that they exercised at a moderate level (range:

3 5 days). Three participants reported that they exercised at a mild level of exercise

(range: 2 6 days). Finally, with regard to exercise imagery, any participant who scored

higher than 89.4 on the EII was considered as high exercise imagery user while any

participant who scored lower than 89.4 were considered as a low exercise imagery user.

In summary, fifteen participants met the criteria of the active group and eight participants

met the criteria for the less active group. The remaining participants (n=7) scored neither

high nor low in one or more of the three assessments. These characterizations then

provided a means to compare individuals' interview responses as will be described in the

next section.









Table 3-1: Descriptive Results from the Barriers Self-Efficacy, LTEQ, and the EII
measurements
Measure Mean Standard Deviation
Barriers Self-Efficacy 58.03 24.22

Strenuous Level 3.2 days 2.57
LTEQ Moderate Level 0.77 days 1.59
Mild Level 0.37 days 1.25
Exercise Imagery Inventory 97.11 21.14



Interview Analysis

Phase II: Interview Analysis. Guided theory analytic procedures guided the

collection and analysis of all interview data (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1998).

All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim by the author. After all the

interviews were transcribed, the author then focus coded each interview emerging data

themes and quotes that the author thought was relevant to the study. A comparison

between the high profile group versus the low profile group (i.e., high exerciser, high

self-efficacy, and high imagery user vs. low exerciser, low self efficacy, and low imagery

user) was done in the analysis. Grounded theory procedures allow researchers to

construct and generate a new theory grounded in data collected with specific individuals.

The researcher did not begin with predetermined ideas; rather the theory was allowed to

emerge during the research process. The specific approach taken here was to utilize

inductive procedures during the initial coding process whereby specific utterances from

each participant were coded and given labels based upon the nature of the responses. A

secondary part of the analysis was to use deductive procedures in order to make sense of

the data with regard to the extant literature. This inductive-deductive approach has been

employed frequently in the sport and exercise psychology literature (Giacobbi et al.,

2003; Rees & Hardy, 2000).









The goal of grounded theory analysis was to interpret raw data to detect concepts

and relationships between concepts and then to organize the data into a theoretically

descriptive diagram (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). In this study, a progressive series of

analytic steps were involved that began with a careful line-by-line analysis of each

interview transcript conducted by the researcher and other trained qualitative researchers

(Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990, 1998).

From the development and recommendations of Strauss and Corbin (1998) and

Charmaz (2000) the following steps took place during the grounded theory analysis:

1. Each interview was audiotape recorded. Each interview was transcribed
verbatim and combined with extensive notes taken by the lead researcher. The
primary investigator summarized the transcribed interviews.

2. The researcher then conducted a thorough reading of all interview transcripts.
The researcher became familiar with the participants' interviews and underwent
line-by-line coding in order to pull out raw data themes in the form of quotations
from the participants (Charmaz, 2000). Strauss and Corbin (1998) perceived
coding to be the analytic procedures by which data are fractured, conceptualized,
and integrated to develop theory. The labeled raw data themes were grouped into
categories by comparing labels with similar themes and assigning a classification
that the researcher felt best captured the substance of the topic. The emergent
categories were then discussed during research meetings until theoretical saturation
was reached.

3. During the process of line-by-line coding, "sensitizing concepts" were used as
starting points from the interview text to further our understanding of exercise
imagery in middle-aged adults and begin the process of building a theory (Giacobbi
et al. 2003). Sensitizing concepts served as "points of departure" from which to
study the data (Charmaz, 2000) and are an important part of the deductive analysis
taken during the latter stages. For example, previous sport imagery research and
exercise imagery research served as a sensitizing concept in the present
investigation (Munroe et al., 2000, Hausenblas et al., 1999, Giacobbi et al., 2003).
Additionally, Paivio's (1985) extensive theorizing was used to interpret the major
functions of exercise imagery. It has shown that motivational processes might be
involved by the use of mental imagery by exercisers and the limited research in
exercise imagery appears to support this notion (Hausenblas et al., 1999, Giacobbi
et al., 2003). However, the previous theory and research offers only a starting point
from which to study the use of exercise imagery by middle-aged adults. Therefore,
specific instances of exercise imagery discussed by the participants were examined









for a range of possible motivational and cognitive functions similar to but different
from the ways athletes and regular exercisers use mental imagery.

4. Following the line-by-line coding, the researcher built a set of categories, each
of which were mentioned on one or more occasions by the participants. Grounded
theory allows researchers to generate theory through close inspection and analysis
of qualitative data (Henwood & Pidgeon, 1992). By doing this, a constant
comparative method was used to find similarities and differences in the
participants' responses (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). This involved
making constant comparisons between participants who had high or low self
efficacy as determined by the Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992),
participants who were high or low exercisers determined by the LTEQ (Godin &
Shephard, 1985), and participants who used different types of mental imagery as
measured by the EII (Giacobbi et al., in press). Constant comparison was also done
with different participants, information in the form of quotations derived from the
same participant, incidents experienced by the same or different participants, data
coming from a general dimension or category, and data coming from different
dimensions with other dimensions (Giacobbi et al., 2003). Giacobbi et al. (2003)
explained how this constant comparison allowed for a close examination of how,
where, when, and why individuals used exercise imagery.

5. Axial coding was then performed to relate categories to subcategories along the
lines of their properties and components (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). This involved
amplification on the raw data themes into the more general and abstract
dimensions. Selective coding also occurred at this stage to integrate and refine
categories, which allowed for the formation of a larger theoretical structure (Strauss
& Corbin, 1998). In terms of the present study, the researcher closely analyzed
specific incidents described by the participants in order to understand the
conditions of using exercise imagery and to find if there were multiple functions,
consistencies, and/or inconsistencies within and among the individuals (Giacobbi et
al., 2003).

6. Research group meetings with a qualitative data researcher were conducted
throughout the data collection and analytic process (Dale, 1996). During these
meetings, several interviews were read whereby one person would read the
participant's statements and another would read the interviewer's questions. The
major purposes of these meetings were for those unaffiliated with this study to play
"devils advocate" and to examine the researchers' clarifications and understandings
of the interview text (Dale, 1996). This process worked as a social validation
process that allowed the researchers to remain open with their ideas and beliefs
about the evolving thematic framework (Pollio, Henley, & Thompson, 1997).

7. With previous research on mental imagery in sport and exercise have revealed
important findings (Hausenblas et al., 1999, Giacobbi et al., 2003), the researchers'
past experiences, ideas, and beliefs about this phenomenon were nearly impossible
to separate from the analysis of the transcripts (Charmaz, 1990: Charmaz, 2000).
Charmaz (1990) describes that as long as researchers are not "wedded" to their









prior knowledge and preconceived ideas, it is actually advantageous for the
grounded theorist to use previous beliefs about a phenomenon because it allows
greater emphasis to be placed on the development of new theories that emerge from
the data (p. 1165). In this study, all interview transcripts were inductively analyzed
during most of the analysis. Every effort was made to precisely represent each
participant's experiences using mental imagery associated with exercise (Giacobbi
et al., 2003). After the inductive analysis, previous research on mental imagery
helped interpret the data with regard to the present literature through the use of
sensitizing concepts and constant comparisons. Labels were created that described
higher-order themes largely derived from previous research (e.g., exercise
appearance). Thus, consistent with previous writings by grounded theorists, a
combination of an inductive and deductive analytic procedures were used during
the analysis of the interview transcripts. (Charmaz, 2000; Rees & Hardy, 2000,
Giacobbi et al., 2003).

8. Coding continued until theoretical saturation was reached. Theoretical
saturation occurred when no further properties, components, or relationships
emerged during analysis (Strauss & Corbin, 1998).

9. A conceptual framework was constructed beginning with the raw data themes
from the interviews and progressing to first order and higher order themes. From
the conceptual framework, a grounded theory was developed to show relationships,
meanings, interpretations, and the perceived and theoretical results of exercise
related imagery in middle-aged adults.

Issues of Reliability, Validity/Trustworthiness

Several procedures were taken to establish trustworthiness, validity, and reliability

in the current study. Rapport was built through an informal opening session and body

signs such as nodding, and/or with words of thanks, support, and praise in accordance

with C6te's (1999) recommendations. An introduction of the study and the researcher

and why it was being conducted also served as an opening introduction. Each interview

began with the participant filling out the informed consent form and a demographic form

regarding questions like their age, sex, and what kinds of exercise they participated in.

This served to familiarize the participants with the format of the interview and allowed

them to feel comfortable conversing with the researcher. Participants were assured of

their confidentiality and anonymity at the beginning of the interview. They were also









told that they did not have to answer any questions that they felt uncomfortable

answering. Participants were encouraged to think back in their lives and share any

thoughts or perceptions they had regarding imagery in exercise settings. The researcher

continued to assist the discussion throughout the interview by using words of

acknowledgement, nodding, smiling and probes to thoughts and ideas that the researcher

felt important.

Many methods were employed to establish reliability and validity, thereby

verifying the precision of the interview data (Sparkes, 1998). First, the author had

meetings with his advisor and a research assistant trained in qualitative methods on a

regular basis to discuss the interview results (Maxwell, 1996). This allowed for the

triangulation of the data by multiple coders with the ability to investigate discrepant

findings (Sparkes, 1998). Second, research group meetings were conducted between the

principal investigator and another individual trained in qualitative methods. This allowed

the principal investigator to remain flexible and unbiased during the process of coding

and developing theory (Pollio et al., 1997). Dale (1996) and Sparkes (1998) showed that

a research groups closely parallel an external inspection which serve to establish

credibility and dependability of qualitative data. Finally, a researcher unaffiliated with

the present study who possessed previous training and experience with qualitative data

analysis was given twenty eight random quotes from the interviews and seven higher

order themes created by the author. This individual was then asked to match the quotes

and higher-order themes with a list of labels presented in the results below. This

independent audit resulted in 79% agreement between the analysis presented in this thesis

and the auditors' findings.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The analysis consisted of higher-order themes that came from an inductive analysis

of the interviews (Giacobbi et al., 2003) and comparison examples from each category.

