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.

Are Hypnosis and Dissociation Related? New Evidence for a Connection

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.

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.