In the Discussion section the authors note, “the relative difficulty of the items is comparable to that observed in other studies, except for Items 3 and 8. The reliability of the present version is somewhat less than that of the others, both with regard to the individual items and the scale as a whole. This is probably related to the value of the variance, which is likewise smaller than usual. The standard error of measurement and the validity estimate are practically identical to other published values.
“With regard to Item 3, the increase in the proportion of Ss passing the hand lowering suggestion seems to be attributable to the modifications of the usual English instructions, which were effective in making it clear to Ss that they had to raise their arms deliberately. Even so, only 60% of Ss passed this item, which contrasts with the fact that nearly all Ss administered SHSS:C lowered their arms 15 cm or more, the criterion for passing the suggestion. This discrepancy suggests that Ss may underestimate the distance they lower their hands. … The problem with Item 8 seems more difficult. In the pilot study, its difficulty was somewhat less than in other studies but, since the difference was not very striking, no change was introduced to the first version. The Ss seemed to understand perfectly well what was being asked of them, and their efforts to move their heads were usually obvious, but they just did not seem to be able to do so. It is interesting, however, that the unusual easiness of the item does not affect its relative reliability …. As is usually found, suggestions that involve a challenge to Ss have the greatest correlation with the total hypnotizability score, and this was the case in the present study with Item 8” (p. 271).

Mackett, John (1989). Chinese hypnosis. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 6, 129-130.

This is a brief report of observations made by the author during a tour of China. The author states, “Subsequent enquiries on our tour revealed that Qi Gong was a rare type of therapy and used in no other hospital or medical school that we visited. Lewis (1985) has confirmed the apparent absence of knowledge and practice of hypnosis as we know in China. He mentions the use of Qi Gong which he describes as an ‘old Buddhist exercise’. ”

Dobkin de Rios, Marlene; Friedmann, Joyce K. (1987). Hypnotherapy with Hispanic burn patients. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 35 (2), 87-94.

This paper examines a culturally sensitive hypnotherapeutic intervention for Hispanic burn patients who suffer symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder and discusses the outcome of 27 patients seen by the authors (a medical anthropologist and a clinical psychologist), over a 3.5-year period. Given the difficulties of recent monolingual, Mexican migrants in responding to psychological interventions that are not culturally sensitive, the hypnotherapeutic interventions and procedurs developed by the authors provide a plan for systematic desensitization and cultural concordance to make rehabilitation of Hispanic burn patients more effective.

Jana, Hrishikesh (1987). History and present state of hypnosis in India. [Lecture] Presented at the Department of Psychiatry, UCLA.

Hypnosis is discussed in relationship to traditional Indian medical and psychological treatments. The following Table illustrates some of the relationships among Asian approaches, which also include philosophical and religious elements.

Fellows, Brian J. (1985). Hypnosis teaching and research in British psychology departments: Current practice attitudes and concerns. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 2 (3), 151-156.

The author mailed a questionnaire to 58 departments of psychology to determine the extent/nature of hypnosis teaching and research, and attitudes toward teaching and research on hypnosis. The author noted a general anxiety about teaching students how to do hypnosis (as contrasted with learning about hypnosis). “Some of the anxieties which departments have about the teaching of hypnosis seem to stem from some rather ancient and invalid conceptions about the nature of hypnosis and what it can do” (p. 153). The author also relates his personal experience teaching undergraduates “something about the procedures and phenomena which have been traditionally associated with hypnosis” (p. 153). They may use one of the standard hypnotizability scales, study a particular hypnotic phenomenon such as ideomotor action or age regression, or study an empirical issue such as facilitation of recall. He reports not meeting with “any particular difficulties,” but also that he has seen two problems: the student who is anxious about doing the procedure, and an occasional subject who reports the experience was unpleasant or disturbing–e.g. during age regression. He reports teaching students to handle these events in a normalizing manner. J. Holroyd

Suryani, L. K. (1984). Culture and mental disorder: The case of bebainan in Bali. In Culture, medicine and psychiatry. D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Bebainan is a form of dissociation which is culturally associated with Bali. Thought to be caused by sorcery, a bebainan attack lasts up to an hour and is manifested by confusion, crying, screaming, and shouting, with inability to control one’s actions. However, it seems most victims maintain awareness of their own behavior and are not amnesic for it afterwards.
In this study, the author interviewed 27 people, mostly female, most of whom experienced their first attack between 16-30 years of age. The author concluded that the attacks permitted release of feelings of frustration and anger without stigma. Author concluded it is not a form of psychosis, is not organic, and is not a neurosis.

