Schuyler, Bradley A.; Coe, William C. (1989). More on volitional experiences and breaching posthypnotic amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 320-331

Highly responsive hypnotic subjects, who were classified as having control over remembering (voluntaries) or not having control over remembering (involuntaries) during posthypnotic amnesia, were compared with each other on four physiological measures (heart rate, electrodermal response, respiration rate, muscle tension) during posthypnotic recall. Two contextual conditions were employed: One was meant to create pressure to breach posthypnotic amnesia (lie detector instructions); the other, a relax condition, served as a control. The recall data confirmed earlier findings of Howard and Coe and showed that voluntary subjects under the lie detector condition recalled more than the other three samples that did not differ from each other. However, using another measure of voluntariness showed that both voluntary and involuntary subjects breached under lie detector conditions. Electrodermal response supported the subjects’ reports of control in this case. Physiological measures were otherwise insignificant. The results are discussed as they relate to (a) studies attempting to breach posthypnotic amnesia, (b) the voluntary/involuntary classification of subjects, and (c) theories of hypnosis.

The authors suggest that subjects observe themselves not remembering (i.e. not reporting memories) and conclude that they therefore could not remember. Such subjects, they say, are deceiving themselves in so far as they could remember if they were to direct their attention to salient cues.

Fourie, David P. ; Lifschitz, S. (1988). Not seeing the wood for the trees: Implications of susceptibility testing. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 30, 166-177.

The two studies used as examples are (1) Spanos, N. & Bertrand, L. D. (1985) E.M.G. biofeedback, attained relaxation and hypnotic susceptibility: Is there a relationship? Amer J. Clin Hypnosis, 27, 219-225; and (2) Van Gorp, W. G., Meyer, R. G., & Dunbar, K. D. (1985). The efficacy of direct versus indirect hypnotic induction techniques on reduction of experimental pain. Internat. J. Clin and Exper Hypnosis, 33, 319-328.

Hilgard, Ernest R. (1988). Response to contextual demands an insufficient account of hypnotic phenomena. [Comment/Discussion] .

The author refers to one of his papers for a critique of the Spanos position that demand characteristics of the hypnotic situation account for hypnotic phenomena such as amnesia, analgesia, and “trance logic.” The paper is Hilgard, E. R. (1987). Research advances in hypnosis: Issues and methods. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 35, 248-264.

Pavia, M.; Stanley, R. O. (1988). Effect of defining induction as hypnosis or relaxation. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 11-21.

Previous studies have shown that the perceived definition of an induction may sometimes affect the subject’s responses to the induction. These variations in the effect of induction definition may be due to interactions between a subject’s motivations and expectations of the induction technique and the way the induction is defined. These authors explored this interaction with groups of clinical and student subjects. Differing definitions of induction as ‘hypnosis’ or ‘relaxation’ did not result in significant differences in response among either group, though subjects in neither group were found to have high expectations of motivation (sic).

McCann, Terry; Sheehan, Peter W. (1987, October). Pseudomemory creation and confidence in the experimental hypnosis context. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Los Angeles.

After watching a video-tape of a bank robbery incident, 34 out of 40 highly hypnotizable subjects displayed pseudomemory reports subsequent to the administration of false memory suggestions given after hypnotic induction instructions. Incorporation of elements of pseudomemory into recall reports was accompanied by increased confidence ratings, but confidence ratings for those subjects displaying most pseudomemory distortion at recall fell appreciably when subjects were confronted with the reality constraints associated with recognition testing. Data imply that pseudomemories associated with hypnotic suggestion are not always accompanied by increased conviction or certitude, nor are they resistant to change in the face of contrary evidence. Data further indicate that subjects adapt both accuracy and confidence responses to the stimulus conditions of testing, implying that accuracy and confidence ratings may covary meaningfully.
Stam, Henderikus J.; Spanos, Nicholas P. (1987). Hypnotic analgesia, placebo analgesia, and ischemic pain: The effects of contextual variables. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 96, 313-320.
ABSTRACT: Two experiments examined the relation between hypnotic and placebo analgesia using ischemic pain. The first experiment examined an artifact in a previously used ischemic-pain stimulus. Experiment 2 investigated the relation between hypnotic and placebo analgesia using a submaximum-effort tourniquet technique to produce ischemic pain. High- and low-susceptible subjects who received placebo analgesia followed on a subsequent trial by hypnotic analgesia showed significant increases in tolerance from placebo to hypnotic analgesia. When presented in the reverse order, however, placebo analgesia and hypnotic analgesia led to equivalent levels of tolerance in both high- and low-susceptible subjects. A similar pattern of findings emerged for Ss’ magnitude estimates of pain, but it was not related to hypnotic susceptibility. These findings indicate that both hypnotic and placebo analgesia may be contextually dependent phenomena.

Council, James R.; Kirsch, Irving; Hafner, L. P. (1986). Expectancy versus absorption in the prediction of hypnotic responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 182-189.

The Absorption Scale was administered to subjects in the context of a hypnosis experiment and in a context unrelated to hypnosis. Expectancies of responding to hypnotic suggestions were assessed both before and after trance induction, but before administration of suggestions. Hypnotic depth was assessed by different methods before suggestions were given, and after hypnosis. Absorption was correlated with hypnotic responsivity and expectancy, but only when assessed in a hypnotic context. Completing the Absorption Scale in a hypnotic context appeared to affect responsiveness by altering expectancies. Only postinduction expectancies were predictive of response to suggestions. Results of path analysis suggest that trance inductions alter expectancies for responding to hypnotic suggestions and that these altered expectancies determine subsequent hypnotic behavior.

Laurence, Jean-Roch; Nadon, Robert (1986). Reports of hypnotic depth: Are they more than mere words?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 215-233.

