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.

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.

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

  1. Dear Dr. Marks

    I am third-year student of Bachelor’s degree in cognitive science, at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. I’m preparing a Bachelor thesis under dr hab. Marek Binder, which will consist of describing current state of research on aphantasia and my research of the frequency of aphantasia in polish population measured by VVIQ.
    Because of that, I would like to ask for permission to use your VVIQ in my research, and premission to translate it to polish.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Jerzy Jeziorski


  2. Dear Dr Marks

    I hope you are well. I am a student of neuropsychology and together with me friend we would like to use VVIQ-2 in our work. We are going to conduct a research on the role of visual images in evoking emotion and the relationship between visual imagination and morality.

    Therefore, we would like to kindly ask you if you could share with us VVIQ-2. Generally it seems to be hard to find and we are not sure if the version we’ve obtained is valid. We have decided to use revised version of the tool due to its better psychometric quality.

    Kindest regards,

    Stanisław Świątek


  3. Dear Dr Marks,

    I hope you are well and staying safe. I am a student studying an MSc Psychology at the University of East London and would greatly appreciate it if I could request your permission to use the VVIQ2 for my dissertation? I am researching connections between groups and their mental imagery abilities. Thank-you kindly for your time.

    Kind regards,
    Benjamin Ryan


  4. Dear Dr. Marks
    I hope this finds you well and safe.
    I am a final year undergrad student of Psychology at Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Pakistan. I am working on my final year thesis and am writing to request you to kindly allow me to use your “Vividness of visual imagery questionnaire” in my research. I am working on the relationship/s between emotion, autobiographical memory, mental imagery and empathy and want to use the VVIQ to measure mental imagery.
    Moreover, I will be required to reproduce the scale in my research appendix, I would be grateful if you could allow the use and reproduction of your scale in my work.
    Thank you.
    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Kind regards
    Amna Maryam


    1. Hi Amna,

      I am also a final year undergrad student of Psychology at Jagiellonian University in Poland, and I am conducting research on mental visualisation and its role in emotion – can we get in touch and exchange thoughts, maybe inspire each other, by email? If you agree and feel like it could be useful, write me at 🙂

      Kind regards
      Dominika Potępa


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