Barabasz, Marianne; Barabasz, Arreed F.; Mullin, C. S. (1983). Effects of brief antarctic isolation on absorption and hypnotic susceptibility – preliminary results and recommendations: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 31 (4), 235-238.
Absorption scores were found to increase significantly for Ss exposed to brief summer Antarctic isolation. Contrary to wintering-over research, no significant increases in hypnotic susceptibility were found.

This paper reviews Soviet approaches to the unconscious and to hypnotic phenomena, before examining psychoanalytic theories of hypnosis which are generally based on transference. The author believes the existing theories are inadequate, arguing that there is a psychophysiological dimension to hypnosis; but what unconscious processes does this conceal? Psychoanalysis opened one road to the unconscious, but affect, nonverbal communication, and psychophysiological process are still uncharted territories towards which hypnosis may yet prove to be another royal road. NOTES
The author concludes, “hypnosis and the unconscious … are closely linked. Historically, experiments on posthypnotic suggestion were in fact the starting point for the discovery of the unconscious. Posthypnotic suggestion is in effect one of the most irrefutable proofs that psychical contents can influence behavior, albeit eluding the subject’s consciousness.
“In this paper, the present author provides a description of Soviet researchers’ conceptions of the unconscious, and of the point of view from which they approach hypnotic phenomena. Psychoanalytic theories of hypnosis are then presented, which are essentially based on transference. It is shown why this notion seems to the present author powerless to account for the specific nature of the hypnotic relationship. There is, in effect, a psychophysiological dimension to hypnosis. It lies at the crossroads between the instrumental and the relational dimension. But nothing is known about what unconscious processes hide at the psychophysiological level. Psychoanalysis has brought to light the laws governing the functioning of unconscious representations. But the realm of the affect, the nonverbal communication, and bodily processes still remain beyond our knowledge. This is a hidden side of the unconscious, in relation to which hypnosis may serve as another ‘royal road'” (pp. 104-105).

Laurence, Jean-Roch; Perry, Campbell (1982). Montreal norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30 (2), 167-176.

Norms are presented for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSH:A) of Shor and E. Orne (1962). Comparisons are made on HGSHS:A between 3 Montreal samples (N = 220, N = 178, & N = 137) and the aggregate sample (N = 535). These are compared additionally with a normative group of Harvard students (Shor & E. Orne, 1963), a normative group of University of California at Berkeley students (Coe, 1964), a normative sample of Australian students (Sheehan & McConkey, 1979), and the original Stanford University normative sample which was tested individually on the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A (Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1959). Although the Montreal groups were heterogeneous in ethnic origin and first language, the present normative data are generally congruent with earlier studies.

Hilgard, Ernest R.; Sheehan, Peter W.; Monteiro, K. P.; Macdonald, Hugh (1981). Factorial structure of the Creative Imagination Scale as a measure of hypnotic responsiveness: An international comparative study. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 29, 66-76.

The factor structure of the Creative Imagination Scale (CIS) of Wilson and Barber (1978) was investigated in two studies by correlating scores on it with scores on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. Orne, 1962), the Absorption scale of Tellegen and Atkinson (1974), and Sheehan’s (1967) revision of Betts’ (1909) imagery scale. One of the studies was conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia (N = 237), the other at Stanford University in California (N = 92). The major finding, consistent in both investigations, was that two factors accounted for the major portion of the variance, one factor designated as a Hypnotic Performance factor, the other designated as an Absorption/Imagination factor. The CIS was weighted highly on both factors, the data bearing on earlier claims that CIS represents a single-factor scale.

Sheehan, Peter W.; McConkey, Kevin M. (1979). Australian norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27, 294-304.

Australian norms for the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. Orne, 1962) are presented and results relating to score distributions, item difficulty level, reliability, and validity are considered for 3 distinct samples of Australian students. Data are compared with both the original norms (Shor & E. Orne, 1963) and additional American (Coe, 1964) normative data. Results indicated that, in the Australian context, HGSHS:A functions as a reliable, effective predictor of hypnotic susceptibility. The psychometric properties of the scale were uniform across all of the different samples and reference groups that were considered. The accuracy of the scale appears to be most obviously limited when it is employed as a sole predictor of Ss’ special aptitude for hypnosis.