The first part of the result section consists of where and when the participants used

exercise imagery. Table 3 summarizes these findings.

The second part of the analysis focuses on the major functions of imagery and is

represented diagrammatically between Figures 5-1 to 5-3. This model was adapted from

Giacobbi et al. (2003) and served as a sensitizing concept for my analysis. What follows

is an explanation about where and when exercise imagery was used and then a

description of the more specific content or major functions imagery served for the

participants.

Table 4-1: Analysis of Where/When Participants (n=30) Used Exercise Imagery


Where Number of Participants (n=30)
In Exercise Environments 11
Out of Exercise Environments 15
In and Out of Exercise Environments 4


When
Prior to Exercise 12
During Exercise 9
Prior/During/After Exercise 9


As shown in Table 3, 11 participants (37%) reported that they used exercise

imagery in exercise environments (e.g., gym, swimming pool), 15 participants (50%)









reported using imagery both in and out of exercise environments while 4 (13%) reported

using imagery both in and out of the exercise context. With regard to when they used

imagery, 12 participants reported using imagery prior to exercise, nine reported using

imagery during exercise, and an additional nine indicated that they used imagery before,

during, or after exercise participation.

Functions of Exercise Imagery

Figure 5-1 shows a conceptual framework that represents the inductive analysis of

the participants' quotations. As shown, seven higher-order themes of exercise imagery

were revealed though inductive analysis. These were labeled: exercise technique,

appearance images, health outcomes, plans/strategies, stress levels/emotions, confidence

enhancing images, and motivating images. Additionally, two supplemental themes were

labeled as self-images, perspective, and final thoughts. Also shown in Figure 5-1 are the

theoretical linkages between the major cognitive and motivational functions of imagery

proposed by Paivio (1985) with the higher-order themes reported below. As described in

the previous chapter, Paivio's (1985) work served as a sensitizing concept from which to

analyze the present data. Each of these themes will be described below along with

exemplar quotations.

Exercise Technique. Inductive analysis from the raw data themes and deductive

analysis from previous exercise imagery research resulted in the emergence of exercise

technique. In sport settings, research has consistently shown that athletes use cognitive

specific imagery to improve technique. Similarly, almost all the participants (n=26)

reported using some kind of imagery related to technique. One participant reported the

importance of using technique imagery while working out in the gym. He said, "I also

try to imagine using proper form for each rep, such as bending your arms at the proper









angle, keeping your back still, lifting the bar smoothly." One participant reported how

she thought about her techique when she was biking. She quoted, "I guess I do a lot of

thinking when I'm biking. Cause I also think about my form, how I pedal and how I try

to create the least resistance to get the fastest kind of momentum."

Another participant thought about her elbows when she was swimming. She

reports, "I think oh well, you're dropping your elbow, get your elbow up, and then I try to

picture the technique that you're supposed to use." One participant thought about

technique imagery to create the least stress to her body. She said, "When exercising, I try

to keep my body aligned properly to get the most out of the exercise without stressing my

body..." One participant thought about her heart rate when running on the treadmill.

She said "...I think about my heart rate, I'm trying to increase my effort level while I'm

walking sometimes, and burning more calories, and playing with the incline, and with the

speed on the treadmill." This participant thought technique when he swam and also when

he played golf. He reports, "When I think about technique, like in swimming, I try to

think about trying to perfecting my stroke and to get the maximum out of my workout. In

golf, I try to imagine the swing and follow through and to try to get the shot I'm trying to

achieve..."

Other responses like thinking about heel to toe when running, most efficient steps,

doing the right stretching techniques, thinking about posture, taking long smooth strokes,

and having good mechanics with speed and control were also recorded with relation to

technique. These quotes will be supported in the following sections of high exerciser,

high imagery user, and high self-efficacy group and low exerciser, low imagery user, and

low self-efficacy group.









Appearance Images. Twenty-five participants used imagery with concerns of

appearance when exercising. A close analysis showed that many participants thought

about their younger self when thinking about appearance. This one participant thought

about her appearance images as a motivator to exercise as if she thinks about her

appearance it would help her "think about the benefits of exercise, how it will make me

skinner and healthier." This participant reported how she motivates herself to exercise by

recalling her appearance from 30 years ago. "Physical appearance I do think about it too.

It is the same kind of deal like the health thing. I recall my past self and think about how

I looked 30 years ago. I also keep on reminding myself of how I look now and try to

keep in shape for my future." One participant thought about being thinner and the only

way to look thinner was to exercise more and have a strict diet. She reports,

I picture myself thinner, keep doing this and I'll get thinner, you know and I think
most women think about nowadays which is why people are exercising and with all
this diet stuff going on, low carb, high carb, antioxidant, south beach, Atkins, I
don't think anyone knows what to do, less in and more exercise, works no matter
what you eat.

Reports of losing weight, trying to fit in certain size dresses, and looking younger

were constant responses among female participants. Like this one participant thought

about a certain bathing suit she would think about and how it would be nice to fit in that

bathing suit. She reports,

I picture myself looking better in my bathing suit, by doing this exercise than when
I do when I'm swimming. Ok, those are ones to do to lose weight and get in shape
and swimming, I love to do it and I'm good at it and want to look better in a
bathing suit... so I picture myself with weight loss...

Also, participants thought about fitting in a dress like this participant thought about

"...fitting in certain size dresses without covering up the bulges." Also this participant

thought about how nice she would feel when she swam if she lost her baby fat. She said,









"I would definitely picture myself swimming and using how much better I was going to

feel and much better I was going to look once I got rid of the baby fat and got into shape

and felt good about myself again, so that would be 35 up until now, 17 years." This

participant both had an image of fitting in a certain dress and also thinking about her past.

Imagining what I look like 20 years ago and wanting to get back to that kind of
body style. Middle age has caught up a little bit and that's certainly a motivator
knowing that there's clothes I'd like to wear again that are in my closet and are a
little tight, and wanting to keep on looking as young as possible. Not wanting to
get old before my time.

One participant thought about her present self and how she thought about future

images to prevent herself of becoming fat in the future. She reports,

I just think about my present physical appearance and also my future appearance.
Kind of preventing of not becoming who I don't want to be. So I think about a
healthy me in present time and I really try to think about not getting fat and just
being healthy.

Some male participants thought about their body tone and muscle growth when

thinking about exercise imagery. For example this one participant thought about he

"thought myself become stronger and have bigger muscles..." Also, another participant

thought about his muscles when thinking about exercise. He reports, "Every time I go do

weights and look in the mirror, I try my best to focus on my chest area as I feel much

better if I have a bigger chest..."

Other responses like thinking about getting younger, fighting with gravity, having a

healthy looking face, thinner thighs, skincare models, toned body, and thinking about

more definition. These main themes will be supported with quotes in the following

sections of high exerciser, high imagery user, and high self-efficacy group and low

exerciser, low imagery user, and low self-efficacy group.









Health Outcomes. Twenty-five participants indicated that they thought of some

kind of health image when thinking about exercise. Most of the participants thought

about how to stay healthy and how to prevent diseases from occurring. Some thought

about their parent's health or genetic family health and how it affected them to keep on

exercising so they can prevent the disease to come into them. Like this participant, who

she thought about her family history of chronic diseases and how thinking about that

helped her to keep on exercising. She said,

I think well my mom died young of pancreatic cancer not of a stroke or heart attack
or anything...I'm more aware of my cholesterol level...I mean anyone can become
a diabetic if you're obese enough and don't exercise and anybody can have stroke,
so I kind of, so that's in the back of my mind, yea, high blood pressure

Another participant had similar thoughts about how prone she is to diseases

especially as she ages and how that motivated her to exercise. She reported,

Trying to kind of visualize my heart rate, being lower when I workout rather than
going higher as I work harder just so it doesn't get out of control, train to visualize
myself as being healthier because I'm doing this, I'm 50 so I'm thinking about risks
of stroke, and heart disease and all that, and this is a good thing to prevent me from
having these problems. I'm trying to get out of my workout, so that I can spend a
little less time and still get the same benefits, kind of my goal at this point.

This participant also had similar thoughts of how she constantly thought about

diseases and having a freedom of illness from it. She quoted, "Oh, I really think about

my health when I am exercising...I have images of like lower blood pressure, freedom

from illness, aerobic conditioning, and stress relief..."

Other responses like thinking about prevention of injury, being more alert with

energy, lowering heart rate, what to do to stay healthy, heart beat and blood pressure, and

improved endurance and fitness. These quotes will be supported in the following

sections of high exerciser, high imagery user, and high self-efficacy group and low

exerciser, low imagery user, and low self-efficacy group.









Plans/Strategies. Seventeen participants indicated that they used some sort of

cognitive general image related to exercise. Most of these participants were exercisers

who did weight training and used plans or thought about programs in their head before

they would start a workout. Like this participant where he said, "... Would think about all

the exercises...would do on that certain day, such as working on my chest, what kinds of

exercises will I work today, bench, incline, chest files..." This participant also had

similar thoughts. He quoted, "...Like when I work out, a few hours before, I would start

thinking about what areas of muscle I would 'hit', and I know what regiment I will be

doing, and the only difference would be what I'll be doing in the gym that particular

day." He also quoted how he planned out very specifically before a workout.

I would just like to know what I'll be doing, what areas of body I work out to,
primarily because I want to work out the same muscle for one week...before I go to
the gym, like what area of body I'm going to working on that day. I already know
what I'm going to be doing, once I determine what area. So the next thing would
be, am I going to heavy or light, am I going to try different exercises, more reps,
less reps, those kinds of things I think about once I get to the gym...

