The effects of imagery control training on imagery abilities and anxieties

dc.creatorGrant, Robert William
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, there has been a growing interest in therapies employing mental imagery. The theoretical explanations as to how these therapies produce change remain largely untested and the source of controversy. A review of the literature suggested a connection between the presentation and manipulation of imagery in imagery therapies, and the improved psychological functioning which may result from increasing an individual's ability to produce and control mental images. The present study compared the effects of a systematic imagery control training procedure, in vitro systematic desensitization, a placebo, and no treatment on objective and self-report measures of imagery ability and anxiety. A pretest and posttest experimental design was employed. The subjects were 60 university students with high oral communication apprehension. Imagery control ability was assessed with the Mental Rotations Test, the Flags Test, the Guy Emotive Imagery Scale, and the Survey of Mental Imagery, Form A. Anxiety was assessed with the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and in vivo skin temperature. The results indicated that imagery control training led to significant improvement of imagery control ability as well as to significant reductions in both stimulus specific and general anxiety. However, the reductions in anxiety were not greater than those produced by In vitro systematic desensitization. The assumption that systematic desensitization would also result in improved imagery control ability was not supported. These findings indicate that the direct and systematic training of imagery control ability holds potential in the treatment of anxiety. The emphasis of current cognitive therapies on verbal thought content is seen as overly restricted. The results suggest that greater attention should be given to the possibility of rehabilitating more fundamental nonverbal cognitive processes and abilities in the treatment of emotional disorders. The fact that systematic desensitization did not clearly lead to improvements in imagery control ability tends to discredit the notion that the increasing of imagery control ability plays a general role in the therapeutic effectiveness of imagery related therapies. However, this does not rule out the possibility that other imagery therapies may inadvertantly increase imagery control ability.
dc.publisherTexas Tech Universityen_US
dc.subjectAnxiety -- Testingen_US
dc.subjectImagery (Psychology)en_US
dc.titleThe effects of imagery control training on imagery abilities and anxieties