Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Gabriel Cook

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© 2015 Skyler A Butts


This study proposes a series of 3 experiments to explore how the use of mental imagery affects expert vs. novice golfers differently, by comparing alpha and beta waves. In Experiment 1 experts and novices will putt under a pressure task or no pressure task. The researcher will analyze golfers’ putting success rate in addition to examining alpha and beta waves. Experiment 2 will expand upon the expected results of Experiment 1, focusing on experts’ and novices’ use of task-relevant and task-irrelevant mental imagery as pre-performance routines just before a putting task, with all conditions facing pressure. Finally, Experiment 3 will explore experts’ vs. novices’ use of task-relevant and task-irrelevant mental imagery the day before the pressure putting task. Researchers are expected to find increases in alpha wave activity to occur prior to the putting task in experts regardless of condition, which is consistent with the attention-arousal set theory’s concept of an optimal state of performance. Novices should display increases in alpha wave activity and reach their optimal state of performance when the type of mental imagery they use helps them relax, which should lead to a higher putting success rate.

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