This participant made a checklist of what exercises he wanted to do before he went

to the gym. He quotes,

I do a checklist, like what body parts I'm going to do today. You see, since I go to
the gym everyday, I try to exercise different body parts each day. So if one day I'm
just exercising my chest, the next I'll try to exercise my legs, and the back or abs,
or arms and so on. So each day, I try to see what exercises are available in the gym
and think about each specific exercise, like you know, if I'm doing bench, how
many reps of how much weight and how many sets.

Also one participant planned a different workout before she exercised so it would

not be boring. She quoted,

I'm trying to plan my schedule where I can go regularly, now I'm thinking about
how I can change the workout around and not get bored. I've actually scheduled a
meeting with the trainer so that I can kind of customize the workout and help me
come up with ways to do that, cause I don't know what to change and in the routine









to make it better for me. And then sometimes when I leave I think about what I can
do next time to be different and keep this moving.

Another participant thought about having someone next to her when she did the

stair master. She reported,

When I'm on the step machine or stair master, I usually try to visualize somebody
beside me and we are competing against each other. You know how running
machines or stair masters can get really boring especially if you are just looking at
a TV screen while you are exercising, so I try to imagine that I am somewhere else
like climbing up the pyramids or running on a beach.

One participant thought about getting into the rhythm when she ran by thinking

about a certain song. She stated, "I think about a certain song that really motivates

me...when I'm thinking about this song, especially when I am running and I'm bored, it

will keep my rhythm and therefore help me to keep on finishing my run."

One participant thought about the specific certain steps she took when she when

biking. She states,

I try to concentrate on pulling through the bottom of the stroke, like wiping mud off
your shoe, and pulling up through the top of the stroke. I will be aware of my
cadence, and what gear I'm using. I try to experience the feel in my feet and legs
while you shift through gears as I climb or descend. And most importantly I let my
muscles be relaxed.

One participant used goal setting by stating, "I like to set goals when I run...if I ran

3 miles today, I am going to set a goal to run 3.2 miles the next time I run on the

treadmill."

Stress Levels/Emotions. This kind of imagery is the motivational general arousal

images associated with exercise, such as stress reliever or stress creator. Twenty-four

participants stated that they used some kind of imagery that related to their emotions.

Many participants had the same thoughts of how thinking of exercise during the day

reduced their stress like this participant, "...That's definitely mental health thing, yeah,









cause I have a desk job, and uh the doctor even told me that you be better off building

houses, than sitting doing no activity all day, sit in front of the computer, so, it's just like

a stress reliever." This participant used to consume alcohol as a stress reliever but now,

thinking and doing exercise has become his stress reliever. He explains,

It just relieves tension. Before I used to exercise, I would just drink beer every
night, when I'm working because of my stressful job. I work 11 hours a day and 4
hours in weekends sometimes so I get wound up at the end of the day. So I would
drink a lot to relieve my stress. A six pack wouldn't even last 2 days. Now I only
drink socially on weekends. Because back then, alcohol was my relieving stress,
now I relieve stress by working out. I think it works better.

Out of the 24 participants, five stated that thinking of imagery created some kind of

stress. Like this participant, "Thinking of exercise is ok, but it is not ok when I want to

workout and cannot because of time constraints. This causes great stress for me

sometimes and I would feel really guilty throughout the day." This participant also had

similar ideas.

It has been helpful in a way that keeps me focused and maintains my focus towards
exercise. I think without setting goals or thinking about accomplishing them I
don't think I would be very healthy. Now, it has been harmful sometimes when I
really think about exercise, and Ijust don't have the time to do it. That's when it
gets pretty stressful.

One participant said how thinking about a joyful exercise experience motivated her

to exercise. She stated, "Exercise is very enjoyable to me so imagining exercising

triggers a joyful memory that I want to experience again and again."

One participant reported that thinking of imagery was a starting block of her

becoming a better person. She quoted,

I exercise because I imagine myself as a better person after I exercise. I have that
constant vision in my head that somehow I will be a better person after I
exercise... Imagery is what motivates a person to exercise. I think facilities around
the world are also aware of this principle. I mean when I walk into a gym, I see
posters of men and women in great shape. Then I start to conjure up images of my
own. What would I look like after I exercise? Would I look like them? I think that









these posters act as a trigger in helping me think of a better newer me. Like I've
been saying from the beginning, imagery is the starting point of my exercise.

Confidence Enhancing Images. In order to develop, maintain, or regain confidence

in sport, one should imagine performing in a confident manner (Mortiz, Hall, Martin, &

Vadocz, 1996). Paivio (1985) described this function in imagery called motivational

general mastery (MG-M) imagery. Since we are only beginning to understand the

content and function of mental imagery used by regular and non-regular exercisers

(Giacobbi et al., 2003; Giacobbi, Hausenblas, & Penfield, In Press), it was important to

find if exercisers used imagery in regard to confidence.

Twenty participants reported using imagery in relation to confidence. This

participant thought how confidence helped him to stay in shape. He said, "I'm more

confident of myself, and I feel I can do more things. And I seem to be able to concentrate

much better when I'm physically in shape. So it's related physically and mentally.

Cause when I'm physically in shape, I tend to be more mentally in shape as well." This

participant also thought how imagery was a confidence booster. He quotes,

I think imagery is a great confidence booster. Especially when lifting weights, you
won't accomplish something you've never done before unless you're confident you
can do it. I think when you can picture yourself succeeding, your mind gets more
comfortable with it and therefore the more you picture it, the more automatic it
becomes to you, and that's how it may become a confidence booster!

Motivational Images. Thirteen participants reported using exercise imagery in

regard with their motivational levels. One participant claimed that getting bigger and

stronger motivated him to go to the gym more. He stated,

I actually like weight training, I like to go to the gym and sometimes I wonder what
keeps you from doing it, since I like to do it, and so thinking about going in and
doing the reps and getting my arms stronger and everything, it does give me more
confidence when I feel better and when I do it and feel better and then I have more
confidence.









This one participant will get motivated by thinking about exercise while he was at

work. He quotes,

When I'm sitting and I'm typing and writing a grant and I'm getting a little bored or
a little tired of that what I probably do and its not consciously doing it, its
unconscious motivation I will get up and I will walk around and as I'm walking
around Ill thinking about the workout I'll have at swim, not so much swimming,
but the relaxation I get from swimming.

Losing weight was a big motivator for this participant. She said,

Losing weight is a big motivator and actually the feeling after exercise now is
starting to become I think a bigger motivator. So I before I go, I try to remember
that even though I'm tired I am going to feel better then when I go do it, rather than
saying, ah, I'll do it tomorrow and just go home.

One participant thought about the terrible outcomes when not exercising and that

was a motivator for her. She said, "I imagine the terrible effects of not exercising and

that is really motivational to me."

Perspective. With regard to perspective taken (e.g., internal versus external), 16

participants reported using primarily an internal perspective, 9 reported external, while 5

reported both. For instance, this participant reported using internal imagery by actually

using senses like smelling the air. She reports,

I will usually visualize a place where I usually have an enjoyable ride, what it looks
like, what it smells like, how it feels. I enjoy being there, noticing the greens and
browns of the landscape, and feel the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the
breeze. I can still smell the aromas or scents that I smelled at that time. I can smell
the flowers, pine exhaustion fumes, and the car pollution.

Nine participants reported using imagery from an external perspective, like how

this participant reported seeing herself bike from a mirror perspective. She said, "I use an

external imagery perspective as if I were watching myself in a mirror on the bike

pedaling perfectly and building intensity."









Final Thoughts. At the end of the interview, the participant was asked if they had

anything to add. Eighteen participants provided extra thoughts and suggestions that they

felt was important with regard of exercise imagery. These ideas included teaching

imagery to exercisers and how it will benefit to them, using positive imagery, and to

people who are not that active should stop thinking about food and start thinking about

exercise. Here is an interesting quote that one participant reported.

I think the body imagery can encourage exercising a lot. Especially for obese
people or people who want to lose weight. Many people worry about mass media's
influence on the stereotypical body image, but those images egg many couch-
potatoes, such as me, to actually go out and exercise to have better appearance...

One other participant had similar thoughts.

By using exercise imagery, it should motivate you to get up off your chair and do
exercise. People who are not active should stop seeing themselves eating good
food or drinking and should start finding ways and thinking about how they can
lose weight. That way there will be some motivation to start exercising...

This participant requested to exercisers that motivation was the starting block to a

good exercise program.

My advice is to just be motivated. You just have to be able to do something and
that image would come naturally...let's say when I'm working out, you don't think
about, you know there is no text saying, bend your arm 90 degrees and it's not like
that. You see your arm bending, you don't see in text. You think of an image, you
don't think in text. Everyone does. Motivation is the hardest part. Most people
don't exercise cause they are not motivated. That's such a cliche. Of course you
are not motivated, you just don't want to do it. And when you are not motivated to
do it, you can't imagine yourself doing it. So you have to be motivated. Once you
are motivated enough, the image will come naturally. Everybody has that
capability.

A couple of participants had conflicts with trainers in their gym and hoped if they

would pay more attention to their exercise. This participant had a conflict with her

trainer which effected her motivation to go to the gym.

I just had a slight confrontation with a trainer. That lost a lot of my motivation to
go... so what I want to say to exercise leaders is that just saying I'm doing well









doesn't really matter to me...I feel they're saying that cause it is their
job...however in the case of the conflict I had my motivation was quite effectively
stuffed, because the trainer didn't ask why I didn't wanted to participate he just told
me to do it... and then he just went to encouraged others while totally ignoring me.

Comparative Analyses

The quotations and labels above consisted of first-person descriptions from all the

participants' data and served to answer research purpose one. The second purpose of this

study was to compare and contrast the various uses of mental imagery among adults who

meet established guidelines for weekly exercise, were highly self-efficacious in the

exercise domain, and who frequently engage in exercise related imagery versus those

who do not meet established guidelines for exercise, were lower in exercise self-efficacy,

and less frequently engage in exercise related imagery. Figures 5-2 and 5-3 highlight the

major functions of imagery reported by both groups of participants respectively.

