Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Genotypes and the Subjective Experiences of Hypnosis

Hypnotizability is related to the Val158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene. The authors’ aim was to find associations between candidate genes and subjective dimensions of hypnosis; 136 subjects participated in hypnosis and noninvasive DNA sampling. The phenomenological dimensions were tapped by the Archaic Involvement Measure (AIM), the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI), and the Dyadic Interactional Harmony Questionnaire (DIH). The main results were that the “Need of dependence” subscale of AIM was associated with the COMT genotypes. The GG subgroup showed higher scores, whereas AA had below average scores on the majority of the subjective measures. An association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the intimacy scores on the DIH was also evident. The effects are discussed in the social–psychobiological model of hypnosis.

Funding

The preparation of this article was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Funds (OTKA 109187 and K100845).

A Neutral Control Condition for Hypnosis Experiments: “Wiki” Text

A new control condition called Wiki is introduced. Key themes of each test suggestion of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C, were matched by a corresponding extract from Wikipedia.org. The authors compared phenomenological reports of participants across 4 conditions: hypnosis split into high and low hypnotizable subgroups, music, and Wiki condition, using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory. High hypnotizables undergoing hypnosis reported higher altered experience and altered states of awareness than individuals in the Wiki condition, supporting the authors’ hypothesis that the Wiki condition does not evoke an altered state of consciousness (internal dialogue, volitional control, and self-awareness did not differ). Wiki might be a viable control condition in hypnosis research given further examination.

Funding

This work was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Funds (OTKA 109187 and K100845).

Effects of Positive Suggestions on the Need for Red Blood Cell Transfusion in Orthopedic Surgeries

This study examined whether positive suggestions applied without a hypnotic induction in the perioperative period reduces the need for red blood cell transfusions in patients who underwent total hip or knee arthroplasties with spinal anesthesia. No hypnotic assessment was performed. Ninety-five patients were randomly assigned to the suggestion group (n = 45) and to the control group (n = 50). Patients in the suggestion group received verbal suggestions before and audiotaped suggestions during the surgery for reducing blood loss, anxiety, postoperative pain, and fast recovery. Our study showed that using positive suggestions in the perioperative period significantly decreases the necessity for transfusion.

Hungarian Norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A

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.

Feature-Based Coding System: A New Way of Characterizing Hypnosis Styles

In this pilot study, the authors introduce a new system to assess hypnosis style. The Feature-Based Coding System (FBCS) comprises 24 standard individual hypnosis sessions, which were videotaped and coded according to both a previous and the new coding system. In addition, both subjects and hypnotists filled the Archaic Involvement Measure (AIM), the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI), and the Dyadic Interactional Harmony Questionnaire (DIH). The interrater agreement of FBCS was good and the construct Maternal-Paternal Axis had a good internal consistency (α = .95). Construct validity was also supported by the findings. Based on these results, a larger scale study is warranted to further establish the reliability and usefulness of this tool.