Advances in Physical Education
2012. Vol.2, No.2, 73-75
Published Online May 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 73
Translation and Reliability of the Preliminary Spanish Version of
the Sport Imagery Questionnaire
Montse C. Ruiz1, Anthony P. Watt2
1Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
2School of Education, Institute for Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Received January 13th, 2012; revised February 16th, 2012; accepted February 27th, 2012
The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of the preliminary Spanish version of the Sport
Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ). The SIQ was developed to examine five cognitive and motivational func-
tions of imagery use. Participants were 81 athletes competing in soccer (n = 43) and roller skating (n =
38), ranging in age from 14 to 29 years (M = 18.10, SD = 3.16). Reliability was evaluated through internal
consistency analyses of the scale. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were high indicating that the scale is a re-
liable instrument for the measurement of imagery use in Spanish athletes. Further psychometric research
should now examine factor structure and imagery use across competitive level and type of sport in a lar-
ger sample of Spanish athletes.
Keywords: Imagery Use; Psychometrics; Reliability; Sport Imagery
Mental imagery is recognized as a valuable psychological
technique in the preparation of athletes (Hall, Mack, Paivio, &
Hausenblas, 1998). It is also a popular tool used by athletes,
coaches and sport psychology practitioners for skill learning
and performance enhancement purposes (MacIntyre & Moran,
2007). Imagery has been defined as “the creation or re-creation
of an experience generated from memorial information, involv-
ing quasi-sensorial, quasi-perceptual, and quasi-affective char-
acteristics, that is under the volitional control of the imager, and
which may occur in the absence of the real stimulus antecedents
normally associated with the actual experience” (Morris, Spittle,
& Watt, 2005, p. 19). Morris et al. also described imagery use
as the manner in which individuals employ imagery to learn and
develop skills, and to facilitate performance of those skills.
Imagery researchers focusing on the examination of when
and why athletes use imagery in sport have typically applied
Paivio’s (1985) general analytical framework. Thus, it is assumed
that imagery can mediate behavior through either a cognitive or
motivation role, with each role operating at a general or specific
level. Hall et al. (1998) developed the Sport Imagery Question-
naire (SIQ) on the basis of Paivio’s perspectives. The SIQ
evaluates the following five types of imagery use: 1) cognitive
general (CG), representing imagery related to competitive
strategies; 2) cognitive specific (CS), representing imagery
directed toward skill development or production; 3) motiva-
tional general arousal (MG-A), representing imagery related to
arousal, relaxation, and competitive anxiety; 4) motivational
general mastery (MG-M), representing imagery associated with
effective coping and confidence in challenging situations; and 5)
motivational specific (MS), representing imagery that con-
cerns achieving specific goals and goal-oriented behavior.
Previous research has supported the factorial validity and re-
liability of the SIQ (Abma, Fry, Li, & Relyea, 2002; Hall et al.,
1998, Hall, Stevens, & Paivio, 2005; Weinberg, Butt, Knight,
Burke, & Jackson, 2003; Watt, Jaakkola, & Morris 2006; Watt,
Spittle, Jaakkola, & Morris, 2008). Watt et al. (2006) developed
a Finnish version of the SIQ and used a mixed sport and age
sample of 231 athletes to determine that the translated version
of the measure was internally consistent and demonstrated
adequate replication of the original factor structure. Recently,
Gregg, Hall, McGowan, and Hall (2011) reported continuing
strong indicators of reliability for the SIQ for a sample of 432
athletes from a broad range of sports and age groups. These
findings indicate that the SIQ constitutes a measure that can
serve as a viable indicator of the imagery use skills of athletes.
Continuing interest in the measurement qualities of the SIQ,
make it crucial to evaluate the psychometric properties of this
test of sport imagery use in countries where English is not the
major spoken language. Additionally, it remains an important
aim of sport psychology practitioners in non-English speaking
populations to acquire a clearer understanding of the imagery
use characteristics of their athletes (e.g., Murphy & Martin,
2002). Currently, in Spain there are a number of measures
translated into Spanish to assess general imagery characteristics
(Campos & Pérez-Fabello, 2009) however, no Spanish versions
of measures of sport imagery were found. Thus, the aim of this
study was to examine the reliability of the preliminary Spanish
version of the SIQ.
Participants were 81 (63 males and 18 females) athletes rep-
resenting soccer (n = 43) and roller skating (n = 38), ranging in
age from 14 to 29 years (M = 18.10 ± 3.16). The participants
were involved in organized sport from three to twenty-five
years and were currently competing at national (n = 60) and
regional (n = 21) level.
The Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ; Hall et al., 1998) is a
30-item self-report questionnaire that measures five different
types of imagery associated with cognitive and motivational
functions. The questionnaire consists of five subscales (CS, CG,
MS, MG-M, and MG-A imagery) with 6 items each assessed
on a 7-point Likert type scale ranging from 1 (never/rarely) to 7
(often). Examples of items are: “I can easily change the image
of a skill” (CG subscale), “I image myself continuing with my
game plan, even when performing poorly” (CG), “I image my-
self being interviewed as a champion” (MS), “I imagine myself
being mentally tough” (MG-M), and “I can re-create in my
head the emotions I feel before I compete” (MG-A). The SIQ
has been consistently found to have adequate internal reliability
with values ranging from .74 to .86 (e.g., Hall, Munroe- Chan-
dler, Cumming, Law, Ramsey, & Murphy, 2009).
