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Title: Enhancing athletic and psychic performances through the use of imagery based mental strategies
Author: Taylor, Robin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The effect of using imagery as a mental strategy to affect performance was studied in this thesis. Two main areas of research were conducted in parallel. The first explored the effect that imagery strategies have on athletic performance. The second was the use of imagery as a strategy to show an anomalous interaction between a human participant and the output of a pseudo-random algorithm of a personal computer. This latter line of research is commonly conducted by parapsychologists. Conceptually there are numerous ties between the two areas studied although these were not experimentally directly assessed in this thesis. There is a common coaching 'wisdom' that mentally rehearsing an athletic endeavour will increase actual athletic performance. A quantitative review of the experimental literature has revealed a medium-sized beneficial effect for mental rehearsal (Feltz & Landers 1983), to back up this 'coaching wisdom'. In four different sports (vaulting in gymnastics, trampolining, shooting and novice jugglers) this hypothesis was not supported significantly. In three of the experiments the opposite trend to the hypothesis was observed, that is the control condition showed a higher performance compared to the experimental group that was using imagery (even if this group was specificalloy trained in imagery skills). Subsequent experiments assessed the impact of the qualitative differences in experimental participants' imagery whilst using it in mental rehearsal. Internal imagery is when the scene is experienced from the point of view of the performer of an athletic event - an external perspective has the imager experience the scene from the point of view of an external observer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available