The empirical work relating hypnotizability, the hypnotic situation, and the reports of hypnotic depth is reviewed and evaluated. Asking Ss to assess their hypnotic depth is a complex task involving the interaction of experiential, cognitive, and contextual variables. Accordingly, future experimental work should take into account this multidimensionality; phenomenological, situational, cognitive, and motivational factors implicated in verbal reports should be explored in terms of their respective relationships with both hypnotizability and self-ratings of hypnotic depth. More sophistication in the experimental inquiries of hypnotic depth is required in order to further our understanding of the cognitive and affective structures underlying the hypnotic experience.

In past years, hypnotic susceptibility and hypnotic depth were regarded as the same thing, and depth was inferred from responses to test suggestions on hypnotizability scales (e.g. Davis & Husband, 1931; LeCron, 1953).
There has been little investigation of the relationship between Subjects’ subjective experiences and reported “depth.” Research suggests that “hypnotic depth reports are usually significantly higher for Ss who have undergone a hypnotic treatment than for those who have received task-motivation (Ham & Spanos, 1974; Spanos & Barber, 1968; Spanos, Stam, D’Eon, Pawlak, & Radtke-Bodorik, 1980); imagination-control; or relaxation-control instructions (Connors & Sheehan, 1978; Gilbert & Barber, 1972; Spanos & Barber, 1968; Spanos, Radtke-Bodorik, & Stam, 1980, Experiment 2)” (pp. 217-218). Others have found that changes in inward experiencing (e.g. feelings of unreality, a sense of disappearance of body parts) could not be attributed simply to sitting quietly with the eyes closed (Barber & Calverley, 1979). [A footnote on p. 218 indicates some studies didn’t find this difference between a hypnosis group and a task-motivation control group.]
When Ss are asked to estimate subjective depth after having experienced hypnotizability test items, they are likely to infer depth from whether or not they passed the items (and indeed, early scales promoted that assumption). Reports of subjective depth taken before rather than after the test items still correlate with overall hypnotizability score, though not to as high a degree (E. R. Hilgard & Tart, 1966; Tart, 1970). Although usually depth estimates correlate with hypnotizability in the .50 to .75 range (Perry & Laurence, 1980), the correlations were obtained in the hypnotic context, and Ss may use their own behaviors as one determinant of their estimated depth.
From another line of study it is observed that Ss’ subjective depth may be at variance with behavioral performance on hypnosis scales (Bowers, 1981). High hypnotizables judge their own depth from their performance on cognitive items (e.g. amnesia, hallucinations) while mediums and lows judge their own performance based on their responses to motor items and challenge items (Kihlstrom, 1981). In one experiment on amnesia, it appeared that Ss did not judge their own depth by how well they did on the amnesia task (Spanos, Stam, D’Eon, Pawlak, and Radtke-Bodorik, 1980). “M. T. Orne (1966, 1980) has emphasized that although it is necessary to operationalize S’s responses to hypnotic suggestions, behavioral concomitants are only valid if they accurately reflect subjective alterations in an individual’s experience” (p. 221).
“The social-psychological approach (see Barber, 1969; Radtke & Spanos, 1981, 1982; Spanos, 1982; Wagstaff, 1981) rejects the notion of hypnotic depth as an indicator of a unique state. These authors argue that the reports of having been hypnotized reflect attributions made by Ss when confronted with a hypnotic context. … Bem (1972) and Kelley (1972) have emphasized the idea that the more ambiguous an experience is, the more a person is likely to base his or her judgment primarily on available external information” (p. 222). In this case, defining the situation as involving “hypnosis” is one of the most potent predictors of Ss’ reports of subjective experience (Spanos, Radtke- Bodorik, and Stam, 1980). Other variables that influence subjective depth estimates are the wording of the hypnotizability scale, expectancy, and information provided directly or indirectly. Oh the other hand, McCord (1961) found that his patients had widely disparate expectations for how they thought they would feel when hypnotized, so expectancy as a predictor would not necessarily determine specific experience.
Direct experimental work on predicting response to hypnosis test items from expectancies (Council, Kirsch, Vickery, & Carlson, 1983; Kirsch, Council, & Vickery, 1984) suggests that expectations may predict test response when people are given a cognitive skill type of induction, but not when given a ‘typical trance’ type of induction. Also, another study from that laboratory (Council & Kirsch, 1983) established that only when expectancies are assessed after an induction (but before the test items) do they effectively predict hypnotic behaviors. The present authors express the view that these results are difficult to account for on the basis of social psychology theories that weight heavily the role of expectancy in generating hypnotic response.
When Ss are permitted to use several different descriptors for their experience (being hypnotized, experiencing the effects, being absorbed, and responding to the suggestions), most Ss rated their own experiences as nonhypnotic (Radtke & Spanos, 1982). This was particularly true for medium hypnotizable Ss. Thus, unidimensional scales purporting to measure “depth” actually force Ss to interpret their multi-aspect experience in terms of the investigator’s frame of reference, in this case “hypnotic depth.” Nevertheless, the highly hypnotizable Ss were the least likely to be swayed from their self description of being “deep” when offered alternative ways of describing their experience. This is concordant with results reported earlier by Barber et al. (1968).
“The attribution literature may provide clues as to why most highly hypnotizability Ss retain their high ratings of experienced depth when confronted with situational manipulations. Self-perception theory strictly applies when Ss’ experiences are ambiguous, forcing them to fall back on contextual factors to make self-appraisals. The relationship between expectancies, absorption, effect of scale wording, and hypnotizability scores suggest, however, that high hypnotizable Ss do not rely heavily on contextual factors when assessing their levels of hypnotic depth. Most of these Ss maintain their reports of altered experiences, even when situational determinants are changed (Harackiewicz, 1979; Kihlstrom, 1984; Lepper, Greene, & Nisbett, 1973). Thus, the hypnotizability by depth scale interaction found by Radtke and Spanos (1981) may suggest that experiences reported by high hypnotizable S are _not_ inherently ambiguous. Accordingly, self-perception theory may not apply to them” (pp.226-227).
In their Discussion, the authors state, “Several studies have attempted to relate personal, real-life events to the experience of hypnosis. A number of studies (e.g., As, 1963; Field, 1965; Shor et al., 1962; Wilson & Barber, 1982) have shown that absorption, tolerance of unusual experiences, automaticity, compulsion, and trust are related to the capacity to be hypnotized. Other studies (Bowers & Brenneman, 1981; Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974; Van Nuys, 1973) have shown that certain variants of attention are also related to hypnotizability. Extensive work by J. R. Hilgard (1970, 1979) has shown that patterns of personal development relate to hypnotizability in adult life. If appears then that hypnotizable individuals bring a host of experiences and abilities with them to the hypnotic context. It makes intuitive sense which is supported by the available empirical data, that a complex interaction among these experiences and abilities, the hypnotic context, and hypnotic responsiveness is implicated in Ss’ assessments of their hypnotic depth. Studies are needed in which all of these potential determinants of hypnotic depth reports are taken into account. Only then will a clearer picture of their respective importance emerge” (p. 228).