Back translation procedures and expert review were utilized
to develop the Spanish version of SIQ questionnaire. First,
there was direct translation by a professional translator who
was not familiar with the instrument. Second, the translated
version was then examined by a panel of five academics whose
first language was Spanish, competent in both written and spo-
ken English, and familiar with the SIQ. Third, the panel evalu-
ated the items using the rankings of 1) No change; 2) Minor
change required; 3) Major change required; and 4) Reject and
retranslate. Panel members shared their rankings and the panel
chair compiled an overall score for each item. Discrepancies
between items were discussed with efforts made to ensure that
the underlying meaning remained unchanged. Fourth, the
modified Spanish version was then back translated into English.
Fifth, the back translated English version was compared to the
original version to ensure that the meaning and intent of the
original item was maintained.
The participants drawn from a team sport and an individual
sport involving distinct motor skills and demands were recruited
via sport clubs. Written consent was obtained after the purpose
of the study was explained, voluntary participation emphasized
and assurances of the confidentiality of the results given. Ath-
letes under 18 gave their assent and a person responsible pro-
vided written consent. The treatment of athletes was in accor-
dance with APA ethical guidelines. Each participant filled in a
set of questions about demographic variables that included their
age, gender, sport modality, sporting experience, and the level
of competition. Then participants completed the SIQ once at
their training facilities.
Data Analysis
Descriptive analyses were conducted in order to consider the
patterns of imagery use demonstrated within the current sample.
The reliability of the measure was investigated by determining
the internal consistencies of the five SIQ subscales. Alpha coef-
ficients if item deleted were estimated for all items. Inter-sub-
scale correlations were also calculated. Independent-samples
t-tests were conducted to compare the differences in imagery
use for the five SIQ subscales in each sport group.
Descriptive statistics and internal consistencies for the Span-
ish sample and two previous studies for each of the SIQ subscales
are presented in Table 1. All items showed a normal distribution
with skewness and kurtosis values less than 2.00 except for
item 3 “I image giving 100% during an event/game”, which
was negatively skewed. Results showed that the MG-M sub-
scale had the lowest and CG subscale the highest mean score
values. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of the Spanish version
ranged from .80 (MG-A) to .90 (CG) demonstrating acceptable
levels of internal consistency. Only two of the 30 items had
alpha if item deleted values (i.e., item 1 = .83; item 6 = .81) that
were the same or minimally higher (α = .83 and α = .81, respec-
tively) than the subscale Cronbach’s alpha (i.e., CS = .83;
MG-A = .80). Pearson product moment correlations were sig-
nificant for all subscale associations (see Table 1).
Significant differences were found when comparing imagery
use for the soccer players and roller skaters. Specifically, soccer
players reported higher scores for both subscales on cognitive
function (CS subscale, and CG subscale), and MG-M subscale
(p < 0.05, respectively). However, differences were not signifi-
cant for the MS or MG-A subscale scores.
The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of a
Spanish version of the SIQ in a sample of athletes. This was the
first translated measure of sport imagery use examined in
Spanish sport psychology. Descriptive statistics from the Span-
ish version slightly varied from data derived from other sam-
ples that completed the Finnish and English versions. Mean
scores for all subscales of the Spanish SIQ except for the moti-
vational general-mastery function were higher than for the sub-
scales from the Finnish sample (Watt et al., 2006). Large
Table 1.
Means, standard deviations, alpha coefficients and inter-correlations between each SIQ subscale for the present and two previous studies.
Spanish SIQ data
(N = 81) Inter-correlations SIQ (Watt et al., 2006)
(N = 231) SIQ (Gregg et al., 2005)
(N = 345)
M SD α 1 2 3 4 M SD α M SD α
1. CS 4.72 1.15 .83 4.60 1.07 .80 4.55 1.13 .82
2. CG 5.27 1.28 .90 .83* 4.24 0.96 .64 4.55 .99 .67
3. MS 4.66 1.35 .88 .70* .67* 3.83 1.24 .83 3.77 1.48 .87
4. MG-A 4.66 1.19 .80 .77* .74*.70* 3.84 1.06 .76 4.63 1.14 .80
5. MG-M 4.48 1.20 .86 .84* .75* .71* .66* 4.93 1.00 .76 4.88 1.16 .82
Note. CS = Cognitive specific; CG = Cognitive general; MS = Motivational specific; MG-A = Motivational general-arousal; and MG-M = Motivational general-mastery. *p
< .01 (Inter-correlations).
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
differences were found for mean scores for the cognitive gen-
eral imagery function (Table 1). Higher mean values for the
cognitive general imagery subscale were also observed when
comparing the Spanish sample and previous studies that used
English versions (Gregg, Hall, & Nederhof, 2005; Hall et al.,
2009). This finding suggests a possible cultural or conceptual
difference in the response behaviors to certain imagery use
questions (particularly those related to feeling confident or
mentally tough).
Spanish data (i.e., item 3 in particular) had a negative skew
indicating a bias toward high scores of imagery ability. How-
ever, these patterns are in line with those found in previous
studies (Gregg et al., 2011). Reliability scores of the Spanish
version ( > 0.80) were higher than those drawn from the Fin-
nish study for all subscales indicating acceptable levels of in-
ternal consistency. The inter-subscale correlations were in the
moderate to strong range, which is the typical pattern reported
in previous research (Gregg & Hall, 2006; Nordin & Cumming,
2008). Overall, these findings provide support for the use and
continued development of the Spanish version.
Limitations of this exploratory study are related to the small
sample size. Thus, future research should now assess other
estimates of reliabilities and the factor structure of the Spanish
version of the SIQ using a larger sample of athletes. In addition,
this study examined imagery use characteristics in athletes from
only two sports. Further research investigating imagery use
functions across different types of sport (i.e., team vs. individ-
ual) as well as different situations (i.e., practice vs. competition)
and levels of experience (i.e., elite vs. novice) is also warranted.
Additional examination of the reliability and factor structure of
the Spanish SIQ are necessary to further validate this version of
the measure.
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