Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Jack K. Nelson


Two phases are reported in the development of a sport specific Mental Imagery Assessment Instrument (MIAI). The focus in constructing this instrument was to deal with the problems identified by Hall (1985) and, at the same time, to provide a sport specific MIAI for football players that could be used for future research. In addition, it was hoped that the construction procedures for this particular MIAI could be used as a model to develop sport specific MIAIs for other sports. Thus, a secondary purpose of the study was to provide a comparative approach to test construction in the affective domain using both item response theory (IRT) and classical test theory (CTT). A MIAI is designed to measure the ability of participants in a sport to image events or activities that are specific to that sport. The use of sport specific items controls for the problem of interpretation of what is to be imaged. By developing items that require minimum reading skills and that relate directly to a sport, sport specific items can be developed that will provide a coach with a measure of how an athlete can visualize events or activities. This information can then be incorporated into teaching and coaching methodology. If the use of mental imagery is to be a part of the instructional process, a quantitative measure of imagery ability needs to be obtained on each individual so that instruction can be tailored to the imagery abilities of the individual. This study utilized the two major testing theories to aid in the construction of the MIAI. Overall, the results were quite positive. CTT, with its weaker assumptions, facilitated establishing validity and reliability of the initial instrument. The improved instrument and increased sample size permitted the use of IRT methodology, in conjunction with CTT procedures, to strengthen the development process. The combination of the two methods served to enhance and verify the reliability and validity of the MIAI items.