Confabulation—fabricated or distorted memories about oneself—occurs in many disorders, but there is no reliable technique for investigating it in the laboratory. The authors used hypnosis to model clinical confabulation by giving subjects a suggestion for either (a) amnesia for everything that had happened since they started university, (b) amnesia for university plus an instruction to fill in memory gaps, or (c) confusion about the temporal order of university events. They then indexed different types of memory on a confabulation battery. The amnesia suggestion produced the most confabulation, especially for personal semantic information. Notably, subjects confabulated by making temporal confusions. The authors discuss the theoretical implications of this first attempt to model clinical confabulation and the potential utility of such analogues.
Hypnotizability is a multifaceted construct that may relate to multiple aspects of personality and beliefs. This study sought to address 4 known correlates of hypnotizability to aid in its understanding. Eighty undergraduates completed the Magical Ideation Scale (MIS), the Creative Experiences Questionnaire (CEQ), the Australian Sheep-Goat Scale (ASGS), and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and then were administered the Creative Imagination Scale (CIS). All 5 scales were significantly correlated. Participants higher in hypnotizability scored higher on the CEQ and the MIS. The findings demonstrate the influence of fantasy proneness and magical thinking on hypnotizability and support the theory that hypnotizability is a complex interaction of multiple traits.
Despite the apparently definitive findings of the Christensen (2005) survey of published members of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH), disagreement about which term best describes the capacity to experience hypnosis and theoretical preference has continued. SCEH, although international, represents primarily North Americans. Preferences of international clinicians and researchers were inadequately represented, so the authors surveyed preferences from attendees of the International Congress of the International Society of Hypnosis in 2012 in Bremen, Germany. The term trance, translated as trance capacity or trance ability for this study, was overwhelmingly preferred over the other options. Hypnosis was recognized as an identifiable state by 88.46% of respondents, whereas only 11.54% viewed it as a sociocognitive phenomenon (role-play, expectancy, etc.).
Impaired attention may impede learning of adaptive skills in ADHD. While manipulations that reduce competition between attentional processes, including hypnosis, could boost learning, their feasibility in ADHD is unknown. Because hypnotic phenomena rely on attentional mechanisms, the authors aimed to assess whether stimulants could enhance hypnotizability in ADHD. In the current study, stimulant-naïve patients seeking treatment for ADHD-related symptoms were assessed with the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS) at baseline and during methylphenidate treatment. Methylphenidate dose and SHSS increase were negatively correlated with baseline SHSS scores. Upon reaching effective doses, mean SHSS scores increased significantly. All patients who had been poorly hypnotizable at baseline demonstrated moderate-to-high hypnotizability at follow-up. The data support methylphenidate enhancement of hypnotizability in ADHD, thus highlighting novel treatment approaches for this disabling disorder.
Hungarian norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) are presented. The Hungarian translation of the HGSHS:A was administered under standard conditions to 434 participants (190 males, 244 females) of several professions. In addition to the traditional self-scoring, hypnotic behavior was also recorded by trained observers. Female participants proved to be more hypnotizable than males and so were psychology students and professionals as compared to nonpsychologists. Hypnotizability varied across different group sizes. The normative data—including means, standard deviations, and indicators of reliability—are comparable with previously published results. The authors conclude that measuring observer-scores increases the ecological validity of the scale. The Hungarian version of the HGSHS:A seems to be a reliable and valid measure of hypnotizability.
Assessment of hypnotizability can provide important information for hypnosis research and practice. The Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS) consists of 12 items and was developed to provide a time-efficient measure for use in both clinical and laboratory settings. The EHS has been shown to be a reliable measure with support for convergent validity with the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (r = .821, p < .001). The current study examined the factor structure of the EHS, which was administered to 252 adults (51.3% male; 48.7% female). Average time of administration was 25.8 minutes. Four factors selected on the basis of the best theoretical fit accounted for 63.37% of the variance. The results of this study provide an initial factor structure for the EHS.
“Channeling” is a phenomenon in which people describe themselves as receiving messages from another personality or dimension of reality. Channeling is often regarded as dissociation, which is a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception. This study explored the interface between channeling and dissociation through a phenomenological analysis. Qualitative data were obtained through interviews with 20 Israeli women who practice channeling. The analysis revealed 3 themes: dissociation, absorption, and control. The channelers’ descriptions correspond with what is coined as “dissociative states” and enable an emic view of the etic definition of dissociation.
To examine the role of hypnotic suggestion in identity in past-life regression, 2 experiments were conducted at the request of Korea’s major national television companies. A real historical person and a fictional character were selected as past-life identities. After hypnotic induction, a past-life regression suggestion was given. While counting backward to past-life, the suggestion of a specific identity was interspersed 3 times. In 5 of 6 subjects, the same past-life identity that had been suggested was produced, with relatively rich content accompanied by emotional and historical facts identical to the suggested identity. This study found that it was quite simple and easy to manipulate past-life identity. The role of suggestion in the formation of past-life memories during hypnosis is crucial.