Hoskovec, J. (1966). Hypnopedia in the Soviet Union: A critical review of recent major experiments. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 14, 308-315. (Abstract in Psychological Abstracts 41: 149, and in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1967, 4, 295)

Major Soviet hypnopedia (sleep-learning) experiments were conducted by Balkhashov (1965); Khil’chenko, Moldavskaya, Kol’chenko, and Shevko (1965); Kulikov (1964); Svyadosch (1962); Zavalova, Zukhar’, and Petrov (1964); Zukhar’, Kaplan, Maksimov, and Puskna (1965). The results of these experiments show that learning during sleep is possible when a ‘suggested set’ to perceive and remember the learning material during sleep is involved. Selection of Ss according to hypnotizability or primary suggestibility seems to be an important prerequisite. The influence of hypnopedia on the mental health of Ss is evaluated. (Author’s abstract, in AJCH.)

Vasilev, L. (1965). Mysterious phenomena of the human psyche. New York: University Books. (Abstracted in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1965, 8:2, 146-147)

The review of this book by Leo Wollman (American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1965, vol. 8, pp. 146-147) states, “Many interesting theories about hypnosis are aired in this book. The opinions Pavlov propounded many years ago, about cortical inhibition are assiduously asserted, yet some statements made bear investigation. The mere sight of the experimenter in B. N. Birman’s experiments with dogs put the dog into a hypnotic state. The appearance in the room of other people, who had not participated in the experiments, had no sleep inducing effect. For the experimental animal, therefore, the experimenter himself had been transformed into a conditioned hypnogenous stimulus. Similarly, in group hypnotherapy, the entrance of the physician-hypnotist into the room often effects a hypnotic state in some of the subjects. The doctor has become the stimulus for the conditioned response, that of hypnotic trance state induction.
” An interesting and perhaps little known fact elicited from Chapter III (Hypnotism and Suggestion) is the high percentage (12%) of those replies to questionnaires during the First International Congress on Experimental Psychology held in Paris in 1899, which indicated that 3,000 respondents had hallucinations while in a normal state of health. The majority were visual; auditory and tactile hallucinations were less frequent” (pp. 146-147).

Ludwig, Arnold M. (1964). An historical survey of the early roots of mesmerism. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12 (4), 205-217.

Many believe that Franz Anton Mesmer helped lay the foundations upon which modern hypnotic theory and practice evolved. However, as one views the history of healing through suggestion prior to Mesmer, it becomes apparent that neither his theories nor his practices showed much originality. In fact, there is good evidence that Mesmer plagiarized the work of others. With this in mind, it appears that Mesmer”s contribution to later psychological healing and theory was related more to his personality than to his originality. (Journal Abstract)

Hallaji, J, Ja’far (1962). Hypnotherapeutic techniques in a central Asian community. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 10, 271-274. (Abstracted in Index Medicus, 63, Mar. S-543)
The semimonastic Sufi practitioners of Afganistan treat physical as well as psychosomatic disorders by a method which is reminiscent of Mesmerism, and they claim cures even for illnesses such as tuberculosis and cancer. A treatment session for 18 patients is described. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Bowers, Margaretta K. (1961). Hypnotic aspects of Haitian voodoo. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 9, 269-282.

The voodoo ritual is analyzed within the framework of hypnosis and hypnotically induced secondary personalities. The author contends that “If the hypnotic nature of voodoo and similar religious rites were better understood the problem of discarding the evil and nurturing the good in the cultural life of people would be facilitated.” From Psyc Abstracts 36:04:4II69B. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)


Eimer, Bruce; Freeman, Arthur (1998). Pain management psychotherapy: A practical guide. New York NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

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.”

Elkind, Leonard (1981). Effects of hypnosis on the aging process. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 28 (4), 132-137. (Also presented at the annual meeting of the Am Soc of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine in San Francisco, CA)

This study investigated the possibility of altering physiological measures associated with aging through the use of posthypnotic suggestions of increased youthfulness and vitality. Subjects were 20 women ranging in age from 39 to 56 years old. They were tested individually on Morgan’s Adult Growth Examination, the AGE. Test-retest scores of the Control group were not significantly different, the median change being zero. The Experimental group, however, showed a decrease in Body Age for all of the subjects, the range of change from -3 to -18 years with a median change of -11 years.


Gibbons, Don E. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the Best Me technique. San Jose CA: Authors Choice Press. (([available online:] http//

The Best Me Technique is a procedure for constructing suggestions which incorporates many different dimensions of experience — beliefs, emotions, sensations, thoughts, motives, and expectations — for maximum involvement and effectiveness. Best Me suggestions may be used with either hyperempiria, an alert induction based on suggestions of mind expansion and increased alertness and sensitivity, or with more traditional forms of hypnotic induction.

Comey, Gail; Kirsch, Irving (1999). Intentional and spontaneous imagery in hypnosis: The phenomenology of hypnotic responding. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 47 (1), 65-85.

