Maxwell Turner

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Daniel Roenker, Sebastiano Fisicaro, Carl Martray

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study is twofold: to determine the relationship between accuracy of the image and work decrement and to investigate the relationship between accuracy of the image and facilitation of performance. A total of 36 right-handed undergraduates were tested on the rotor pursuit operating at 45 rpm and asked to imagine themselves actually tracking the target with the stylus. During the imagery trials the subjects verbalized the word “top” each time their image made one complete revolution. Each subject engaged in a 9 30-sec imagery trials which were followed by either an 8-sec rest and then 9 30-sec performance trials (no-rest condition) or a 5-min rest and then 9 30-sec performance trials (rest condition). Each subject attended two sessions seven days apart. During the first session the subjects received either the rest or no-rest condition, and during the second session the subject received the other condition. The order in which the rest and no-rest conditions were administered was counterbalanced across subjects so that half received the rest condition first while the other half received the no-rest condition first. Accuracy of the image was measured by the number of “tops” the subject verbalized during each 30-sec imagery trial. Performance was measured by the total time the subjects kept the stylus over the rotating target during each 30-sec performance trial.

A regression analysis showed that accuracy of the image predicted overall performance. This finding supports previous research which indicates that performance increases as the similarity of practice and criterion tasks increases. A second regression revealed that accuracy of the image, for under imagers and accurate imagers, did not predict work decrement. This outcome supports White’s (1981) results that under and accurate imagers accumulate equivalent amounts of work decrement. Finally, the author discusses a possible mechanism involved in producing the apparently equal levels of work decrement for both under and accurate imagers. It is speculated that perhaps the apparent level of work decrement for those who under image is exaggerated by an abrupt change in information density.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Included in

Psychology Commons