The author explores the nature of hypnosis, which he characterizes as a motivated mode of information processing that enables most humans to alter, to varying degrees, their experience of body, self, actions, and world. The essence of hypnosis is not to be found in heterohypnosis; instead, it lies in the spontaneous self-activation of that mode of information processing. The hypnosis field has substantially lost sight of spontaneous self-activation, because the word hypnosis is usually used to mean heterohypnosis. Self-activation of the hypnotic mode of information processing is the necessary sine qua non of hypnotic psychopathology. Moreover, self-activation of trance is the characteristic hypnotic behavior of a distinct subset of highly hypnotizable individuals.
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.