Effects of “Parental Filter” on Reported Vividness of Imagery

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127 undergraduates (66 women, 61 men) completed experimental forms of Ahsen's Adapted Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (AA-WIQ) in which the 16 items of Marks' Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (WIQ) are rated separately with either mother or father in mind. When the two ratings were made side-by-side for each item and those for the father filter were given first, there was some evidence of dimmer father- than mother-filtered imagery for women. However, this effect did not appear when the mother-filtered ratings were given first, when all items were rated under one parental filter before being rated with the other, or when the filter instruction was given only before the first four items (which refer to a relative or friend). These results do not support claims that reported imagery is generally dimmer under the father than under the mother filter, but it was suggested that dimmer father- than mother-filtered imagery for women may be an order effect or may appear when raters freely compare their images under the two filters. Because scores were highly correlated (rs > .80) across filters, it was concluded that the choice of a parent for the first four items of Marks' WIQ does not jeopardize the use of the inventory as a research instrument to classify people as good or poor visualizers.

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