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Chapter 5

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Western University
Psychology 2011A/B
Imants Baruss

Alter States of Consciousness: Hypnosis • Hypnotic virtusos – those extremely susceptible to hypnosis • Hypnosis itself is derived from the Greek word for sleep • Beginning of its modern history with the study of animal magnetism by FRANZ ANTON MESMER • Hypnosis, like a chameleon, seems to take on the beliefs and characteristics of the particular experimenter or lab in which it is being studied Hypnotic Phenomena Hypnotic Induction • Hypnosis starts with Induction - A hypnotist speaks while a person is being hypnotized (hypnotic subject) listens.  Close eyes, listen to their voice, and relax - Hypnotist tells the hypnotic subject they are sleepy, they fall asleep in which they will be able to do whatever the hypnotists says  Counts 1 to 10, 10 being where the hypnotist tells them they will do whatever he says • Self-hypnosis – persons listens to a taped induction or plays the role of the hypnotist and the subject • Induction does not have to be characterized in terms of sleep - Study, where suggestions of alertness were substituted for drowsiness. Participants pedaling a stationary bike were told that pedalling would not seem difficult, and alertness would increase as the pedaling went on. - This is an example of active-alert hypnosis • The point of induction is to get the person into the state of trance Hypnotic Suggestions • Hypnotic susceptibility – degree of which a subject is responsive to suggestions • Posthypnotic Suggestions – suggestions given during hypnosis to take effect after it has been terminated - For example, in a study, during hypnosis it was suggested for the next 48hrs, every time a participant heard the word “experiment” they would touch their forehead with their right hand • Positive hallucination – suggesting to the subject the presence of something that is not objectively real - Study by MARTIN ORNE, a collaborator of the experiment sat in a room with the experimenter and subject within eyesight of the subject. Once the subjects eyes were closed, the collaborator quietly stood behind the subject. The subject was told to turn around and asked who was standing behind them, where they would look at the empty chair and the collaborator and say they were seeing the same person twice • Trans Logic - The ability to mix freely perceptions derived from reality with those that stem from imagination - ORNE considered this to be one of the principal features of the hypnotic state • Negative hallucinations – suggesting to the subject to absence of something that is objectively real • Mesmerism – to suggest a negative hallucination of the absence of pain during major surgery • Example or hypnotic analgesia, surgeon hypnotizes himself before performing liposuction on himself to dissociate the areas of his body as if they belonged to a patient - Also illustrates the ability to carry out cognitive and manual task while hypnotized • Study where participants learned to reproduce a random colour sequence of 5 blue and 5 red poker chips. They were then hypnotized, given the suggestion to forget the colour sequence and given three chances to reproduce it. If no memory of the correct sequence, then about 15 to 30 chips would have been placed in incorrect positions - Results: on average, 7 errors were made, indicating that subjects did remember the sequence at some level showing that hypnotic amnesia is neither simply an ablation of memory not pretending to forget • Study were participants named their favourite automobile , then instructed to prevent any thoughts or mental pictures of this favourite automobile from coming to mind for two minutes. If they did think about it, they push a button for the length of time the thought was present. Then they were hypnotized and suggestion repeated. While still hypnotized they were given the suggestion to completely forget about the automobile. - Results: good hypnotic subjects pushed the button an average of almost 5 times in the waking condition, an average of twice in the hypnotic blank-mind condition, and an average of once in the hypnotic-amnesia condition Hypnotic Susceptibility Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales • Standford Hypnotic Susceptability Scale (SHSS) developed by ERNEST HILGARD and ADREA WEITZENHOFFER - Designed for individual administration • Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS) - For group administration • Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale (CURSS) - 7 suggestions used, if the person responds to suggestion they passed that item, total number of items passes results in a score of hypnotic susceptibility - Those who are particularly unresponsive score low, responsive score high, and perfect or near so are virtuosos - 4 of the items involve making or inhibiting motor movements, 3 are cognitive • It appears that hypnosis is a type rather than a dimension, in spite of susceptibility scales in which it is treated as a dimension • It is often found only those scoring high or low are chosen for research studies • ORNE, suggested a common protocol to compare those who actually are hypnotized and those that are pretending - Found that most of the pretenders did not differ behaviourally from those in deep trance - Also the possibility that pretenders could be inadvertently hypnotized usually those who score low for susceptibility are used for pretenders Differences in Hypnotic Responding • In the sex change study, 100% of pretenders, 89% of high hypnotizable participants, and 100% of the virtuosos responded positively to the sex change suggestion • When shown image of their sex change appearance, 41% of pretenders, 0% of highs, and 73% of virtuosos continued their positive response • Pretenders in the touching forhead experiment responsed to the cue 8% of the time, real subjects 30%, and virtuosos 70% • In Orne’s study, the appearance of the collaborator was accepted by all real subjects, while pretenders claimed they didn’t see anyone or didn’t know who the person was • Study to show how subjective experience of hypnotized people can differ depending on their degree of susceptibility - Turned a dial to rate the extent of experiencing what the hypnotist was asking them to (left is not at all experiencing the suggestion and right as completely) - 33 high, 47 medium, and 28 low hypnotizable undergrads - Tested for three suggestions: arm levitation, arm rigidity, and anosmia (inability to smell) - Found strong concordance between subjects behavioural responses and their subjective responses - Low hypnotizable people behaved as though their arm was rigid without feeling that they were, while medium and high hypnotizable people behaved as if rigid arm and felt they were - Positive experience of the high hypnotizable people during the test of anosmia enhanced and encouraged the intensity of their involvement, and this intensity was not diminished by the instruction by the hypnotist to cancel their experience Explanations of Hypnosis A Sociocognitive Theory of Hypnosis • NICHOLAS SPANOS, responsive hypnotic subjects retain control of their behaviour and guide it strategically in order to meet implicit and explicit role demands as these become regnant in the hypnotic test situation • Individual behaviours of hypnotic subjects results from the interactive contribution of numerous variables such as attitudes and expectations concerning hypnosis and the interpretational stance taken toward suggestions • Low susceptibility can be turned into highs through cognitive training - Study where more than half of the lows and more than two thirds of the mediums become high susceptibility. The trained didn’t differ from the natural high susceptibility people • Event-related potentials – EGG waveforms that follow on the presentation of a series of
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