High Imagery User, Active Exerciser, and High Self-Efficacy participants: Active
Participants

Fifteen participants scored high on all three preliminary assessments and these

individuals consisted often females and five males. Additionally, nine of the high

scorers were between the ages of 46 to 65 while the remaining six were 35 to 45 year

olds. What follows is a summary of when and where participants in each category used

imagery followed by more in-depth descriptions of the content and function of imagery

reported.

When/Where. As shown in Table 4, seven active participants reported that they

used imagery out of exercise environments, five reported the use of imagery in and out of

exercise environments, and 3 used imagery only in the exercise environment. These

individuals used imagery before, during, and after exercising. With regard to the less

active group, seven out of the eight participants reported that they used imagery out of the









exercise content only prior to exercising. The remaining analysis consisted of

descriptions of exercise imagery between those individuals characterized as active versus

those who were less active. Figures 5-2 and 5-3 represent the major functions of imagery

reported by the active and inactive participants respectively.

Table 4-2: Analysis of Where/When Active/Less Active Participants (n=15) Use Exercise
Imagery.
Where Number of Less Active Number of Active
Participants Participants
In Exercise Environments 0 3
Out of Exercise Environments 7 7
In and Out of Exercise 0 5
Environments
When
Prior to Exercise 7 7
During Exercise 0 3
Prior/During/After Exercise 0 5

Exercise Technique. All the participants reported that they used some kind of

technique imagery. One participant thought about his form when he was biking and how

he could create the less resistance when he pedaled. "I guess I do a lot of thinking when

I'm biking. Cause I also think about my form, how I pedal and how I try to create the

least most resistance to get the fastest kind of momentum." This other participant

thought about her biking form,

When I'm cycling, I try to think about my body position on the bike, staying over
the saddle, pulling up on the paddles...switching lead leg...relaxing hands, arms,
upper body... feeling the bum in my quads, hamstrings.., imagining elongated
muscles after workout...

Many participants thought about their form in the weight room. Like this

participant where he would think about his whole body form when doing weights. He

quoted, "Usually I'm more involved with technique, making sure my back's straight, my

shoulder's straight, and depending what areas of muscles I'll be doing that day, using









proper technique." Also this other participant thought about not only his body form but

how to achieve the routine smoothly. He quoted, "I also try to imagine using proper form

for each rep, such as bending your arms at the proper angle, keeping your back still,

lifting the bar smoothly."

This one participant thought about her breathing when she did imagery. She

quoted, "I try to focus as much as I can on maintaining proper form, and um getting my

breathing right, controlling my breathing, making sure that everything works fine, that

I'm properly stretched and all that." One other participant quoted that she really thought

about heel to toe when running.

I am very realistic about proper running form, such as the knees bent, good heel
placement, no bouncing, right hand positions, very specific about my technique.
It's all natural to me since I taught students and also was an athlete myself. In
weight lifting, I try to think about good mechanics, speed, form and control.

One participant thought about her stretching when she was doing yoga and how it

improved her concentration. She quoted,

After I became more attached to yoga, I started imagining about my technique...
Each time I do the split, I imagine the muscles in my leg elongating and stretching.
Thinking about my muscles stretching out causes pain, but thinking and imagining
about how my muscles are stretching inside my body increases my
concentration....

Another participant thought about stretching and how it helped her relax her

muscles. She quoted, "During my yoga sessions, I just try to relieve strain on my

muscles... I think to increase my flexibility relieving body stress, relaxation

improvements and try to muscle toning..."

One participant quoted how she thought about getting the most efficient steps when

she was walking. "I think about my form when I'm walking and how I can get the most

efficient steps when I walk. I also think about how good it feels after my workout, how









my day will be lively and how I can feel great throughout the day." Another participant

used imagery in relation to technique when he felt tired and explained how it helped him

to stay focused. He reported,

I am especially tired or fatigue, it is really prone to develop some bad habits by
working out when you're tired, but if you visualize the correct technique, you won't
have the physical wear-and-tear. I also think imagery can also help you stay
focused on the task at hand, such as if a weightlifter is distracted by problems going
on at work, he might not lift as much as he's physically capable of.

Appearance Images. All of the 15 participants reported some kind of appearance

images. Most of the responses were about body tone and looking younger. One

participant thought about when she was young. She quoted, "I recall my past self and

think about how I looked 30 years ago. I also keep on reminding myself of how I look

now and try to keep in shape for my future." Another participant thought about having a

healthy face. She quoted, "I try to think of having a healthy face. I really try to think

about how my facial structure looks healthy and my skin color looking healthy as well."

Another participant also thought about her facial appearance. She reported, "When you

do a headstand, the blood rushes to your face and that is supposed to be good for your

facial skin. At this very instance, I usually get an image of blood rushing to my face from

my feet. I also get images of skincare models holding a fruit with massage cream all over

their face." One participant thought about her younger years and explained how trying to

have a young image of her kept her motivated to exercise. She said,

I've always had this image of when I was young. About 30 years ago, I would
say...back then I was really toned and pretty.., even though I didn't workout at all!
But now I got to try really hard just to keep my appearance looking healthy and
strong. So looking back 30 years and having a constant image of myself 30 years
ago, it's a constant reminder for me to try to stay young and pretty.

Health Outcomes. Twelve participants reported that they thought about health

images when exercising. Many of these participants thought about having a healthy









lifestyle and how exercise helps them have a healthy life. Similar to a healthy lifestyle,

some participants had an image of themselves living with no diseases and feeling

younger. This one participant thought about his parent's health problems and how he

wanted to prevent it. He quoted,

I want to exercise so I can prevent getting any diseases or prevent of a heart attack.
I am more concerned about my health because I am getting old now, and I know
that my parents at my current age had bad health problems. So I keep that on the
back of my mind so I can prevent that from happening. So it's kind of a health
issue.

Another participant actually felt like he felt healthier when he thought about his

health. He quoted, "It's like a maintenance work, like a preventative medicine type of

work. I workout so I can prevent from getting hurt, or sick. It makes me feel better, my

self confidence goes way up...and I don't seem to get sick very well anymore." This

other participant thought about freedom of illness when he used imagery. He said, "Oh, I

really think about my health when I am exercising...I have images of like lower blood

pressure, and aerobic conditioning." One participant thought about being more

aerobically fit. "My goal is to become more aerobically fit, so that I'm more functional

as a person, I know that overall will improve my health and plus I do enjoy it." Another

participant thought about his eating and exercise when thinking about a healthy lifestyle.

He quoted, "I know that a healthy lifestyle is the result of eating correctly and exercise... I

have always done that so I exercise to maintain my image of a healthy person."

Plans/Strategies. Ten out of the fifteen participants used imagery in relation to

making plans or strategies during exercise. Some used plans before working out,

checklists in head, relaxation exercises, back up plans, goal setting, and strategies to beat

their opponent. One participant used an index card that had positive messages.









Whenever he felt like he was losing confidence he took a look at this card and he

reported that it really helped him. Here is his quote.

I wrote my life's greatest accomplishments on an index card, and I keep the card
with me. In this card I thought of something in my life that I didn't think I could
do. Such as, bench 300 or run a marathon, or even earn a million dollars. And any
time I feel like I'm losing confidence, I pull the card out and read it. I mean it's like
my best friend putting his arm around you and saying, 'You can do it.' And
everytime I read it I actually feel a change in my body.

One participant did a checklist in his head of the different motions required when doing

his exercise. He quoted,

Before I do a particular set, the 10 repetitions or whatever, I sit down, look at
myself in the mirror, or look at the ground, and I'll do a checklist ok, A is your
breathing right, once the breathing is under control, how you are going to get into
thing, make sure you got that down, and I go through seeing myself, doing it in my
head, um, and doing the exercise in my head, and it doesn't hurt when I do it in my
head.

One participant made a relaxation exercise that helped her relieve her muscles. She

reported,

I like to strategize when I'm relaxing and thinking about imagery. Enjoy the
feelings of both arms being heavy, at ease, completely relaxed. Relax all the
muscles of your back, spinal column, relax the muscles of your chest, your
abdomen, relax the muscles of your pelvic area...Lie or sit there for a moment
enjoying the feeling of total relaxation. That is the kind of guide I use to relax
myself when I'm at home doing nothing.

She also thought about a pretty scene when she ran. She quoted,

I think about a pretty scene or environment and I think about my route when I'm
thinking about running. It's a long 4 mile loop around this neighborhood that I can
image in my mind, and I can follow the whole route in my mind.

This participant reported that she needed a partner to exercise.

I get very bored if I'm by myself exercising. I mean, swimming and running are
boring sports anyways so I need someone to talk to, enjoy it you know. I don't like
to just go back and forth without any talking. I need to talk to someone, you know,
be happy be able to laugh and enjoy my workout.









This participant reported that he had a backup plan just in case the gym was closed.

I like to know what to expect... like expect the unexpected... so I try to have like a
back up plan in case the gym is closed or the weather is bad...I also think about the
next exercise session and how I can improve myself from the previous exercise
session.

One participant did goal setting before she went for a jog.

I think of many different images throughout my jogging routine. Before I start
jogging, I usually set my short-term goals such as where I will be running to and at
what speed for how long. I think during the highlight of my jogging I start to think
about other matters concerning my own self and body such as will I be gaining a
more toned body after I do this exercise, or if I am thinking about matters
concerning work, friends, or family, I'm usually thinking how am I going to solve
that problem?

Another participant thought about making up strategies to beat her opponent when

she was playing tennis. She quotes, "I guess thinking about defeating my opponent, use

some strategies like assessing the weaknesses of the opponent and trying to take

advantage."

