The authors present French norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A). They administered an adapted translation of Shor and Orne’s original text (1962) to a group of 126 paid volunteers. Participants also rated their own responses following our translation of Kihlstrom’s Scale of Involuntariness (2006). Item pass rates, score distributions, and reliability were calculated and compared with several other reference samples. Analyses show that the present French norms are congruous with the reference samples. Interestingly, the passing rate for some items drops significantly if “entirely voluntary” responses (as identified by Kihlstrom’s scale) are scored as “fail.” Copies of the translated scales and response booklet are available online.
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.
With a sample of nearly 700 undergraduate students, the authors found support for diurnal variations in hypnotic responsiveness. Administering the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) in the morning or evening resulted in higher average scores than from afternoon sessions. The authors replicated this finding using a second independent sample. In the primary study, participants indicated the time of day that they are most alert. Matching self-reported preferred time of the day with HGSHS:A administration time did not improve hypnotic responsiveness. Considering this as well as past research, the authors argue that mid-morning may be the optimal time to be hypnotized and afternoon the least favorable.
The authors revisit the question of the existence of a relationship between hypnotizability and dissociative capacity. In the present study, the State Scale of Dissociation (SSD) replaced the commonly employed Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) as a measure of dissociation, due to the latter capturing primarily pathological aspects of dissociation. Relationships between the Harvard Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A), the SSD, and the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI) were assessed in the context of hypnosis. Robust results were found when comparing pre- to post-SSD scores, suggesting heightened nonpathological forms of dissociation are indeed related to hypnotizability. The appropriateness of the DES and similar trait-based measures for evaluating hypnotic phenomena is discussed as well as the relationships between PCI and SSD subscales.
The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) has not been explicitly tested on an adolescent population. In this study, the German version of the HGSHS:A was administered to 99 German adolescents aged 15 to 19. In contrast to other studies, the gender distribution was relatively balanced: 57% female and 43% male. Results were comparable to 14 earlier studies with regard to distribution, mean, and standard deviation. Some peculiarities in contrast to the 14 previous studies are pointed out. It is concluded that the HGSHS:A can be used as a valid and reliable instrument to measure hypnotic suggestibility in adolescent samples.