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July 2005 - English PDF Print E-mail


The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 53, Number 3 - July 2005 - English


Attention and Hypnosis: Neural Substrates and Genetic Associations of Two Converging Processes
Raz Amir

Abstract: Although attention is a central theme in psychological science, hypnosis researchers rarely incorporate attentional findings into their work. As with other biological systems, attention has a distinct anatomy that carries out basic psychological functions. Specific brain injuries, states, and drugs can all influence attentional networks. Investigation into these networks using modern neuroimaging techniques has revealed important mechanisms involved in attention. In this age of genomics, genetic approaches can supplement these neuroimaging techniques. As genotyping becomes an affordable and technologically viable complement to phenotyping, exploratory genetic assays offer insights into the genetic bases of both attention and hypnotizability. This paper discusses relevant aspects of attentional mechanisms and their underlying neuroanatomy as they relate to hypnosis. Underlining data from attentional networks, neuroimaging, and genetics, these findings should help to explain individual differences in hypnotizability and the neural systems subserving hypnosis.


Forging Ahead: The 2003 APA Division 30 Definition of Hypnosis
Joseph P. Green, Arreed F. Barabasz, Deirdre Barrett, and Guy H. Montgomery

Abstract: The article describes the rationale for and the process of developing a new definition of hypnosis by the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association. Both theoretical and practical implications led to the production of the definition, which is targeted toward informing clinicians, researchers, and the lay public alike. The definition is presented at the conclusion of the article.


The Importance of Being Earnest when Crafting Definitions: Science and Scientism are not the Same Thing
Michael R. Nash

Abstract: The APA Division 30 definition of hypnosis is laudable in some respects. For instance, the committee rightly defines the “induction” as nothing more or less than the first suggestion after the introduction. However, the definition stumbles over its nonposition on whether the word hypnosis must be uttered during the procedure. This equivocation invites research designs that preemptively define a hypnotic group and a control group in terms of whether or not the word hypnosis is used in the protocol. These designs represent a backslide into a naive operationism; they reveal little new about human nature or hypnosis. The field deserves an optimally heuristic definition that preserves pluralism and is relatively resistant to the teflon shield of preemptive definition. We require a definition that recognizes the incompleteness of our concepts, generates a level epistemological playing field, and enables our theories to “reach.”


Preferences for Descriptors of Hypnosis: A Brief Communication
Ciara C. Christensen

Abstract: Alternative descriptors of the capacity to experience hypnosis, intended to describe the same phenomenon, appear in the current literature. Published members of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) were surveyed to determine their preferences. The descriptors were empirically derived from recent International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis articles and input from the Executive Committee of the SCEH. Participants also indicated their primary theoretical conceptualization of hypnosis. Hypnotizability was chosen nearly 4 times more frequently than the next most favored choice (susceptibility) as a descriptor of hypnotic talent. Hypnosis as an “identifiable state” was chosen more than 4 timesmore frequently than the socio-cognitive version. This latter finding suggests that the notion of the continued debatability of hypnosis as primarily a state is now shared by only a few.


Treating Psychological Problems in Medical Settings: Primary Care as the De Facto Mental Health System and the Role of Hypnosis
Rodger Kessler

Abstract: Psychological comorbidity with medical illness is associated with poor health status, complicated medical management, and increased utilization and greater costs of medical services. Hypnosis practitioners in specialty psychological or psychiatric treatment settings infrequently treat such patients, since there is a greater likelihood of patients’ psychological problems being treated solely in primary medical care. Referring patients from primary care to the mental health system will most likely not result in patients initiating psychological or hypnotic treatment. At the same time, integrated provision of medical and psychological treatment in the medical office has demonstrated much higher rates of initiation of treatment and improved medical outcomes. Although hypnosis has been found to be an empirically effective treatment for many medical problems, when hypnosis practitioners do not practice in these medical sites then patients do not have access to effective hypnotic interventions for cotreatment of medical problems.


The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility: Accuracy of Self-Report and the Memory for Items
Jarred Younger, David D. Kemmerer, Justin D. Winkel, and Michael R. Nash

Abstract: Whereas early studies have found moderately high agreement between self- and observer-rated scores on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A), these studies shared a common confound in that participants were aware of being directly observed. In the present study, confederates made surreptitious observations of group participants’ hypnotic responding. Following the hypnotic procedure, participants indicated whether or not they remembered each item and provided self-reports of their hypnotic response. The study assesses the accuracy of participant self-report for hypnosis items when individuals are unaware of being observed. Thirty-two percent of participants failed to recognize at least one item from the hypnosis session, suggesting that the inability to remember items is a common phenomenon. When participants reported not remembering an item, the accuracy of their self-reported response was no better than chance.


Mexican Norms for the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C
Omar Sánchez-Armáss and Arreed F. Barabasz

Abstract: Normative data for the Mexican adaptation of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (SHSS:C) are presented. Twenty-seven raters administered the scale to 513 Mexican volunteers. Score distribution, item analysis, and reliability of the SHSS:C are presented and compared to other international norming studies. The findings show that the Mexican adaptation of the SHSS:C has psychometric properties essentially comparable to those of the Dutch, German, Italian, and United States reference samples. However, the elevated sample mean suggests Mexicans may have an elevated ability to engage in hypnotic behavior, thus they would likely be especially good candidates for hypnotherapeutic interventions that would better the health options currently available.

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