Emotions/Feelings. Fourteen participants reported some kind of imagery regarding

emotions and feelings. Most participants thought about relief of stress when they thought

about exercise like this participant. "I think about swimming during the day, getting in

the cool water and actually feeling good about myself. That is a good stress reliever."

Another participant reported that thinking about exercise might relieve stress but also

might create stress. She quoted, "Imagery relieves stress as I set goals like losing weight,

or doing good in a workout, but then it creates stress when I try to find the time to

exercise and I cannot." This participant also had similar views. "Imagining exercise

generally relieves stress but not always...if I haven't exercised in a few days then

thinking about it does not help relieve stress."









One participant reported thinking about pleasant places to relieve her stress.

I then try to let go of all the tension and stress I had been feeling that day. I think
and imagine about the places that I've been meaning to go to but haven't been able
to because of work. I usually imagine a place where there is no people but only the
sound of the environment no sound just peace. These days, I imagine and think
about a nice solitary beach with white sand and blue waves

Another participant used exercise imagery to relieve stress while she was working.

"Of course it relieves stress...when I sit in my office during the whole day I always think

about exercising, thinking about sweating and breathing hard....those kinds of images

help my stress levels down."

Some participants related their feelings when using imagery. Quotes like, "I really

like to think about the benefits of using imagery. Such as feeling great after a workout or

feeling strong and big.", "I look forward to the good feeling I have about myself after

exercising." and "I know how refreshing it feels after a workout, I want to get that feeling

and I feel so good after a workout, that I can do many things without feeling guilty. It's

like a flowing feeling where I can be more compatible with my life with my day.", were

all quotes taken from participants who reported feeling good after a workout.

Confidence Enhancing Images. Twelve participants reported using imagery in

relation to their confidence. One participant believed that imagery can increase one's

confidence by thinking that one can achieve one's goals. He reported,

When I'm in the gym or doing some kind of exercise, I strive to always go beyond
my previous abilities.., and thinking about beforehand really gives me confidence
to actually do the activity. It's like trying to do 300 pound bench when I can really
do 200...if I have a constant image in my head that I can really do that then even
though I couldn't bench 300 pounds, I think I could lift more than I did in the past.
So I believe thinking about abilities you can't normally do can really help.

This participant also had similar ideas. She stated, "I imagine it I know that I've

achieved it and that its possible and its achievable in that respect I know that I've done it









before and I can do it again." One participant stated how using imagery prevented him

from injuries. He said,

When I first started working out, and I didn't use imagery, some 10 years ago or
something, I used to get injured more often, not injured as in severe injuries, but
just minor sprains and aches, that could be a fact that I wasn't thinking too much
when I was doing it, but I think it's because I would just go the gym with my music
in my headphones really loud and say "oh, let's do this! Dun, dun, duh, duh" so
you know, it definitely helps too; so I think if you think about it more, the more
confident you will be.

This participant also stated similar ideas. He said, "Imagery makes me focused and

self centered enough that even though I'm doing dangerous amounts of weight, it will

help me from getting injured. I think, imagery really helps prevent injury." This

participant reported how achieving bigger weights in the gym gave her confidence to

exercise better. She quotes, "I really get a lot of confidence after I workout. Cause after

I workout I really feel good about myself, especially after a good workout."

Motivational Images. Seven participants reported using imagery in relation to their

motivation. Participants reported how feeling great after a workout motivated them to

exercise again. Like this participant,

I'm always feeling great after a workout. So that kind of feeling really gets me
going...really motivates me to go to the gym again and feel that kind of sensation.
And the more I feel that I way, the more likely I will be going to the gym and
busting my...

This participant had images about how she rewards and goals motivated her to

exercise.

I set goals before I go to the gym and also give rewards to myself if I achieve these
goals. It's a big stimulator and motivator for me as if I achieve those goals, I get
really happy and excited because I will be getting my reward! So whenever I feel
unmotivated, I set goals and rewards...

Other participants who used imagery in relation to motivation had remarks like,

"Getting that feeling of achievement to be stimulated to workout again." or "having a









wonderful experience when working out motivated them to comeback to workout."

These positive experiences gave participants motivation to workout again.

Low Imagery User, Less Active Exerciser, and Low Self-Efficacy participants: Less
Active Participants

Description. Eight participants scored low on all three preliminary assessments and

these individuals consisted of three males and five females. With regard to age, three

individuals in the less active group were between 35 to 45 while the remaining five were

46 to 65 year olds.

When/Where. As shown in Table 4, seven participants reported using imagery out

of exercise environments. Also seven participants used imagery only prior to exercise.

One participant thought about skiing when she was at work. She quoted, "When I daze

off during my work, I think about the beautiful snow covered mountains and I think about

skiing in that kind of environment." Also one participant reported how he only thought

about exercise only before he went to the gym. He explains, "I don't think about doing

weights until I am at the parking lot of my gym. Then I start thinking of what exercises I

will be doing and how long I plan to stay in the gym."

Technique. Four participants reported using exercise imagery in relation to their

technique. One participant thought about her form when she was running in the gym.

She quoted,

I try to think about my form and technique a lot. Like how you explained. I try to
think about how my form looks if my back is not hunched or my arms are
swinging. I try to look at the mirror when I'm running on the running machine and
if I look silly I try to correct my technique.

Also, "I run, I really think about my running technique. Like if my running

position is correct and if I'm maintaining the right amount of speed and tension to get an

exercise."









This participant thought about her form when she walked to prevent herself from

injury. She quoted, "I do try to think about walking straight, taking big strides, and

thinking about whether my knees hurt or not, you see I have a slight case of arthritis in

my knees so sometimes if I exercise too hard, the next day it will cause pain in my knees.

One participant thought about a famous swimmer's stroke that he saw on television

and imagined to mimic the famous swimmer's stroke to his. He said,

I like to think about perfecting my technique and how my stroke would compare to
my stroke when I was a college swimmer. I also try to visualize Michael Phelps
stroke. Since he has such a beautiful stroke, when I see him at competitions and on
TV, I try to recreate his stroke to mine when I'm actually swimming... So when I'm
swimming, I like to compare his stroke to mine, really think that I'm Michael
Phelps... so thinking about perfecting my stroke and getting feedback from the
coach is a great thing.

One participant reported the importance of technique in skiing and how he thought

about it when he skied.

I love skiing... Skiing involves high skills of perfection...in order to get that
perfect form I always think about perfecting that form... I always believe that
through thinking you can get a better improvement in actual activity...
This participant also stated how technique was important in the sports he played.

I have to imagine where my hand is going and stuff, so I imagine more of technique
and not as much as when I would win and stuff. For ping-pong, I think about my
stroke a lot. The useful functionality wise, it's the same thing, but right now, it's
clearer now, than before.

Also, a participant reported using imagery to make movements easier than she

actually could do. She said, "I imagine stretching and moving more easily than I actually

am able to move..."

Appearance. Four participants reported using imagery concerned with appearance.

One participant thought about her appearance and how she would like to look healthier

and younger. She said, "I imagine myself as a healthy middle aged woman with no

injuries and also think about being younger." This participant also had similar ideas. "I









really think about my appearance... I try to think about the benefits of exercise, how it

will make me skinner and healthier." Also one participant thought about his appearance

after he had a big meal and felt guilty of eating too much. He stated,

I do think about how to get rid of this fat once I eat it! But then again I do think
about what I'm eating and how it will make a difference to my stomach if I don't
exercise after a meal... I would think about my stomach when I'm eating and if I
don't exercise. So I guess that's kind of thinking about my appearance prior to
exercise.

One participant thought about the effects of when she would not exercise. She

stated.

I do fear that if I don't exercise, I will turn fat and be one of those people who are
in McDonalds eating hamburgers. I fear that. And in order not to be an obese
person, I need to exercise.

She also was concerned about her body appearance after she exercised.

As I said before every time before I work out I try to think about an improved
physical appearance. Also after working out I try my best to encourage myself, by
saying you lost a lot of weight today because you sweated a lot and that means you
lost a lot of calories and those extra pounds on your thighs and buttocks!

Health Outcomes. Four participants reported using imagery in relation to their

health. One participant thought about her health and how exercise could prevent her

from disease. "Since I am an exercise physiology major, thinking about my health is

always a concern when I'm thinking about my exercise.. especially when I'm jogging, I

think about my heartbeat going up... my increased blood pressure, temperature and

sweat." This participant also had similar ideas. "I'm thinking about 20 years from now, I

don't want to be at a point where I can't walk or not be able to touch the floor or get up

and down, so I guess more and more I'm using exercise to think about health as I age."

Another participant was concerned of her weight when she exercised.

One thing I'm very conscious of is weight and the statistics on obesity and I don't
want to become one of those and my husband is very much involved in that,









working on his PhD, so I have someone around me that I learn all these statistics
from and I don't want to become one of them and I know the consequences are and
poor health, that's influence from him

Another participant thought about exercising more after he injured his back.

Since my back is a lot better and I've been going to physical therapists and I've
been having all sorts of exercises that I do for my back now, and I do think about
the back, the stretching and everything to keep my back stronger, I think that now
I've come around too, I thinking more about I have got to start exercising so.

Plans/Strategies. Four participants who were in the low category reported thinking

about a plan or strategy when exercising. This participant created a mental map of what

he wanted to do that day in the gym.

When I go into my gym, I take a look around I think to myself, what exercises I'm
going to do today, and how many reps I'll be doing for each exercise. I create a
mental map across the gym and see what exercises I'm doing first and what I
should do next

One participant set goals during her exercise regime.

I do set goals, um, and I try visually imagine myself what it would be to achieve the
goal...like we did a half marathon this past year, and so we set that goal, and we
did it, but it was mostly just I'm going to do it, so now next year, we're going to do,
and we are going to shave 30 minutes off, of what we done before.

One participant imagined before bed planning out exercises without any pain. She

quoted, "The night before I workout, I imagine myself working out and being done with

my routine without any pain."

