Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




We all know physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, yet many people are still living sedentary lifestyles. One theory used to explain why some people exercise, while others do not is self-efficacy theory. Past research has indicated that people's self-efficacy may be related to their exercise behavior. It has also been shown that imagery can positive affect self-efficacy. Past research has shown that there is a relationship between imagery, self-efficacy, and exercise frequency, however no intervention studies have assessed this relationship. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a one time imagery intervention on self-efficacy beliefs and exercise frequency in a currently inactive population. Fifty-four participants were separated into three different groups, an imagery group, a group that received information on exercise, and a control group. Participants completed an exercise information and background form, the Exercise Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, the Exercise Information Inventory-Revised and companion scale, pre-intervention (time 1), and then again seven days later (time two), and fourteen days later (time 3). Results revealed that the exercise frequency level increased for all groups. Those in the exercise information group increased their exercise frequency significantly more from time one to time three than those in the imagery group. For scheduling self-efficacy, regardless of the group the participants were in their scheduling self-efficacy scores significantly increased from time one to time three. Although the findings of this study were unexpected, they still add valuable information to the discussion on imagery, self-efficacy, and exercise. Specifically, because this is the first study to assess the above relationship through intervention based research, the findings have highlighted potential limitations for imagery interventions, but more importantly the findings have indicated what future research should focus on including imagery intervention length, individualization of the scripts, and matching the script to the persons current behavior level (e.g., adoption versus maintenance).

Included in

Psychology Commons