Meagher, Christopher Roberts (1986). Suggestion and posthypnotic amnesia: Altered context or altered state? (Dissertation, University of Oregon). Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (n1-B), 409-410. (Order No. DA 8605846)

“Posthypnotic amnesia has been investigated in the past and subsequently alluded to as either role enacted behavior or evidence for an altered state of consciousness. In order to gain further understanding of the circumstances which facilitate amnesic behavior, an experiment was carried out which was designed to vary the usual context in which recall and recognition memory are observed during posthypnotic amnesia. The suggestion for posthypnotic amnesia was altered from its usual form in that specific suggestions for recall amnesia and recognition amnesia replaced the usual general suggestion for overall memory impairment. Some Ss received the amnesia suggestion before presentation of the stimulus material rather than after stimulus presentation. In addition to the usual verbal stimuli, nonverbal stimuli were used. “A group of 44 highly hypnotizable, undergraduate Ss was divided into four treatment conditions. Three groups were hypnotized and given instructions to repeat a list of nine words taken from the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and to copy the nine figures of the Bender Gestalt Test. A fourth group performed these tasks in a normal waking state. One hypnotic group was given prestimulus suggestions for recall and recognition amnesia. Another was given poststimulus suggestions for recall and recognition amnesia, and the third hypnotic group received no amnesia suggestions. The dependent measures consisted of the scores on tests of recall and recognition of the stimulus words and figures. “A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant effects for hypnosis /suggestion condition, type of stimulus, and type of test. Further analysis determined that the two hypnotic groups given amnesia suggestions did not differ from each other but did show significantly greater amnesia than did either the no suggestion hypnotic control group or the waking control group. Recognition performance was significantly better than was recall performance for all groups in both stimulus situations. Nonverbal recall was significantly better than verbal recall for the two control groups given no amnesia suggestion. There was no stimulus effect for any other group and testing condition. The results of this experiment are discussed in terms of theories of hypnosis and memory, contextual variables of the hypnotic situation, and previous germane research” (pp. 409-410).

Register, Patricia A.; Kihlstrom, John F. (1986). Finding the hypnotic virtuoso. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 84-97.

Measures of hypnotizability based on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) correlate only moderately with those based on the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (SHSS:C). Ss (N = 148) scoring in the high range (10-12) on HGSHS:A were classified according to whether they scored in the “virtuoso” range (11-12) or not on a subsequent administration of SHSS:C. Significant group differences were found on items comprising the cognitive distortion subscale of HGSHS:A, whether assessed in terms of overt behavior or subjective impressions of success. The 2 groups also differed on global self-ratings of hypnotic depth and on those subscales of Field’s Inventory Scale of Hypnotic Depth concerned with subjective feelings of loss of control, automaticity, transcendence of normal functioning, and fluctuating depth. Assessments of hypnotizability are enhanced when investigators consider subjective involvement as well as behavioral measures of hypnotic response. This is particularly important when the more dissociative aspects of hypnosis are under scrutiny.