Emotions/Feelings. Although some participants reported using exercise imagery as

a stress reliever, it was interesting to notice that most participants thought that thinking of

exercise was a stress creator. Overall, five participants stated that using imagery in

regard to exercise created stress. Like this participant who quoted, "I guess it is helpful

by motivating myself to exercise, but I guess it also can be harmful if you think about

something and you don't see the results. Like if you imagine the perfect workout, but the









body does not always respond the way it did in the past, which can be discouraging."

This participant felt stressed when she imagined about the results she wanted, but in

reality when she could not reach it, it created stress. She quoted, "It sure does, when I

think about a better self appearance and when I don't see results. Especially if I work out

really hard for about a month, and I don't see results, I get stressed."

Although most participants reported imagery as a stress creator, this participant had

mixed thoughts about exercise imagery. She reported,

Thinking about exercise it is a stress reliever or it can be a stress reliever, probably
you can make it stressful too, if you're thinking, oh I got to do this, I got to do, I
don't want to do, but I got to, have to do it, then that can provide extra stress, a
different kind of stress, but extra stress, but it certainly is a great stress reliever for
what's going on at work and in your life, sure.

Confidence Enhancing Images. Three participants reported imagery in relation to

confidence. This participant reported how going to the gym and achieving weights that

she could not do before and thinking about them motivated her and gave her confidence.

I like to go to the gym and sometimes I wonder what keeps you from doing it, since
I like to do it, and so thinking about going in and doing the reps and getting my
arms stronger and everything, it does give me more confidence when I feel better
and when I do it and feel better and then I have more confidence.

Although some of the participants thought using imagery was a confidence builder,

many of the participants did not see imagery in relation to confidence. This participant

said she never thought that imagery can relate to her confidence. She said, "I never had

the experience where I would think about an exercise just to raise my confidence."

Motivational Images. Three participants used imagery in relation to motivation.

One participant used music as a motivation tool to exercise. She quoted, "I always see

myself exercising and moving to a strong beat...music always makes me imagine a fast

paced elliptical workout." This participant needed a partner to exercise with for









motivation to exercise. She stated, "I'll usually walk at least a hour a day, but, if we end

up going together to a class, we go in there and do the class, and I would say, I'm a very

social exerciser, I don't want to things by myself, I have no interest in that" Another

participant thought about how thinking about losing weight motivates her to exercise.

She quotes, "My biggest motivation is getting a skinner self, which is a never ending

process, but when I do think about the benefits of exercise and how exercise will help me

lose weight, I tend to think about a beautiful skinny me!" This participant also had

similar ideas before she went to the gym. She stated, "Trying to achieve something like

running longer or faster, those are the motivations during exercise, but before I go to the

gym, my big motivator is thinking, Ok! Let's go lose some weight!" One participant

reported that thinking about a healthy body helped her motivate to exercise. She quoted,

"Exercising itself doesn't give a motivation but future health, and healthier body image,

gives me motivation."

Summary of Group Comparison

As described above, the time and place participants in the active group reported

using imagery differed from the less active group. Specifically, the more active group

reported using imagery in and out of the exercise environment unlike the less active

group who used imagery only out of the exercise context. While differences were

observed with regard to where and when the participants report using imagery, minimal

differences that involved the content of the images were observed. It is interesting

however the individuals in the active group appeared to provide more descriptions and

especially more vivid descriptions of their images than the less active group. Finally, age

and gender differences were observed and are graphically displayed in Figures 5-4 and 5-

5. As shown, 60% of all male participants used technique imagery the most while the






68


female participants used appearance images the most (47%). In addition, 70% of the

respondents in the 35 to 45 year old group reported using technique imagery the most

while the 46 to 65 year olds used appearance and health imagery more. It is noteworthy

that only the 46 to 65 year olds reported imagery focused on health outcomes.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend the findings of

Giacobbi et al. (2003) and examine the content and function of exercise imagery used by

middle-aged adults between the ages 35 to 65. More specifically, this study examined

when, where, how, what, and why middle-aged adults used imagery focused on their

exercise behaviors. Another purpose of this study was to compare the various uses of

mental imagery among individuals with different characteristics using the Exercise

Imagery Inventory (EII, Giacobbi, Hausenblas, and Penfield, in press), Leisure-Time

Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ: Godin & Shephard, 1985), and the Exercise Self-

Efficacy Scale (McAuley, 1992). As explained, each participant was categorized as

either active (High scores in EII, LTEQ, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale) or less active

(Low scores in EII, LTEQ, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale) in phase one. These

characterizations then allowed for direct comparisons in phase two. Overall, the study

results are in accordance with theoretical predictions of Hall (1995) and Paivio (1985) as

well of the research findings of Hausenblas et al. (1999), Gammage et al. (2000) and

Giacobbi et al. (2003). Findings from this research will be discussed in terms and

contributions to the extant research on exercise imagery, study limitations, and future

research directions.

Integration and Extension of Previous Studies

Participants in this study engaged in mental imagery both and in and out of exercise

environments. Most of the participants used imagery prior to exercise usually in the









morning, while others used imagery during and after exercise. Several participants

reported using imagery before exercise and also reported that they usually planned a

workout or thought about exercise prior to for motivational purposes. With regard to the

content of the participants' images, the results showed the content and function of

exercise imagery to be consistent with previous research (Giacobbi et. al., 2003).

Specifically, the major content of the participants' images were coded as technique

imagery, appearance, images, health outcomes, plans/strategies, emotions/stress levels,

confidence enhancing images, and motivating images. Similarly, Giacobbi et al. (2003)

found the content of female aerobics participants consisted of exercise technique, aerobic

routines, exercise context, appearance images, competitive outcomes, fitness/health

outcomes, emotions/feelings, and exercise self-efficacy. In addition to these

consistencies, appearance-related images served as important motivators to sustaining

exercise behavior, especially for younger female participants in this study and previous

research (Hausenblas et al. 1999; Gammage et al., 2000; Giacobbi et al. 2003). This

finding is reasonable as most of the participants were female in previous investigations

and the pressure placed on women to maintain a physically ideal body weight and

appearance is crucial (McAuley & Burman, 1993; Silberstein, Streigel-Moore, Timko, &

Rodin, 1988). Likewise, an additional consistency with previous work (Gammage et al.,

2000) was that most of the male participants reported using technique related images

while females focused mainly on health and appearance imagery. Others have suggested

that differential images between males and female are due to motivational aspects of

exercise as men tend to exercise more for competitive reasons, both against themselves

and others as compared to women (Biddle & Bailey, 1985; Markland & Hardy, 1993;









Mathes & Battista, 1985). According to Gammage et al., (2000), weight training culture

can be very competitive, as individuals attempt to lift more weight and work harder than

others around them. With this type of competitive exercise motive, men may image

themselves perfecting their form and technique and in turn lifting more weight.

As discussed in the literature review, Paivio (1985) proposed a framework focusing

on how imagery might influence physical performance. The results shown in this study

were somewhat consistent with Paivio's framework as the content of the participants

images were in accord with the motivational and cognitive functions of imagery predicted

by Paivio (1985). Specifically, technique and plans/strategies were consistent with the

cognitive functions of imagery while appearance, health, and stress levels/emotions were

associated with the motivational functions. The theoretical linkages between the major

cognitive and motivational functions of imagery proposed by Paivio (1985) with the

higher-order themes reported here are graphically displayed in Figures 5-1 through 5-2.

While the findings from this study confirmed previous research there were three

important extensions that deserve attention here. First, the value of health related images

of the participants in this study cannot be underestimated. The vivid descriptions

provided the potential for health improvement in exercise and how exercise imagery

focused on health outcomes impacted participants' motivation were astonishing. It would

appear that health related images are an important source of motivation for older adult

exercisers and should be incorporated into future intervention studies. While health

related images were reported by Giacobbi et al's participants, there was a stark contrast in

the number of participants who discussed these images here and in the level of specificity









reported in this study. For instance, 83% of the participants reported health related

images while only 31% reported such images in Giacobbi et al (2003).

Second, it would appear the more active individuals in this study engaged in

exercise imagery more often and with more vivid images than their less active

counterparts. These latter findings are important because a theoretical linkage between

exercise imagery, motivation, and self-efficacy is suggested. Indeed such a linkage was

recently discussed by Munroe-Chandler and Gammage (In Press) who provided a

theoretical model that focuses on how imagery may impact exercise behavior. In short,

they predicted that exercise imagery involves of five components: antecedents (e.g.,

experience of exerciser, goals, setting, and impression motivation), major cognitive and

motivational functions of imagery, cognitive and behavioral outcomes of imagery, self-

efficacy beliefs, behavioral outcomes, and cognitive outcomes. In addition, a range of

moderating factors that include gender, activity type, exercise frequency, age, and

physical health status to name a few were included in the model. These factors are

predicted to moderate relationships between self-efficacy beliefs and behavioral/cognitive

outcomes. In the current study, the antecedents offered by Munroe-Chandler and

Gammage (In Press) were evaluated with regard to when and where exercise imagery

was used. Similarly, all five functions of imagery were supported but additional more

specific uses of imagery were documented (e.g., technique, health outcomes) and self-

efficacy expectations were assessed. The findings presented here also suggest that

mental imagery contribute to the long-term maintenance of exercise behavior through a

complex interplay between motivation, self-efficacy, and behavior.









A third way this study extended previous exercise imagery research was the focus

here on age and activity level comparisons. Specifically, the author made an effort to

compare age groups in terms of when and where they used imagery and the specific

content of their images. The interviews revealed the younger age group (35 45 years

old) thought about technique the most while the older age group (46 65 years old)

thought about health images the most. These differences suggest motivational

differences for engaging in exercise between younger and older individuals and warrant

future research.

