Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ)

What is the VVIQ?

The VVIQ is a self-report measure of the clarity and liveliness of visual imagery and, in so doing, aims to evoke images that vary in vividness, ambiance, and feeling as well. The instructions state the following:
“Visual imagery refers to the ability to visualize, that is, the ability to form mental pictures, or to ‘see in the mind’s eye’. Marked individual differences are found in the strength and clarity of reported visual imagery and these differences are of considerable psychological interest.
The aim of this test is to determine the vividness of your visual imagery. The items of the test will possibly bring certain images to your mind. You are asked to rate the vividness of each image by reference to the five-point scale given below. For example, if your image is ‘vague and dim’, then give it a rating of 4. After each item, write the appropriate number in the box provided. The first box is for an image obtained with your eyes open and the second box is for an image obtained with your eyes closed. Before you turn to the items on the next page, familiarize yourself with the different categories on the rating scale. Throughout the test, refer to the rating scale when judging the vividness of each image. Try to do each item separately, independent of how you may have done other items.
Complete all items for images obtained with the eyes open and then return to the beginning of the questionnaire and rate the image obtained for each item with your eyes closed. Try and give your ‘eyes closed’ rating independently of the ‘eyes open’ rating. The two ratings for a given item may not in all cases be the same.”

The Rating Scale in the VVIQ

The five-point rating scale of the VVIQ is presented below. Some researchers prefer to reverse the numerical scale to make 5 = perfectly clear and as vivid as normal vision, and 1 = no image at all, you only “know” that you are thinking of an object.

The 16 VVIQ Items

The 16 items are arranged in blocks of four, in which each has a theme and at least one item in each cluster describes a visual image that includes movement. Each theme provides a narrative to guide a progression of mental imagery. It is noted that at least one item in each cluster describes an activity or movement, indexing liveliness. The aim of the VVIQ is to assess visual imagery vividness under conditions which allow a progressive development of scenes, situations, or events as naturally as possible. The items are intended to evoke sufficient interest, meaning, and affect conducive to image generation. Participants rate the vividness of their images separately with eyes open and eyes closed.

For a small minority of people, the capacity for visual imagery is unavailable. In the absence of mental imagery, consciousness consists of “unheard” words, “unheard” music, and “invisible” imagery. This minority needs to employ more generic, verbal methods to recall events, and to plan goals and future activity—compensatory strengths that remain under-investigated.
An online version of the VVIQ is here.

Research using the VVIQ

To date, around 2000 studies have used the VVIQ or Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ) as a measure of imagery vividness.

8 thoughts on “Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ)

  1. Dear Mr Marks,
    Greetings from Indonesia!

    My name is Yafi. I am from Indonesia. I am a college student at psychology department, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan,Indonesia.

    I have been doing research about visual imagery in Indonesia and I am interested in the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire. In fact, I have an interest for using that scale for my research paper which will study about the visual imagery in Indonesia.

    Mr Marks,
    I would like to ask your permision to use your questionnaire. This questionnaire will be adapted into Indonesian and will only be used for research purpose. I hope you do not mind to give me permission to use your questionnaire.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards,


  2. Dear Mr Marks!
    Hope you will be fine.
    My name is Fatima. I am a Student of M.phil Applied Psychology in Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.
    I want to conduct an experimental study and want to check the effect of Induced mood on creativity and problem solving. I want to use your Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire to measure the creativity in individuals.I want to get permission to use your Questionnaire. Please grant me permission to use your Questionnaire. I will be very thankful to you. This research is required for my M.phil thesis and time is running.

    I will be very greatful to you if you grant me permission.
    Best regards.


    1. Dear Fatima Asif,
      Thank you for your message.
      Please feel free to use the VVIQ in your research.
      If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
      Best wishes,
      David Marks


  3. Dr. Marks,

    I am a graduate student at Utah State University in the Brain and Cognition Program. I am currently working on my Thesis proposal; I plan on examining the relationship between aphantasia (inability to produce mental imagery or reduce vividness) and signal detection and object recognition ability. I wanted to ask your permission to use the VVIQ as a measure in my research. Thank you for your time!

    Sarah Pope


  4. Dear Dr.Marks,

    I’m a high school student from Belgium and I’m doing a study about aphantasia. I want to find out how many persons at my school have aphantasia.

    And I would like to ask you if I may use your VVIQ.
    Thanks for your attention and time.
    Christine Hoogesteger


  5. Hello,
    I am a Psychology student from Edge Hill University and would like to use your questionnaire as part of my third year dissertation. Just asking for permission that this is okay. It goes without saying you will be referenced and credited for the use of the questionnaire.

    Many thanks, Emma.


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