Meditation and Hypnosis: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Hypnosis and meditation, as a whole, form a heterogeneous complex of psychosomatic techniques able to control mind and body regulation. Hypnosis has been pragmatically used for limited therapeutic targets, while eastern meditation has much wider philosophical and existential implications, aiming for a radical liberation from all illusions, attachments, suffering and pain. The available data on the history, phenomenology, and neuropsychology of hypnosis and meditation show several common features, such as: (a) induction based on focused attention; (b) capability to reach an intentional control of both vegetative-somatic activities and conscious-unconscious processes; (c) activation/deactivation of several brain areas and circuits (e.g., the default modality network and pain neuromatrix) with a relevant overlapping between the two.

Psychological Features of Hypnotizability: a First Step Toward Its Empirical Definition

This study examined the relationship between the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) and several psychological tests: Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS), Spontaneity Assessment Inventory-Revised (SAI-R), Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), Short-Form Boundary Questionnaire (SFBQ), Mini Locus of Control (MLOC), Testoni Death Representation Scale (TDRS), and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Two hundred and forty volunteers were administered the above tests; 78 of them were also administered the HIP, and its scores were compared to those on the other tests. A significant correlation was found among the TAS, DES, SFBQ and IRI. The HIP was significantly correlated to the DES (r = .19 p1tail = .045), and the IRI-c subscale (r = .19 p1tail = .044); 14 test items from DES, IRI, TAS, SAIR, and SFBQ were also significantly related to the HIP. The findings suggest that hypnotizability may relate to stronger perception of the inner world, decreased aptitude for managing memory processing, and increased sensitivity and empathy.