The correlation between Harvard Group and Stanford Scale scores is usually about r = .60 (Bentler & Roberts, 1963; Coe, 1964; Evans & Schmeidler, 1966). This is much lower than one would expect (r = .82), based on the tests’ individual reliabilities (Evans & Schmeidler, 1966).
The authors developed a Table to show the cross-classification of Ss in terms of Harvard and SHSS:C. Only a minority (33%) of Ss scoring in the highest range of HGSHS:A also scored in the highest range on the SHSS:C (or 50% if cutting points are different).
The Absorption scale correlated r = .38 (p<.001) with the Harvard Scale, which fell to r = .31 (p<.01) when corrected for expansion of range. The correlation between Absorption and SHSS:C was .35 (p<.001). The issue of predicting Stanford 'virtuosos' from Harvard 'virtuosos' was addressed. HGSHS:A predictor variables were used to determine which items determined whether or not one of the HGSHS:A 'virtuosos' (the 20% who scored 11-12) would also be a SHSS:C 'virtuoso.' It was found that 70% of the SHSS:C virtuosos, but only 53% of the nonvirtuosos, had reversible posthypnotic amnesia on the HGSHS:A. None of the ideomotor or challenge subscale items demonstrated this ability to predict group association. Although the 'virtuosos' differed from the 'nonvirtuosos' in self reported depth, none of the coding categories associated with the depth variable differentiated the groups; also, judges could not predict who would be a Stanford 'virtuoso' based on subjects' descriptions of depth following the Harvard scale administration. The Experimenters also could not predict who among the Harvard 'virtuosos' would be classified as a Stanford 'virtuoso' based on either their Absorption Scale score or previous experience with hypnosis. It was found that subjects' subjective experience of the suggestions for hallucinations, amnesia, and posthypnotic behavior (all considered to be cognitive alterations) were the most highly correlated with the subsequent total SHSS:C score. On the Field scale, which measures subjective experience, the most predictive items had to do with feelings of automaticity and loss of control (referred to as nonvoluntary behavior in other literature). Predicting SHSS:C score by 5 items (Harvard behavioral score, Harvard subjective score, Field total score, Tellegen Absorption total score, and self reported depth rating), r = .44. "The 5-element regression, employing only total scores, explained 17% ... of the variance of SHSS:C; thus, the feelings of subjective success accounted for the vast proportion (79%) of the explainable variance. For the 16 element regression, employing subscales derived from factor analysis of HGSHS:A and Inventory Scale of Hypnotic Depth, the cognitive subscale was dominant, accounting for 65.5% of explainable variance" (p. 92). A discriminant function analysis employing the same five total score variables correctly classified 63.3% of the virtuosos. In their Discussion, the authors suggest that investigators use subjective response as well as behavioral response when identifying hypnotic talent (virtuosos) for research. Particularly, the subjective experience of success seems to be important. Little is known, to date, about the determinants of that sense of success with hypnotic suggestions. "In part, they may relate to the 'classic suggestion effect' (K. S. Bowers, 1981; P. G. Bowers, 1982; Weitzenhoffer, 1974): the quasi-automatic, compulsory, involuntary quality which distinguishes hypnotic response from compliance with simple social requests. If so, then a direct assessment of perceived involuntariness might enhance the predictive validity of HGSHS:A even more. This is especially true for the perceptual-cognitive alterations which relate to Ss' capacity for dissociation" (p. 94). The authors further recommend, "In those situations where HGSHS:A must stand alone for economic reasons, however, and especially where HGSHS:A is employed as a convenient preliminary screening device in the search for hypnotic virtuosos, it would seem that some assessment of the subjective experience of hypnosis would provide useful supplementary information at very little cost" (p. 94). 1985 Spanos, Nicholas P.; Weekes, John R.; Bertrand, Lorne D. (1985). Multiple personality: A social psychological perspective. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 362-376. The part of an accused murderer remanded for pretrial psychiatric evaluation was role played by 48 college students. Role players were assigned to interview treatments that varied in how extensively they cued for symptoms of multiple personality. The most explicit treatment (i.e., Bianchi treatment, n = 16) included a hypnotic interview that was used in diagnosing a suspect in the "Hillside strangler" rape- murder cases as suffering from multiple personality. A less explicit hypnotic treatment (n = 16) and a nonhypnotic treatment (n = 16) were administered to the remaining role players. Most subjects in the Bianchi treatment displayed the major signs of multiple personality (e.g., adoption of a different name, spontaneous posthypnotic amnesia). In a later session subjects who role played as multiple personalities performed very differently on psychological tests administered separately to each role-played identity. Those who failed to enact the multiple personality role performed similarly when tested twice. Findings are discussed in terms of a social psychological formulation that emphasizes the roles of active cognizing, contextual cueing, and social legitimization in the genesis of multiple personality. Zamansky, Harold S.; Bartis, Scott P. (1985). The dissociation of an experience: The hidden observer observed. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94 (3), 243-248. Addressed methodological weaknesses in previous studies of the hidden observer phenomenon presented by E. R. Hilgard (1977) using a modified procedure with 11 undergraduates highly susceptible to hypnosis. The critical modifications were that no prior practice in dissociation was given before the hidden observer was assessed, the notion of hidden information was introduced only after the stimulus was no longer present, and independently verifiable stimuli were employed. Despite this more rigorous procedure, a hidden observer response was still observed in more than 90% of Ss. This finding makes much less tenable interpretations that attribute the hidden observer effect solely to social expectancies and situational demands. It is concluded that it is possible for some hypnotized individuals to monitor the actual state of events while experiencing a variety of perceptual distortions. 1984 Spanos, Nicholas P.; Kennedy, Sharon; Gwynn, Maxwell I. (1984). The moderating effects of contextual variables on the relationship between hypnotic susceptibility and suggested analgesia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 (3), 285-294. Assessed 75 undergraduates high, medium, or low on hypnotic susceptibility (the Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale) on the cold pressor task before and after 1 of 3 instructional treatments. The treatments were (a) brief instructions to try to reduce pain, (b) the same analgesia instructions preceded by a hypnotic induction procedure, and (c) no hypnotic induction or instructions. In the hypnotic treatment, susceptibility correlated significantly with reductions in reported pain, and high-susceptible Ss reported significantly larger pain reductions than did control ss. In the instruction-alone treatment, there was no significant relationship between susceptibility and pain reduction, and Ss at all 3 susceptibility levels reduced reported pain significantly more than did controls and as much as did high-susceptible hypnotic Ss. Findings suggest that the correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and hypnotic analgesia is moderated by Ss attitudes and expectancies concerning their own performance in situations defined as related to hypnosis Nogrady, Heather; McConkey, Kevin M.; Laurence, Jean-Roch; Perry, Campbell (1983). Dissociation, duality, and demand characteristics in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Examined hypnotic dissociation (as indexed by the "hidden-observer" method), duality in age regression, and the potential impact of situational cues on these phenomena. 