Students were given 1 of 2 versions of the Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale (CURSS): (a) the original version, which contains instructions to intentionally imagine goal-directed fantasies, and (b) a modified version, in which instructions for suggestion-related imagery were deleted. Participants were asked to report their goal-directed fantasies and to indicate whether these occurred spontaneously or were generated intentionally. They were also asked whether they had tried intentionally to generate the suggested experience and to indicate whether they had believed that the suggested states of affairs were real (e.g., whether they thought a hallucinated cat really existed). The deletion of instructions for goal-related imagery significantly increased responsiveness to CURSS suggestions. Spontaneous goal-directed imagery was significantly correlated with behavioral response, but intentional imagery was not. Most successful responders tried to generate suggested experiences intentionally, indicated that they could have resisted challenge suggestions if they really waned to, and reported believing in the reality of suggested ideomotor and challenge experiences but not of cognitive suggestions. Voluntary attempts to generate suggested experiences were correlated with subjective responding.

Bowers, Kenneth S. (1992). Imagination and dissociation in hypnotic responding. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40 (4), 253-275.

A neodissociative model of mind is better equipped than a social-psychological model to deal with the complexities of hypnosis, and of human behavior generally. It recognizes, as Coe’s (1992) model does not, that behavior can be more automatically activated than strategically enacted. In particular, Coe’s emphasis on human behavior as purposeful and goal directed does not distinguish between goal-directed behavior that serves a purpose, and goal-directed behavior that is performed on purpose. It is this distinction that permits goal-directed behavior to be dissociated from a person’s conscious plans and intentions. In addition to offering a critique of Coe’s “limited process” view of hypnosis, 4 main points are made in the interest of developing a slightly modified, neodissociation view of hypnosis. First, it is argued that goal-directed fantasies are more limited in their ability to mediate hypnotic responding than is commonly appreciated; as well, they do not seem to account for the nonvolitional quality of hypnotic responding. Second, it is argued that hypnotic ability is not unidimensional, with compliance and social influence more apt to account for the low than for the high hypnotizable’s responsiveness to suggestion. Third, compared to low hypnotizables, the hypnotic responsiveness of high hypnotizables seems more likely to result from dissociated control. In other words, for high hypnotizables, hypnotic suggestions may often directly activate subsystems of cognitive control. Consequently, the need for executive initiative and effort to produce hypnotically suggested behavior is minimized, and such responses are therefore experienced as nonvolitional. Fourth and finally, while goal-directed fantasies typically accompany hypnotically suggested responses, they are in many cases more a marker of dissociated control than a mediator of suggested effects.

Kirsch, Irving; Mobayed, C. P.; Council, J. R.; Kenny, D. A. (1992). Expert judgments of hypnosis from subjective state reports. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 657-662.
Suggestibility was assessed in 60 student subjects after a traditional hypnotic induction, an alert induction, progressive relaxation training, or instruction in goal-directed imagery. Responsiveness to suggestion did not differ between groups. Subjects also generated open-ended reports of their states of awareness and of their experience of three hypnotic suggestions. A sample of these reports from 24 moderately to highly suggestible subjects was evaluated by 18 experts in the field of hypnosis. Expert ratings of subjects’ open-ended reports indicated that (a) traditional hypnotic inductions produce a state of consciousness that is indistinguishable from nonhypnotic relaxation training, (b) the subjective experience of hypnotic suggestions after imagination training is indistinguishable from that after hypnotic inductions, and (c) suggestibility is unrelated to state of consciousness as assessed by experts.

Lynn, Steven Jay; Sivec, Harry (1992). The hypnotizable subject as creative problem-solving agent. In Fromm, Erika; Nash, Michael R. (Ed.), Contemporary hypnosis research (pp. 292-333). Guilford Press.