One important issue in this study was the finding regarding plans, routines, and

strategies used by exercisers. Previous research has shown that many athletes strategize

or rehearse entire game plans and use those strategies to excel in their respective sport

(Munroe et al., 2000). The results here showed how more than half (63%) of the

participants reported using some kind of plan or routine with regard to their exercise

imagery. For instance, planning out a workout before exercise, imagining someone

competing next to me, doing checklists in the head while exercising, and setting up goals

during a workout program were all poignant points made by participants citing that these

aspects were important motivators. While these findings are consistent with previous

qualitative work in exercise imagery by Giacobbi et al. (2003), none of the current

measures of exercise imagery have subscales related to routines or strategies (Giacobbi et

al., 2005; Hausenblas et al., 1999).

Active vs. Less Active Groups

This study might be considered unique in a way that there was an attempt to

categorize each participant to either an Active or Less Active group according to the

results of three assessments: LTEQ, EII, and Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale. By creating









these two groups, the author could identify and compare the similarities and differences

among their usage of imagery. On a bigger note, these results can be referred and applied

to future studies by trying to learn the thoughts and responses used by active group

participants and apply those ideas and concepts to people who are not that motivated to

exercise or have a low exercise level.

Results showed clear differences between high exerciser, imagery user, and self-

efficacy participants versus low exerciser, imagery user, and self efficacy participants

when and where they used imagery. Less than half (47%) of the participants who were

categorized in the high exerciser, imagery user, and self-efficacy group reported using

imagery out of exercise environments and prior to exercise. These participants use

imagery when they wake up at home or when they park in the gym, they think about what

exercises they will be doing and plan out a scheme of what they want to do that day.

More than half (53%) of the participants in the high category reported using imagery in

and out of exercise environments and used imagery prior, during, and after exercise. The

results show how people who are active exercisers, imagery users, and have high self-

efficacy use imagery regardless of time and place. On the other hand, 88% of the

participants in the Low category reported using imagery only prior to exercise and only

out of exercise environments. These results reveal that participants who reported low

levels of exercising, using imagery and self-efficacy do not use imagery in exercise

environments and also not during or after exercise.

One of main differences noticed between the active and less active groups was the

general way participants responded to the questions asked during their interview. When

interviewed, the responses of the participants in the active group were descriptive,









expressive and vivid. Many of the participants in the active groups also thought about the

benefits and positive consequences related to imagery and even at times when they felt

'down' or 'stressed'. Also, many of these participants had no hesitations reporting what,

when, why, where, and how they used imagery. The goals and expectations responded

were clear, challengeable but attainable and most of the participants were confident that

they could reach their goals. The author barely made an effort to probe questions and it

seemed to the author that the participants in this group felt very confident of their

imagery use in exercise.

Most of the participants in the less active group did not show much interest in

imagery. The author sometimes had to make an effort to probe them with more questions

as their responses were mostly short and simple (e.g. yes, no, I think so). Most of the

responses were undecided, unclear and most of them had a difficult time reporting their

overall use of imagery. Also it was interesting to see that most of these participants at

first reported not using imagery, but as the interview progressed, they began talking about

what they would think before, during, and after exercise. Many of these participants

reported having high goals and objectives, but hardly any of them did not have plans or

routines to achieve those goals. Lastly, most of the participants knew how beneficial

imagery could be, but did not know or did not use imagery as frequently.

In summary, it is interesting to note what the differences were between the active

and less active groups. Clear and vivid versus fuzzy and unclear images, positive versus

negative images, descriptive and expressive versus straightforward and simple images,

are just a few of many differences noted between the groups. The framework (Figure 5-

2) from the active group might be a good tool for enlightening the low profile group for









using imagery such as using MG-M imagery to improve confidence, staying focused, and

remaining positive. As well, the framework can be used as an educational tool to teach

exercisers the richness of imagery content. Low profile exercisers should learn to be

positive in nature, accurate, vivid, and include all sensory modalities (Munroe et al.,

2000).

Study Limitations

Despite being an innovative study involving qualitative and quantitative methods, a

few limitations from this study must be revealed. One limitation of this study was

determining which participants were considered active versus less active. Since there

were no previous studies determining what scores were high and low for the EII and

Barriers Self-Efficacy measures, the author relied on median splits and Center of Disease

Control guidelines regarding exercise behavior. Although the majority of the participants

had absolute scores to clearly put them into a category, some participants may have

scored closer to the median making it more difficult to clearly classify them as high in

self-efficacy or imagery use. Therefore, the comparisons between these groups may not

have been sensitive enough. A second limitation was that results were based on

relatively a small sample. Nevertheless, in spite of a small sample, similarities and

differences were shown between active and less active individuals, those in different age

groups, and between males and females. Finally, the sample here consisted of mainly

Caucasian and Asian participants. Future researchers may wish to focus on African-

Americans and Hispanics since individuals from these racial and ethnic groups were not

adequately represented.









Applied Implications

Exercise imagery has tremendous potential as an intervention tool (Giacobbi et al.,

2003; Giacobbi et al., 2005; Hall, 1995; Hausenblas et al., 1999; Munroe-Chandler &

Gammage, In press). Murphy and Jowdy (1992) quoted, "Many myths and

misconceptions have gathered around the use of imagery...Future research needs to be

directed toward a better understanding of the roles that imagery plays in human

performance so that we can help all persons to optimally utilize their innate capacities (p.

245). Dishman (1994) has pointed out that despite continuing research addressing

exercise adherence and the development and assessment of possible interventions;

adherence rates have not appreciably increased from the late 1980s, suggesting that

current interventions are not very effective. Given that exercise imagery has motivational

functions (Hausenblas et al., 1999; Munroe et al., 2000; & Giacobbi et al., 2003)

researchers need to determine if imagery is an effective intervention to enhance exercise

adherence. That is why in this study, there was a comparison between high exercisers,

imagery users, and self-efficacy participants versus low exercisers, imagery users, and

self-efficacy participants. By comparing these two categories, one can compare the

differences between the two extremes and try to find different intervention methods on

how to increase exercise adherence with people who are less active. Researchers should

also be encouraged to explore the relationships between exercise imagery and other

variables that influence exercise participation and adherence. Although some research

suggest that exercise imagery is related to self-efficacy (Rodgers et al., 2000; Giacobbi et

al., 2003; Giacobbi et al., 2005), focus should now turn to whether exercise imagery can

directly or indirectly impact exercise behavior.









Summary

In summary, this study was intended to investigate exercise imagery use by middle-

aged adults. This study represents a descriptive basis for research in exercise imagery by

using grounded theory analysis and the development of three conceptual frameworks.

More specifically, exploring the information regarding the four W's in imagery: where,

when, why, and what and incorporating Paivio's four functions of imagery (CS, CG, MS,

MG) among middle-aged exercisers, this study provides a descriptive resource for

researchers interested in applied uses for exercise imagery. The present study also

examined the different characteristics between a high exercise, imagery, and self-efficacy

participants and a low exercise, imagery, and self-efficacy participants. By creating these

comparisons, we now have a better view of what active and less active participant

imagine with regard to their exercise behavior.




















Raw DataTees


Proper exercise form
Biking, running, think about long strides and good technique
Best technique to have least stress on body
Thinking about heart rate when running
Visualize the perfect stroke
Perfecting stroke in golf and swimming
Thinking about heel to toe when running
Most efficient steps
Doing the right stretching techniques
Think about posture
Long and smooth stroke
Good mechanics, speed, form and control


Looking skinner and healthier
Comparing from 30 years ago and thinking about how to keep in shape
for future
Looking thinner by thinking of diet
Fitting in certain size dresses, bathing suits
Trying to look ten years younger
Lower body fat better body physique
Thinking of future image
Getting bigger muscles
Being 50 and trying to fight with gravity
Staying in shape
Healthy looking face, skin color
Thinking of a healthy middle aged women
Thinner thighs
Thinking about skincare models
More toned body
Thinking about definition


Thinking about family history health
Prevent from diseases
Freedom from illness
Feeling refreshed, motivate to prevent injury
Lower Blood Pressure, Lower Cholesterol
Being more alert, more energy
Having a healthy lifestyle
Lowenng Heart rate
Think of what to do to stay healthy
Flexible muscles, healthy looking face
Think of improving fitness and endurance Think about heart beat
blood pressure, temperature





Figure 5-1: Participants Conceptual Framework


Exercise Technique Cognitive Specific
N=26 (CS)


Appearance Images
N=25
















Health Outcomes
N=25


Motivational Specific
(MS)



















Set goals in gym
What kind of practice to do and what set
Imagine someone competing against me
Back up plans
Checkhst in head
Plan out workout before
Relaxation exercises, imagery running course
Socialize when exercising
Using certain songs
Fminishing routine without pain
Think of trying to stay calm
Plan out workout before
Goal setting



Tension reliever
Relief of stress
Relving stress that happened in the day
Creates stress sometimes when do not see results
Stress when not able to work out that day
Sensations felt during exercise
Feeling after workout
Feel a sense of achievement
Feehng better of self
Imagery makes exercise an enjoyable expenence



After seeing results
Running longer, faster, losing weight
Confidence in self
If results are good gives confidence
Knowmg what can be achieved
Confidence in self
Getting stronger gives confidence
Accomplishmg bigger weights


Plans/Strategies Cognitive General
N=17 (CG)











Stress Levels/Emotions Motivational General -
N=24 I Arousal (MG-A)


Confidence Enhancing
Images
N=20









Motivational Images
N 13


Motivational General
Mastery (MG-M)


Figure 5-1. Continued


Unconscious motivation
Feeling after workout
To become a better person
Motivate myself to work longer hours and come in weekends
Thinking of certain songs motivates me to exercise
Beginning thinking about workout gives motivation to do
workout
Social exercising

















Higher Order Themes: Major Themes of
Exercise Imagery (n=15)


Thinking about long strides when biking
Proper exercise form
Good mechanics, speed, form and control
Thinking about heel to toe when running
Best technique to avoid injuries
Most efficient steps




