6-1 Discussion: Mental Imagery

Mental imagery is an exciting area of research because it has been used in many real-world applications, including improving sports performance, counseling, promoting well-being, and improving memory. Locate an article on mental imagery published within the past five years. Provide a brief summary and critique of the article. Next, discuss the importance and applications of the article’s findings in terms of contemporary issues. How could you use information from the article to improve cognition in different scenarios and professional settings?

Mental imagery is part of human life. There are things that an individual has never experienced but, there are able to form an image about it in their minds.(Sternberg & Sternberg, 2017). For example, imagine how it would feel like when you first give birth- the pain or the joy. The article I chose for my discussion this week is “Prospective mental imagery as its link with anxiety and depression in prisoners” by López-Pérez, Deeprose, & Hanoch. (2018). Mental imagery can be defined as pictures in the mind or visual representation in the absence of environmental input. (Dewey, 2018)

This study examined how mental disorders such as depression and anxiety were linked to metal imagery. Their participants consisted of 123 male prisoners with anxiety or depression symptoms. The participants answered survey questions on visual, verbal, mental and sensory imagery. The results showed that some aspects of prospective mental imagery were significantly related with increased anxiety and depression symptoms in prisoners. Namely, intrusive negative imagery was a positive predictor and likelihood of positive events a negative predictor of both anxiety and depression symptoms. The perceived likelihood of negative events was a positive predictor of depression. Intrusive verbal thought was a positive predictor of anxiety. To critique this study, the authors used only prisoners with mental disorders, therefore, they were not able to compare results with prisoners without depression or anxiety and also, since they used only prisoners, it doesn’t necessarily apply to the general public or non-offenders.

In professional terms, mental imagery can hep workers when they think or imagine positive imagery. For example, when someone starts to feel anxious or they are heavily depressed because their office computer is not working and they are not able to do their work and complete it on time, positive imagery such as happy thoughts or remembering a funny video they watched could reduce their anxiety and help them calm down or relax in that moment. Also, when it come to therapy or counselling, some psychologists can use visual imagery techniques to help patients calm down or be less aggressive. Visual images of colors and animals can help teachers teach children and reax their minds and it could also help special needs children to find their happy place as most children like images with colors and animals. Lastly, since mental imagery can be something which isn’t necessarily experienced before, people who may have blocked memories and would like to keep it that way can benefit from it if they imagine an environment they could be happy with or a place they would like to visit to give them happier memories.




Dewey, R., A. (2018). Psychology: An Introduction. Retrieved from https://www.psywww.com/intropsych/ch07-cognition/mental-imagery.html

López-Pérez, B., Deeprose, C., & Hanoch, Y. (2018). Prospective mental imagery as its link with anxiety and depression in prisoners. PLoS ONE13(3), 1–10. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1371/journal.pone.0191551

Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2017). Cognitive Psychology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.