Hypnosis• A social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) makes suggestions about perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors, and another person (the subject) follows those suggestions• Hypnotist serves as a coach or tutor showing you the way.
Hypnosis• State of awareness• Highly focused attention• Increased responsiveness to suggestion• Vivid imagery• Willingness to accept distortions of logic• People do NOT lose control of their behavior. Instead, they remain aware of where they are, who they are, and what is transpiring.• Alteration of sensation and perception
Is Hypnosis a Special State of Consciousness?• State view – Hypnosis is a special or altered state of consciousness (see Hilgard’s neodissociation).• Non-State view – Hypnosis is not a special state and similar effects can be produced when people are properly instructed and motivated.• Social-cognitive view – subject responds to social demands of the situation. Play the role of what is expected from a good hypnotic subject.
Social Influence Theory• Powerful social influences produce a state of hypnosis.• This theory notes that a person’s physiological state does not change under hypnosis.• Social factors influence people to believe hypnosis will work.
Divided Consciousness Theory• During hypnosis our consciousness splits so that one aspect of consciousness is not aware of the role that other parts are playing.• Promoted by Ernest Hilgard (1904-2001)• People experience dissociation – the splitting of consciousness into two or more simultaneous streams of mental activity.• Neodissociation theory of hypnosis – a hypnotized person consciously experiences one stream of mental activity that is responding to the hypnotist’s suggestions. A second dissociated stream known as the hidden observer is processing info that is unavailable to the consciousness of the hypnotized subject.
A woman doesn’t notice the smell of ammonia. How can this be explained?
Evidence Supporting Hypnosis• Role-Playing hypnotics drop the act when not observed while actually hypnotized subjects maintain the act when not observed.• PET Scans reveal activity increased in the left and right hemisphere color areas when they were told they were seeing color. Activity decreased in the left and right hemisphere color areas when they were told to see gray rectangles regardless of what color they were. Only the right hemisphere color areas were activated in people not hypnotized. This shows hypnosis is a mental state.• Imaginative suggestibility – the degree to which a person is able to experience an imaginary state of affairs as if it were real. Many people are open to suggestion even when not under hypnosis.
Hypnotic Induction• The process by which a hypnotist creates a state of hypnosis in a subject• Usually done by voicing a series of suggestions• Voice is usually calm and of a rhythmic tone
Hypnotizability• Differences in the ability of people to become hypnotized• Varies from person to person• Varies from situation to situation• Most adults are moderately hypnotizable.• Children are easier to hypnotize.• People who have positive, receptive attitudes towards hypnosis and expectations that they respond tend to hypnotize easier.
Limits to Hypnotic Suggestions• Suggestions usually involve sensations, thoughts, emotions, and a wide variety of behaviors.• Hypnosis does not cause behaviors.• Hypnosis can lead people to certain behaviors but so can ordinary suggestions.
Posthypnotic Suggestions• A suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, that the subject will carry out when no longer hypnotized• Technique can be used to encourage helpful behavior changes, such as stopping smoking or losing weight.• Most only last for a few hours or days.
Hypnosis and Memory• There are isolated cases of hypnosis helping recall.• Cannot be sure if the memory came back due to hypnosis• Cannot be sure if the memory is accurate or one that is created to please the hypnotist
Hypnosis and Memory• Posthypnotic Amnesia – person is unable to recall specific info or events that occurred before or during hypnosis. Produced by a hypnotic suggestion. – Effects are usually temporary and where off either spontaneously with a posthypnotic signal.• Hypermnesia – Enhancement of memory for past events using hypnotic suggestion. – Not proven to work and can lead to distortions and inaccuracies or pseudomemories.• Age Regression – Recall or reexperience an earlier developmental period. – Often distorted and not accurate.
Pain and Hypnosis• Hypnosis does work as a means to control pain.• Hypnosis can cause temporary blindness, deafness, or complete loss of sensation in a part of the body. Because of this, hypnosis can be used as a form of pain therapy (see Time article)
Hypnosis• Play “Hypnotic Dissociation and Pain Relief” (3:03) Segment #2 from The Mind: Psychology Teaching Modules (2nd edition).• If Time Allows.• Watch this & read Time article on this subject.• Our cerebral cortex allows to filter out certain info and focus on other info.
Placebo Effect• Improvement due only to the power of positive expectations• People think they will get better so they do
Feats of Strength• Many feats of strength done under hypnosis can be accomplished without hypnosis.
Feats of StrengthThe "amazing"hypnotized"human plank"Actually,unhypnotizedpeople canalso performthis feat.
Limits to Hypnosis• You cannot be hypnotized against your will.• Hypnosis cannot make you perform behaviors that are contrary to your morals and values.• Hypnosis cannot make you stronger or give you new talents.
Meditation• Aim to control or retrain attention. Two general categories.1. Concentration Techniques – focusing on a visual image, your breathing, a word or phrase. Often a mantra is repeated mentally.2. Opening-up Techniques – Present-centered awareness of the passing moment, without mental judgment. • Concentrate on the here and now without distractive thoughts. • Zazen or “just sitting” technique of Buddhism is a form of this.
Effects of Meditation• Most use Transcendental Meditation (TM) – Concentrative meditation that does not require any lifestyle changes and follows a simple format. Sit with eyes closed and say a mantra over an over in their mind allowing distracting thoughts to fall away.• People experience a lowering of psychological arousal by lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and changes in to alpha-brain-waves similar to the state of drowsiness that precedes stage 1 sleep.• SPECT scans show increased blood flow to both frontal lobes and decreased blood flow to the left parietal lobe during meditation. Frontal lobes are involved in attention focusing tasks and parietal lobes are involved in visual-spatial tasks, which are not needed in mediation.