Hypnotism as a Function of Trance State Effects, Expectancy, and Suggestibility: An Italian Replication

Previous research using step-wise regression analyses found self-reported hypnotic depth (srHD) to be a function of suggestibility, trance state effects, and expectancy. This study sought to replicate and expand that research using a general state measure of hypnotic responsivity, the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory: Hypnotic Assessment Procedure (PCI-HAP). Ninety-five participants completed an Italian translation of the PCI-HAP, with srHD scores predicted from the PCI-HAP assessment items. The regression analysis replicated the previous research results. Additionally, step-wise regression analyses were able to predict the srHD score equally well using only the PCI dimension scores. These results not only replicated prior research but suggest how this methodology to assess hypnotic responsivity, when combined with more traditional neurophysiological and cognitive-behavioral methodologies, may allow for a more comprehensive understanding of that enigma called hypnosis.

Expectancies and Hypnotic Responsiveness: An Experimental-Design Flaw Revealed

Recent research suggests that expectancies about being hypnotized have a determinant role in the hypnotic experience. The authors analyzed the relationship between expectancies and the phenomenology of hypnosis using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory and Hypnotic Assessment Procedure. Participants (115) were assigned either to the imagination (hypnosis labeled as imagination) or the hypnosis conditions. Results revealed only a minor influence of expectancies and none on the label “hypnosis” across all variables. These findings indicate that the methodology commonly used to study the influence of expectancies on hypnotic responsiveness and phenomenology might represent a flaw in favor of a causal relationship between expectancies and hypnotic experience.

Imagery Vividness Before and During the PCI–HAP: A Partial Replication

This study sought to replicate an earlier study wherein imagery vividness before and during a phenomenological hypnotic assessment procedure was assessed, while also measuring trance (hypnoidal) state effects and several other variables. Correlational and regression analyses for that study suggested that imagery vividness during hypnotism was predicted by combined imagery vividness before hypnotism and trance (altered) state effects during hypnotism. The present study procured a larger sample employing a similar design and a similar subject pool. With the current study, although trance state effects and imagery vividness before hypnotism still significantly predicted hypnotic imagoic suggestibility (imagery during hypnotism), the variance accounted for was appreciably less. The meaning of these results as a function of the methodology used is discussed.