12 high- and 9 low-susceptible undergraduates (as determined by the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale) were tested in an application of the real-simulating paradigm of hypnosis; 10 high- to medium-susceptible Ss were also employed. Inquiry into Ss' experiences was conducted through the experiential analysis technique, which involves Ss viewing and commenting on a videotape playback of their hypnotic session. Results demonstrate that neither the hidden-observer effect nor duality could be explained solely in terms of the demand characteristics of the test situation. The hidden-observer effect was observed in high-susceptible Ss only; all Ss who displayed the hidden-observer effect also displayed duality in age regression. High-susceptible Ss were distinctive in their reports of multiple levels of awareness during hypnosis. Findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive skills that Ss bring to hypnosis and the degree to which the hypnotic setting encourages the use of dissociative cognitive processes. (43 ref). 1982 Schuyler, Bradley A. (1982). Further investigation of volitional and nonvolitional experience during posthypnotic amnesia (Dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno). Dissertation Abstracts International, 44 (n6-B), 1977. (Order No. DA 8324472) Electrodermal responses were compared between highly responsive hypnotic Ss who were classified as having control over remembering (voluntaries) or not having control over remembering (involuntaries) during posthypnotic amnesia. Three contextual conditions were employed: Two were meant to create pressure to breach posthypnotic amnesia (lie detector instructions alone or with feedback that Ss had been detected as not having told all they could remember); the other provided feedback, in addition to the lie detector instructions, that Ss had told all they could remember. The recall data confirmed earlier findings of Coe and Yashinski and showed that voluntary and involuntary Ss did not differ in response to the contextual conditions. However, lie detector instructions alone did not create pressure to breach as in previous studies. In addition, electrodermal results were insignificant. The results are discussed as they relate to (a) amnesia, (b) the physiological detection of deception and physiological activation, (c) the voluntary/involuntary classification of Ss, and (d) theories of hypnosis" (p. 1977). Spanos, Nicholas P.; Bridgeman, M.; Stam, H. J.; Gwynn, M. I.; Saad, C. I. (1982-83). When seeing is not believing: The effects of contextual variables on the reports of hypnotic hallucinations. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 2, 195-209. When administered a hallucination suggestion most high susceptible hypnotic and task-motivated subjects reported that they "saw" the suggested object. When asked what they meant by "saw," however, almost all indicated that they had imagined the object but did not believe that it had actually been present. On the other hand, simulating subjects maintained that the suggested object had been "really there." Simulators were also more likely than non-simulators to provide "life-like" descriptions of the suggested object (e.g., solid rather than transparent, colored, highly vivid). These findings are consistent with the view that hypnotic hallucinations are context-generated imaginings. They also indicate that unique or unusual psychological processes like "trance logic" need not be posited to account for the descriptions of "hallucinatory" experiences proffered by hypnotic subjects. NOTES It was observed that hypnotized Ss reported more vivid (and longer sustained) imagery than task motivated Subjects. Hypnotized Ss did not differ from high susceptible simulators on vividness of imagery or how long they experienced the imagery, but did report shorter and less vivid imagery than simulators who were low hypnotizables. Tellegen, Auke (1981). Practicing the two disciplines for relaxation and enlightenment: Comment on 'Role of the feedback signal in electromyograph biofeedback: the relevance of attention' by Qualls and Sheehan. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 110, 217-226. High and Low Absorption Ss differ in set rather than in capability for attending to external or internal stimuli, as Qualls and Sheehan suggest. Trait x Treatment interaction for Absorption illustrates concept of personality dispositions being inherently interactive functional units. Provides a content analysis of Absorption scale (subscales) and relates absorption to other constructs in psychology. "It is not the internal versus external focus per se that play a decisive role but the subject's experiential versus instrumental set. For example, with two treatment levels, one would expect to obtain an Absorption x Treatment interaction even if both treatment conditions required an external attentional focus, as long as they contrasted an experiential and an instrumental set" (pp 223-224). Kihlstrom, John F.; Evans, Frederick J.; Orne, Emily C.; Orne, Martin T. (1980). Attempting to breach posthypnotic amnesia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89 (5), 603-616. Traditionally, posthypnotic amnesia has been construed as a subjectively compelling deficit in memory retrieval. Alternatively, it may represent a motivated failure to utilize appropriate retrieval cues, lack of effort in recall, active suppression of memory, or unwillingness to verbalize the critical material. In an effort to test the alternative hypothesis of amnesia, 488 college students were presented with 4 kinds of instructions (using 4 modifications of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotizability, Form A) designed to overcome the effects of suggested posthypnotic amnesia. The instructions particularly affected Ss of low and moderate hypnotizability who failed the criterion for amnesia. For those of moderate and high hypnotizability who met the criterion for amnesia, however, explicit requests for temporal organization, exhortations to maximize recall, and demands for honesty in reporting produced no greater effect on memory than did a simple retest. Results place some boundaries on both the traditional and alternative views of posthypnotic amnesia and invite further exploration of both cognitive and contextual models of the phenomenon. 1980 Sheehan, Peter W. (1980). Factors influencing rapport in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89 (2), 263-281. The phenomenon of countering expresses the tendency of some highly susceptible subjects to favor the intent of the hypnotist when placed in a conflict situation where social influences of another kind dictate an alternative response. The present research explored the parameters of this objective index of involvement with the hypnotist to investigate the special relevance of rapport processes to the hypnotic setting. Rapport was manipulated in five different experiments, varying either the warmth or genuineness of the hypnotist. It was predicted from transference theorizing that countering would decrease in the negative context and increase in the positive one. Results confirmed predictions for highly susceptible subjects tested in the former context but not the latter. In the negative setting, subjects were inhibited in their rate of countering, but maintained their previous level of response to the hypnotist when rapport was facilitated. Results highlighted the relevance of interpersonal processes to theorizing about hypnosis. 