Think of past and how to keep in shape for future
Thinking about body tone, definition
Muscles getting bigger, stronger
Trying to fight with gravity
Healthy looking face, skin color
Thinking about skincare models
Looking slimmer
Trying to look ten years younger


Exercise Technique Cognitive Specific
N=15 (CS)


Appearance Images
N=15
















Health Outcomes
N 12


Motivational Specific
(MS)


Figure 5-2: High Imagery User, High Exerciser, High Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework


IRaw DataTbees


Being more alert, more energy
Freedom from illness
Healthy looking face
Think about how much weight to lose
Being functional
Having a healthy lifestyle
Healthy younger self





















Plans/Strategies Cognitive General
N=10 (CG)








Stress Levels/Emotions Motivational General -
N=14 Arousal (MG-A)


Confidence Enhancing
Images
N=12








Motivational Images
N=7


Motivational General
Mastery (MG-M)


Figure 5-2. Continued


Plan before working out
Checklist in head
Relaxation exercises, imagery running course
Socialize when exercising
Back up plans
Thinking about certain songs
Goal setting
Strategies to beat opponent


Think about daily events
Relaxation
Relief of stress
Sensations felt during exercise
Feeling refreshed after workout


Sensations felt during exercise
Confidence builder
Sense of achievement
Seeing the results
Images of success, rewards and goals
Confidence in self
Accomplishing bigger weights
Strong enough to try a new exercise
Think if exercise is achievable


Sense of achievement
Seeing the results
Images of success, rewards and goals
Motivated to succeed
Motivation to go workout
















Raw Data Themes


Higher Order Themes: Major Themes of
Exercise Imagery (n=8)


Figure 5-3: Low Imagery User, Low Exerciser, Low Self Efficacy Conceptual Framework





















Technique Appearance Health


Figure 5-4: Gender Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery


Technique


Appearance


Health


Figure 5-5: Age Group Comparisons of Major Functions of Imagery


N 35-45
U 46-65


None


11-

















APPENDIX A
INFORMED CONSENT FORM

PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE DOCUMENT CAREFULLY

TO: All Research Participants
FROM: Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., BH Bryan Kim
RE: Informed Consent

STUDY TITLE: The Use of Exercise-Related Mental Imagery by Middle-Aged Adults

PURPOSE OF THIS STATEMENT: The purpose of this statement is to summarize the study I am
conducting, explain what I am asking you to do, and to assure you that the information you and other participants
share will be kept completely confidential to the extent permitted by law. Specifically, nobody besides the
Principal Investigator will be able to identify you in this study and your name will not be used in any research
reports that result from this project.

WHAT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DO: If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to fill out
the Exercise Imagery Inventory, Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire, Barriers Self-Efficacy Scale, and
participate in one 30 to 40 minute interview from June 15t 2004 till February 16th 2006. The interview will be
audio tape-recorded and you will be asked a series of questions about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in
imagery related to exercise. You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Your responses
to the questionnaires and the interview will be kept completely confidential to the extent permitted by law. Your
interview will be transcribed by a research assistant and the questionnaires and tape-recorded interviews will be
kept in my office in a locked file cabinet. After your interview is transcribed, the tape will be destroyed.

TIME REQUIRED: Approximately 50 minutes.

RISKS AND BENEFITS: There are no risks expected from participating in this study. As a result of your
participation, you may develop insights about yourself that could help you exercise. No more than minimal
risks are anticipated from participation in this study.
COMPENSATION: No compensation is given as a result of this study.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your transcribed
interview will be assigned a code number and all surveys will be kept in my office (Room 124 Florida Gym) in a
locked file cabinet. Your name will not be used in any report.

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. You should not
feel compelled in any way whatsoever. There is no penalty for not participating.

RIGHT TO WITHDRAW: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.


WHOM TO CONTACT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS STUDY:
Dr. Peter Giacobbi, Jr., Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, 100 Florida Gym, PO Box 118207,
Gainesville, FL, 32611; ph. (352) 392-0584; email. pgiacobbi@hhp.ufl.edu

BH Bryan Kim, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, 2725 SW 27th Ave. #A-8, Gainesville, FL
32608; ph. (352) 375-3475; email. kimbh@ufl.edu







86


WHOM TO CONTACT ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS AS A RESEARCH PARTICIPANT IN THE STUDY:
UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph. 392-0433.

AGREEMENT:
I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received
a copy of this description.

Participant: Date:

Principal Investigator: Date:














APPENDIX B
DEMOGRAPHIC AND EXERCISE PARTICIPATION FORM

Demographics and exercise participation

Date



Sex (circle one): Male Female Age

Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian African-American Native American Asian

(Specify) Pacific Islander Hispanic Other (Specify)

Highest Educational Level Achieved

What physical activities or exercise do you participate in?

Would you be kind enough to allow me to interview you in the near future? Yes or No

If yes, may I call you? What is your phone number? or
Email Address-















APPENDIX C
THE EXERCISE IMAGERY QUESTIONNAIRE

The following questions deal with imagery and exercise participation. Imagery
involves "mentally" seeing yourself exercising. The image in your mind should
approximate the actual physical activity as closely as possible. Imagery may
include sensations like hearing the aerobic music and feeling yourself move
through the exercises. Imagery can also be associated with emotions (e.g.,
getting psyched up or energized), staying focused (concentrating on aerobic
class and not being distracted), setting exercise plans/goals (e.g., imaging
achieving goal of losing weight), etc. There are no right or wrong answers so
please answer as accurately as possible. Please answer the following questions
with regard to how often you use mental imagery (rarely to often).


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Rarely Often


1. I imagine a "fitter-me" from exercising__
2. I imagine completing my workout
3. When I think about exercising, I imagine the perfect technique
4. I imagine being more relaxed from exercising__
5. I imagine a "leaner-me" from exercising__
6. I imagine having the confidence to exercise
7. When I think about exercising, I imagine my form and body position
8. I imagine how I will feel after I exercise
9. I imagine being toned from exercising__
10. I imagine having the confidence to complete my workout
11. I imagine being healthier from exercising__
12. I imagine losing weight from exercising__
13. When I think about exercising, I imagine doing the required movements
14. I imagine becoming more fit_
15. I imagine the perfect exercise technique_
16. I imagine getting in better shape
17. I imagine reducing my stress from exercising__
18. I imagine a "firmer-me" from exercising__
19. I imagine feelings associated with exercising__












APPENDIX D
LEISURE-TIME EXERCISE QUESTIONNAIRE

Instructions. This is a scale that measures your leisure-time
exercise (i.e., exercise done in your free time). Considering a typical
week, please indicate how often (on average) you engage in
strenuous, moderate, and mild exercise for more than 20 minutes.
Please write 0 if you did not perform any physical activity that
corresponds to the question.

1. Strenuous exercise: heart beats rapidly (e.g., running, basketball,
jogging, hockey, squash, judo, roller skating, vigorous swimming,
vigorous long distance bicycling, vigorous aerobic dance classes,
heavy weight training).

How many times during a typical week do you perform strenuous
exercise for 20 minutes or longer?

2. Moderate exercise: not exhausting, light sweating (e.g., fast
walking, softball, tennis, easy bicycling, volleyball, badminton,
easy swimming, dancing).

How many times during a typical week do you perform moderate
exercise for 20 minutes or longer?

3. Mild exercise: minimal effort, no sweating (e.g., easy walking,
yoga, archery, fishing, bowling, lawn bowling, shuffleboard,
horseshoes, golf).

How many times during a typical week do you perform mild
exercise for 20 minutes or longer?















APPENDIX E
BARRIERS EFFICACY SCALE

The items below reflect common reasons preventing people from participating in exercise
sessions or, in some cases, dropping out or quitting exercise altogether. Using the scale
below, please indicate how confident you are exercising in the event that any of the
following circumstances were to occur. Place you answer in the space provided after
each answer.


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
No Confidence at all Somewhat Confident Completely Confident

For example, if you have complete confidence that you can continue to exercise, even it
you are bored by the activity, you would circle 100%. However, if you are absolutely
sure that you could not exercise if you failed to make or continue to make progress you
would circle 0% (no confidence at all).

I believe that I can exercise 3 times per week if:

1. The weather is very bad (hot, humid, rainy, cold)
2. I was bored by the program or activity.
3. I was on vacation.
4. I felt pain or discomfort when exercising.
5. I had to exercise alone.
6. Exercise was not enjoyable or fun.
7. It became difficult to get to the exercise location.
8. I didn't like the particular activity program that I was involved in.
9. My work/school schedule conflicted with my exercise session.
10. I felt self-conscious about my appearance when I exercised.
11. The instructor did not offer me any encouragement.
12. I was under personal stress of some kind.














APPENDIX F
EXERCISE IMAGERY INTERVIEW GUIDE

*Part A: Introduction and Demographics Information

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview project. Shall we begin?

We are talking to exercisers such as yourself about imagery use. The purpose of our

study is to better understand imagery use by exercisers. I want to emphasize that your

interview information will remain confidential. In the presentation of results, we will be

focusing on group data. We may want to use selected quotes from the interviews in order

to illustrate important ideas. These will be strictly anonymous, and we will ensure that

your identity is protected. We are using a tape recorder to get complete and accurate

information, and to make the interview process more efficient.

If you have any questions as we go along please ask them. Also, ask for

clarification if at any time you do not understand what I am asking. Since you may have

to think back in time, you might not be able to immediately remember some things. Take

your time to recall; pauses are fine. If you still cannot remember after thinking back, then

let me know, but please do not guess.

Do you have any questions now about what I have talked about so far? Ok. Then

let's get started. The interview will be broken up into several parts. First, I will describe

what imagery is. Second, I am going to ask you about some background information on

your exercise involvement. Third, I will ask several questions related to your imagery

use and exercise participation. Finally, at the end of the interview there will be an