The Effect of a Suggestion to Generate Interest in a Reading in Highly Hypnotizable People: A Promising Use in Education

Highly hypnotizable participants in the experimental condition were given a waking state suggestion that a reading not intended to be interesting would be fascinating and remarkable. Controls were given task motivational instructions, in which they were told to try to make it interesting. The suggestion had a major influence on participants’ enjoyment of the reading, though no effect was found for reading comprehension. Qualitative interviews indicated that the suggestion had a profound impact on some, especially those most responsive to hypnosis. The lack of an effect in reading comprehension may be due to large within-group variances. Findings suggest that hypnotic suggestion, when properly employed, may have a potential use in enhancing the learning capabilities of highly hypnotizable people.