1979 Perry, Campbell; Gelfand, Robert; Marcovitch, Phillip (1979). The relevance of hypnotic susceptibility in the clinical context. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88 (5), 592-603. Despite experimental evidence that hypnotic susceptibility is a relatively stable characteristic of the individual, and one that is very difficult to modify, clinical investigators tend to see susceptibility as irrelevant to therapeutic outcome. Such investigators view motivational and interpersonal variables as more essential to the therapeutic change. The evidence for the clinical relevance of hypnotizability is sparse and contradictory. Most existing studies stem from medical hypnosis and indicate that susceptibility plays an important role in the successful treatment of such conditions as clinical pain, warts, and asthma. Two studies are reported that seek to pursue a contrary finding reported by Perry and Mullen, who found that susceptibility was unrelated to the successful treatment of a socially learned behavior (cigarette smoking). Both studies confirmed the earlier finding of a lack of relation. In Study 1, however, stepwise multiple regression analysis located three inventory items concerning the motivation of cigarette smokers. The combination of items was found to predict outcome for 67.39% of 46 clients treated either by hypnosis or by rapid smoking. The finding was replicated in Study 2, which utilized a combined hypnosis - rapid smoking technique and employed a different therapist. The outcome for 9 of the 13 quitters and 37 of the 62 nonquitters across the two studies could be predicted by the three motivational questionnaire variables. Tellegen, Auke (1979). On measures and conceptions of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 21 (2-3), 219-237. In this paper a number of issues are discussed relating to the assessment of hypnotism. First, some questions concerning the function of standardization and the use of norms are considered. Next, a relatively neutral definition of hypnotic susceptibility is proposed as a context within which important variations in its assessment are subsequently discussed. These variations are grouped according to whether they concern context, content, internal structure or external relations. A final section considers the enterprise of hypnotic state assessment. Coe, William C. (1978). The credibility of posthypnotic amnesia: A contextualist's view. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26 (4), 218-245. This paper attempts to demonstrate how the contextual view rather than the formist-mechanistic view may be more helpful in understanding posthypnotic amnesia. As a point of departure, the criterion for credible posthypnotic amnesia is defined as Ss' phenomenal experiences which are observed indirectly through their counterfactual statements expressed wtih a high degree of conviction. To make sense of such self-reports, concepts flowing from contextualism, the view of man as an active person in an everchanging series of contexts, are employed. Concepts such as plots, reinforcement contingencies, trust, belief systems, involvement, ambiguousness, and self-observation may be postulated in understanding how people come to believe in their own counterfactual reports and to convince others of their credibility. Recent research on source amnesia, disrupted retrieval, and breaching posthypnotic amnesia is also critically evaluated. The conclusion is reached that the data are not compelling and their interpretations have been overstated Hearn, Greg (1978, November). Susceptibility and the process of social interaction in the hypnotic context. [Unpublished manuscript] (Submitted as a partial requirement for the B. S. degree with honours in psychology at the Univ of Queensland) ABSTRACT: The hypothesis was tested that the process of social interaction between hypnotist and subject is dependent upon the susceptibility level of subjects. Using Interaction Process Analysis (Bales, 1950), the interaction patterns of 16 high susceptibles and 16 low susceptibles were analyzed. Susceptibility level had been pretested with the HGSHS:A. The hypnotist was then instructed on how to control for differences in the process of interaction which were isolated and the initial hypnotic session was repeated on a new sample. This time the performance and interaction patterns of six high susceptibles and six low susceptibles were compared. Results suggested that trait differences give rise spontaneously to differences in the process of interaction and some combination of these effect the subjects final hypnotic performance. Hence it is argued that an interactionist framework would aid the understanding hypnotic responsivity. Kihlstrom, John F. (1978). Context and cognition in posthypnotic amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26, 246-267. Coe's (1978) contextualist analysis of posthypnotic amnesia appears to be predicated no the mistaken assumption that the amnesic S actually remembers the critical material. This position leads Coe to place inappropriate emphasis on the social context in which amnesia taes place and to focus on the social-psychological processes that might lead Ss to say that they do not remember something, be believed by others, and even believe themselves. An alternative view is outlined which affirms the surface similarities between posthypnotic amnesia and other failures of memory. From this vantage point, the investigator seeks to understand the cognitive processes that produce subjectively compelling disruptions of memory retrieval, whether found in association with hypnosis or in other circumstances. Schwartz, W. (1978). Time and context during hypnotic involvement. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26 (4), 307-316. A recent conceptualization of hypnosis suggests that hypnotized Ss should show a disruption in episodic memory which would reflect a diminished awareness of duration and sequence. Specifically, the predictions were that hypnotized Ss would exhibit less accurate estimates of duration, and less sequence in their recall of activities, than would nonhypnotized Ss. The empirical task consisted of giving Ss the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scaloe, Form C (Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1962), either with the induction (hypnosis condition), or without the induction (control condition). Prior to the termination of the scale, Ss were asked to recall the activities they had performed and the time that had elapsed since they began the scale. Hypnotized Ss (N = 10) were significantly less sequential in their recall of activities, and less accurate in their estimations of the passage of time, than were nonhypnotized Ss (N = 10). These results suggest that persons who respond to hypnosis are less concerned with the context which the world provides for their actions than are nonhypnotized controls. 1978 Slutsky, Jeffrey; Allen, George J. (1978). Influence of contextual cues on the efficacy of desensitization and a credible placebo in alleviating public speaking anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (1), 119-125. This investigation was designed to determine the extent to which contextual cues mediated the effectiveness of systematic desensitization and a plausible placebo in alleviating public speaking anxiety. After participating in a public speaking situation that allowed the collection of self-report, physiological, and behavioral manifestations of anxiety, 67 subjects were randomly assigned to receive five sessions of either desensitization, "T scope" therapy, or no treatment. Each of these conditions was conducted in a context that either stressed the clinical relevance of the procedure or presented the procedure as a laboratory investigation of fear without therapeutic implications. Analysis of changes both between groups and within individuals indicated that desensitization reduced public speaking anxiety in both contexts, whereas the placebo was effective only in the therapeutic setting. The superiority of desensitization was most pronounced on the physiological variables. The results are interpreted as indicating support for a counterconditioning, rather than an expectancy, interpretation of desensitization. Hoen, P. (1978). Effects of hypnotizability and visualizing ability on imagery mediated learning. