Absorption, Relaxation, and Imagery Instruction Effects on Thermal Imagery Experience and Finger Temperature
Description: A skill instruction technique based on cognitive behavioral principles was applied to thermal imagery to determine if it could enhance either subjective or physiological responsiveness. The effects of imagery instruction were compared with the effects of muscle relaxation on imagery vividness, thermal imagery involvement, and the finger temperature response. The subjects were 39 male and 29 female volunteers from a minimum security federal prison. The personality characteristic of absorption was used as a classification variable to control for individual differences. It was hypothesized that high absorption individuals would reveal higher levels of imagery vividness, involvement, and finger temperature change; that imagery skill instruction and muscle relaxation would be more effective than a control condition; and that the low absorption group would derive the greatest benefit from the imagery task instruction condition. None of the hypotheses was supported. Finger temperature increased over time during the experimental procedure but remained stable during thermal imagery. The results suggest that nonspecific relaxation effects may best account for finger temperature increases during thermal imagery. Results were discussed in relation to cognitive-behavioral theory and the characteristic of absorption.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Durrenberger, Robert Earl, 1951-