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Psychology 3325 Lecture Notes - Franz Mesmer, Hypnosis, Ideomotor Phenomenon

Course Code
Psychology 3325
John Usher

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hypnosis is specific form of verbal control that apparenlty enables one person to control
another person's behaviour, thoughts, and perceptions
Franz Anton Mesmer discovered modern hypnosis when he found that he could pass magnets
back and forth over people's body adn they would often have convulsions and enter trancelike
state during which almost miracuolous cures could be achieved
later discovered that patients were not affected directly by magnetism of iron rods but
were responding to his persuasive and compelling personality
had psychologically produced symptoms that were alleviated by suggestions made while
they were hyptonized
Characteristics of Hypnosis
person undergoing hypnosis can be alert, relaxed, tense, lying quietly or exercising
vigorously only essential feature is person's understanding that they are to be hypnotized
hypnotized people are very suggestible behaviour will conform to what hypnotist suggests
even to extent that they may appear to msperceive reality
hypnotic suggestions are 1 of 3 types:
ideomotor suggestions hypnotist suggests particular action will occur without
awareness of voluntary action (raising an arm)
challenge suggestions - hypnotized individual will be unable to perform normally
voluntary action
cognitive suggestions hypnotized person is undergoing distortions of sensory or
cognitive experiences (not feeling pain, not being able to remember someting)
Posthypnotic suggestibility tendency of person to perform behaviour suggested by hypnotist
some time after person has left hypnotic state
Posthypnotic amnesia failure to remember what occured during hypnosis; induced by
suggestions made during hypnosis
studies indicate that when changes in perception are induced through cognitive suggestions,
changes occur not in people's actual perceptions but in their verbal reports about perceptions
Miller, Hennessy and Leibowitz used Ponzo illusions to test effects of hypnotically induced
blindness and found people still perceived upper line as being longer even though they
reported not seeing to slanted lines
shows that visual system continues to process sensory information during hypnotically
induced blindness reported blindness occurs not because of altered activity in visual
system but because of altered activity in verbal system (and in consciousness)
Theories of Hypnosis
hypnosis called special case of learning, a transference of superego, a goal-directed
behaviour shaped by hypnotist, a role-playing situation, and restructuring of perceptual-
cognitive functioning
two views of hypnosis:
The Sociocognitive Approach:
Spanos proposes that some aspects of hypnosisa re related to events that can happen
hypnotized behaviours are social actions that reflect what hypnotized individual believes
to be characteristic of hypnotized trance hypnotized person willingly adopts role and
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