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26, 45-54. The Ss selected for hypnotizability and visualizing ability were tested for their performance on an imagery-mediated, paired-associates task in which the stimulus materials were varied in imagery and concreteness. Imagery and concreteness showed significant main effects and an additive interaction facilitating learning. Neither hypnotizability nor visualizing ability showed main effects, thereby contradicting the conjecture that those 2 factors would facilitate imagery-mediated learning. However, high hypnotizable Ss learned more high imagery words than the low hypnotizables, and visualizing ability was shown to interact with word concreteness. It is concluded that the effects of hypnotizability and visualizing ability on verbal learning are, at least in part, a function of the content of the words to be learned. 1967 Blum, Gerald S. (1967). Experimental observations of the contextual nature of hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 15 (4), 160-171. EXPLORED THE DISTINCTIVE MENTAL CONTEXT OF HYPNOSIS WITH A WELL TRAINED MALE UNDERGRADUATE. 1ST, A CONTEXT EFFECT WAS DEMONSTRATED BY PRESENTING 2 SETS OF STIMULI ON A TRIAL, 1 UNDER THE HYPNOTIC CONDITION AND 1 UNDER THE WAKING, AND TESTING THEIR SUBSEQUENT SALIENCE IN HYPNOTIC OR WAKING REPORT STATES. ATTEMPTS WERE THEN MADE TO ISOLATE ELEMENTS OF THE HYPNOTIC CONTEXT-CLOSED EYES, LOWERED MENTAL AROUSAL, AND "BLANK MIND"-NONE OF WHICH PROVED TO BE SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF TO ACCOUNT FOR THE OBSERVED PHENOMENON. A GREATER DIFFICULTY OF SPONTANEOUS INFORMATION TRANSMISSION FROM HYPNOTIC TO WAKING CONDITION THAN VICE VERSA LED TO ADDITIONAL EXPERIMENTS IN WHICH PRIOR HYPNOTIC "PRIMING," IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC POSTHYPNOTIC SUGGESTION, HAD NO EFFECT ON RELATED WAKING TASKS. FINALLY, A THEORETICAL INTERPRETATION WAS PROPOSED TO EXPLAIN HOW INITIALLY WEAK HYPNOTIC INPUTS, REGISTERED WITHIN A HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE MENTAL CONTEXT, CAN ACQUIRE VIRTUALLY COMPLETE COGNITIVE DOMINANCE. (SPANISH + GERMAN SUMMARIES) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved) 1961 Glass, Louis B.; Barber, Theodore X. (1961). A note on hypnotic behavior, the definition of the situation and the placebo effect. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 132, 539-541. Subjects were tested for responses to hypnotizability tests under three conditions: after 20 minute induction, after being told they would not be hypnotized but would take tests of imagination (with motivating instructions to do well), after taking a placebo pill that "would make them deeply hypnotized." Of 12 Ss who dropped in score between Session 1 and Session 2, 11 attained higher scores following placebo than during the control session; mean scores under placebo and control (5.8 and 3.7) differed significantly, p <.01. Scores were as high in the third as the first session (5.8 and 6.3 respectively). CONVERSION / HYSTERIA 1998 Eimer, Bruce; Freeman, Arthur (1998). Pain management psychotherapy: A practical guide. New York NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. NOTES "Pain Management Psychotherapy" (PMP) provides a clear and methodical look at pain management psychotherapy beginning with the initial consultation and work-up of the patient and continuing through termination of treatment. It is a thoughtful and thorough presentation that covers methods for psychologically assessing the chronic pain patient (structured interviews, pain assessment tests and rating scales, instruments for evaluating beliefs, attitudes, pain behavior, disability, depression, anxiety, anger and alienation), treatment planning, cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, and a range of hypnotic approaches to pain management. The book covers both traditional (cognitive and behavior therapy, biofeedback, assessing hypnotizability, choice of inductions, designing an individualized self-hypnosis exercise) as well as newer innovative techniques (e.g., EMDR, pain-relief imagery, hypno-projective methods, hypno-analytic reprocessing of pain-related negative experiences). An extensive appendix reproduces in their entirety numerous forms, rating scale, inventories, assessment instruments, and scripts. The senior author, Bruce Eimer, states in his online comments on that "most therapists hold the belief that 'real' chronic pain patients are quite impossible to help. This book attempts to dispel these misguided beliefs by providing a body of knowledge, theory, and techniques that have proven value in understanding and relieving chronic physical pain." He also states that "the challenge for the therapist is to persuade the would-ne patient/client that he or she has something to offer that can help take way pain and bring back more pleasure. This challenge is negotiated through the therapeutic relationship. However, the therapist just can't be 'warm, accepting, non-judgmental and empathic'. The therapist must also have knowledge and skills relevant to relieving pain. Only then can the therapist impart such knowledge, and in teaching these skills to the pain patient, help the patient become something of a 'self-therapist'. . . I dedicate this book to everyone who wants to find ways to make living with pain more comfortable, and to the ongoing search for better ways to relieve pain." Moene, Franny C.; Hoogduin, Kees A. L.; Van Dyck, Richard (1998). The inpatient treatment of patients suffering from (motor) conversion symptoms: A description of eight cases. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (2), 171-190. This article presents a preliminary study that used two controlled randomized trials to study the effect of hypnosis in the treatment of eight patients with (motor) conversion symptoms. Controlled research into the treatment of conversion symptoms is scarce and can often be criticized on methodological grounds. It would appear, however, that both the use of suggestive and behavioral therapeutic techniques and eclectic treatment programs yield good results in the treatment of conversion symptoms. The results of the study suggest that comprehensive clinical treatment including hypnosis has enough promise to be studied in clinical trials. In the interpretation of the results, special attention is given to primary diagnosis, duration of complaints, traumatic experiences in childhood, dissociative capacity, and hypnotizability. Wickramasekera, Ian (1998). Secrets kept from the mind but not the body or behavior: the unsolved problems of identifying and treating somatization and psychophysiological disease. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 14, 18-132. The identification and therapy of somatoform and psychophysiological disorders are major problems for medicine. This paper identifies three measurable risk factors (Wickramasekera 1979, 1988, 1993a, b, 1995) that are empirically associated with somatoform and psychophysiological disorders. These risk factors are high hypnotic ability, low hypnotic ability, and high Marlowe Crowne scores. Patients who are positive on one or more of these risk factors (all of which can constrict consciousness) have a high likelihood of having somatoform and psychophysiological disorders and should be studied with the additional risk factors proposed in the High Risk Model of Threat Perception (HRMTP). Treatment of patients should begin with the Trojan Horse Role Induction procedure (Wickramasekera 1988), which enables patients, who might otherwise resist psychological interpretations of their physical problems, to recognize that unconscious threat perception could be driving their somatic symptoms, an understanding that reduces their resistance to psychotherapy. A case study is presented of a patient without identifiable pathophysiology or psychopathology to account for somatic symptoms that were largely resistant to standard medical therapy. The patient was positive for several of the psychosocial and psychophysiological risk factors of the HRMTP and after experiencing the Trojan Horse Role Induction showed improvement in somatic symptoms. 