The Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (VVIQ) was developed by David Marks in 1975 as a way to determine and compare individual's mental imagery capacity. The VVIQ is still widely used in today's research and according to a large body of evidence is considered a robust metric for measuring individual visual imagery.

  • There are 16 questions grouped into 4 categories that you will need to consider. Attempt your best to create a mental image for each one.

  • Should you see any image, rate how vivid and clear it appears using the 5 point scale described.

  • If no visual imagery is present, score that item as 1. A score of 5 should be reserved only for images that are as vibrant and clear as if you were to actually see it.

  • There are no right or wrong answers, this is only a simple questionnaire to better understand where you fall on the phantasia spectrum.

Use the following scale to rate each item:

5 - The image is perfectly clear and vivid as if seeing it in front of you

4 - The Image is quite clear and reasonably vivid

3 - You can see the image and it's moderately clear and vivid

2 - You can see the image but it's vague and dim

1 - There is no image that appears, but you're aware that you're thinking about the item

For items 1-4, think of some relative or friend whom you frequently see (but who is not with you at present) and consider carefully the picture that comes before your mind’s eye.

1. The exact contour of the face, head, shoulders and body

2. Characteristic poses of the head, attitudes of the body etc.

3. The precise carriage, length of step etc., in walking

4. The different colours worn in some familiar clothes

Visualise a rising sun.  Consider carefully the picture that comes before your mind’s eye.

5. The sun rising above the horizon into a hazy sky

6. The sky clears and surrounds the sun with blueness

7. Clouds.  A storm blows up with flashes of lightning

8. A rainbow appears

Think of the front of a shop which you often go to. Consider the picture that comes before your mind’s eye.

9. The overall appearance of the shop from the opposite side of the road 

10. A window display including colours, shapes and details of individual items for sale

11. You are near the entrance, the colour, shape and details of the door

12. You enter the shop and go to the counter, the counter assistant serves you, money changes hands

Finally think of a country scene which involves trees, mountains and a lake.  Consider the picture that comes before your mind’s eye.      

13. The contours of the landscape

14. The colour and shape of the trees

15. The colour and shape of the lake

16. A strong wind blows on the trees and on the lake causing waves in the water


Now add up the points from each item. The lowest score that can be attained is 16 by answering 1 to every item. The highest score is 80. 

16 on the scale would suggest you have total aphantasia. 

32 would indicate a moderate level of mental blindness.

48 and above suggests above normal capacity at forming mental images.

64  and anything up to 80 signify strong mental images bordering hyperphantasia.

There is no scientifically accepted method to diagnose aphantasia yet, but seeing where you reside within this 16-80 benchmark will give you a general idea of how pronounced your aphantasia is.

Want to score a solid 80?

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