1996 Wickramasekera, Ian; Pope, Alan T.; Kolm, Paul (1996). On the interaction of hypnotizability and negative affect in chronic pain: Implications for the somatization of trauma. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 184 (10), 628-635. The high risk model of threat perception predicts that high hypnotizability is a risk factor for trauma-related somatization. It is hypothesized that high hypnotizability can increase experimentally induced threat or negative affect, as measured by skin conductance level, in a linear or dose-response manner. This hypothesized interaction of hypnotic ability and negative affect was found in a consecutive series of 118 adult patients with chronic pain symptoms. Larger increases in skin conductance levels during cognitive threat were significantly related to higher levels of hypnotizability. In addition, individuals with high hypnotizability retained higher skin conductance levels than individuals with low hypnotizability after stress. The clinical implications of the interaction of hypnotizability and negative affect during threat perception and delayed recovery from threat perception are discussed in terms of cognitive mechanisms in the etiology and therapy of trauma-related dissociative disorders. 1995 Bowers, Kenneth S. (1995, November). Revisiting a Century-Old Freudian Slip -- from Suggestion Disavowed to the Truth Repressed. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX. NOTES Cites J. Herman, Mason, and Miller who accused Freud of retreating from trauma theory to save his theory. Feminists view the Oedipal theory as a coverup for the denial of child sexual abuse. This moral position fuels trauma theory and practice. It is the moral dimension of this debate that gives so many problems for the investigation of traumatic memory. The intellectual origins of repressed trauma are examined here. Freud's early trauma theory, his later conflict theory. Etiology of Hysteria (1896) presents Freud's argument, based on 18 patients: child is passive victim of experience imposed on them; memory is repressed and hysterical symptoms are derivatives of these repressed memories; when memories return as pictures the task of therapy is easier than if returning as thoughts. Bartlett's memory research showed visual image is followed by sense of confidence that surpasses what should be there. The fact that patients had to be compelled to remember was offered by Freud as evidence against the idea that the memories were suggested. The patients initially would deny the reality of their memories, which Freud used in saying that we should not think that patients would falsely accuse themselves. In letter to Fleiss, he presented the conflict theory, which he presented in 1905 in Three Essays on Sexuality and later in My Views...on Etiology of Neurosis. In 1905 Freud indicated he was unable to distinguish fantasy from true reports (and did not deny the existence of the latter). Freud often reconstructed the "memories" from dreams, transference, signs, symptoms, fantasies, etc. They were not produced as conscious memories, and it was Freud who inferred the sexual abuse. From signs of distress he took evidence of proof. Freud presented his theory to his patients and then sought confirmation. Freud asks us to abandon historical for narrative truth. The problems with Freud's first theory became worse with his second theory. In Introductory Lectures Freud states that opponents say his treatment talks patients into confirming his theories. He relies on the patient's inner reality confirming the theoretical ideas given to him. Success depends on overcoming internal resistance, however. The danger in leading a patient astray by suggestion has been exaggerated, because the analyst would have had to not allow the patient to "have his say." Freud denied strongly ever having done this. Incorrect interpretations would not be accepted by the patients, and if believed would be suggestion. Brunbaum, another writer, said that this doesn't mean acceptance of a faulty idea won't occur. Both Milton Erickson and especially Pierre Janet reported cases in which suggestions were used to give benign memories to replace malignant ones. Freud also viewed patient resistance to his interpretations as evidence that the interpretations were correct. Thus both resistance and acquiescence were thought to be validating. Popper's critiques using philosophy of science note that this makes his theory untestable. Freud could not distinguish between the patient's reluctant acceptance of the truth and reluctant acceptance of a suggestion. Contemporary theorists struggle less than Freud did with the problem of suggestion and suggestibility (and Freud did not have available the research on those areas!) Emotional upheaval that accompanies "insight" is readily taken to be validating. It may be true that bad memories are repressed, but that doesn't mean that all bad memories are true. Treatment groups focus on recalling memories and sharing memories with others in the group, not on current relationships. Hermann states that the group provides powerful stimulus for remembering. The group, of course, is reinforced by others remembering. Repeatedly considering the possibility of abuse can increase the sense of familiarity. Current views expressed by some clinicians that certain symptoms and syndromes (eating disorders, etc.) indicate early sexual trauma are similar to Freud's theory of hysteria. In these proposals, the inability to recall abuse becomes evidence that it occurred; and it tallies with the patient not having a sense of remembering. Because some believe it is necessary to bring memory to light for cure to occur, there is a tendency to believe the reports of early childhood abuse. Recognizing that some "memories" may have been a product of a therapist's suggestion helps prevent untoward effects. Modern therapists recapitulate Freud's "slip" when they do not acknowledge the role of suggestion. Endorsing repression does not commit us to a belief that recovered memories must be accurate in all particulars. A memory that is repressed does not escape the usual kinds of degradation of memory. And just because the material comes from unconscious sources, or has emotional accompaniments, it doesn't mean it is true. (Bowers gave an example of his dream that Israel and Venezuela shared a common border, which was rectified by his waking awareness of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. He noted that nothing like the Atlantic can be called upon if the dream is that one's parent molested oneself at the age of six.) Ian Hacking, in Rewriting the Soul, labels a more fundamental indeterminacy (for the historical past itself). Bathing rituals in childhood can be redescribed as abuse, which determines the historical past rather than describing it. It is thus easier to justify abuse if the event is something that can be reinterpreted. For example, the conflicts of adolescents with their parents, may be reinterpreted later if personality problems continue. If in adulthood one concludes that abuse occurred, then bathing rituals can be reinterpreted as if it were earlier abuse, as if the abuse has continued for years. 1994 Frankel, Fred H. (1994, October). Working with the concept in a clinical setting. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Francisco.