These notes are taken only from the section of this chapter that deals with Hypnotic Responding, Imaginative Activity, and Expectancies, and they treat of the concept of nonvoluntary responding (pp 315-316). Other topics covered in the chapter include: Imagination, Fantasy, and Hypnosis Theories; The Hypnotizable Subject as Creative Problem-Solving Agent; Hypnosis and Subjects’ Capability for Imaginative Activity; Goal-Directed Fantasy: Patterns of Imaginative Activity during Hypnosis; Hypnosis and Creativity; and a Conclusion.
Several studies manipulated expectancies re the relationship between imagination and involuntariness. When Ss were told that “good” hypnotic subjects could (or could not) resist suggestions, “this information affected their ability to resist the hypnotist and tended to affect subjects’ report of suggestion-related involuntariness … [Lynn, Nash, Rhue, Frauman, & Sweeney, 1984]. Furthermore, subjects who successfully resisted suggestions and subjects who failed to do so reported comparable levels of hypnotic depth and imaginative involvement in suggestions.
“Spanos, Cobb, and Gorassini (1985) conducted a similar experiment in which they found that hypnotizable subjects who were instructed that they could become deeply involved in suggestions and yet resist them successfully resisted 95% of the suggestions and rated themselves as maintaining voluntary control over their behavior. Thus, subjects are able to resist nearly all of the suggestions when resistance is facilitated by situational demands. It is worth noting that subjects in this research who resisted hypnotic suggestions rated themselves as just as deeply involved in the suggestions as Ss who failed to resist suggestions after being informed that deeply hypnotized subjects were incapable of resisting suggestions” (pp. 315-316).
Lynn, Snodgrass, et al. (1987). showed that hypnotizable Ss who were just “imagining” along with suggestions but instructed to resist responding to motoric suggestions acted the way hypnotized Ss did in their earlier countersuggestion research: imagining subjects tended to move in response to suggestion (that “good” Ss responded in certain ways), despite being instructed to resist. In this study, with instructions designed to increase the use of goal directed fantasies (GDFs), low and high hypnotizable subjects reported equivalent GDF absorption and frequency of GDFs. However, highs responded more and reported greater involuntariness than lows, even when their GDFs were equivalent.
“A number of other studies have examined the effects of expectancies on imaginings and hypnotic behavior. Spanos, Weekes, and de Groh (1984) informed subjects that deeply hypnotized individuals could imagine an arm movement in one direction while their unconscious caused the arm to move in the opposite direction. Even though subjects so informed moved in the opposite direction, they imagined suggested effects and described their countersuggestion behavior as involuntary” (p. 317).

Heyneman, Nicholas E. (1990). The role of imagery in hypnosis: An information processing approach. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 38 (1), 39-59.

Imagery is widely agreed to be an important component of hypnosis. The theoretical framework from which to conceptualize the role of imagery in hypnosis, however, has remained controversial. A model is presented which attempts to reconceptualize hypnotic imaginal processing in terms of current theory and research in cognitive psychology and psychophysiology. This model draws from a propositional approach to imagery (e.g. Pylyshyn, 1973), particularly as adapted by Lang’s (1979) bioinformational theory. It is argued that the hypnotic image is fundamentally more complex than simple iconic mental representation, containing instead both stimulus and response components. It is proposed that the critical properties of the hypnotic image are not the stimulus components or propositions which give rise to the experience of the image but instead are response propositions which are associated with overt behavior. Processing of these response propositions is conceptualized as a negative feedback system between the brain and effector site. Some preliminary sources of support as well as implications and research suggested by this model are discussed. NOTES 1:

The author notes that the brain does not store a kind of “photograph,” but rather stores “meanings” (Anderson, 1978); and that images actually represent response processes, as observable in physiological concomitants (Lang, 1977).
The hypnotic suggestion that a Subject’s arm is being pulled up into the air by a large helium balloon is represented by two separate propositions: “There is a helium balloon tied to your arm” (a stimulus proposition) and “Your arm is moving up into the air” (a response proposition). According to Peter Lang (1979), an image is not a mental stimulus to which a response is made, but is in itself an active response process, accompanied by physiological activity. Verbal instructions to a Subject determine whether they will access stimulus propositions or response propositions. “Lang et al. (1980) found that only those Ss given response training coupled with response proposition scripts showed significant physiological arousal. These Ss were presumably better able to access and process that portion of the propositional network which controls visceral and motoric responding” (p. 46).
This author proposes that cognitive processing of a hypnotic image involves (internal) responding, and that ‘responsive propositions’ provide the basis for understanding the function of imagery in hypnosis, and are more important to hypnotic imagery than stimulus propositions. “In other words, the experience of a visual image and thus the vividness or controllability of that image is not critical for hypnosis. What is important to note is that the hypnotic behavior is not a response to a visual image but is instead a function of the processing of the image itself (cf. Lang, 1979)” (pp. 47-48).
In explaining how an image might facilitate amplification of a subtle response (such as in arm levitation), the author suggests that physiological and external feedback systems are involved–principally a neural feedback loop between brain and target organ (in this case, arm muscles). “Efferent signals, which are activated by processing response propositions, initiate the overt behavior while afferent signals feed back to the brain and modulate further input tot he effector system. The process progressively reduces the mismatch between the image instructions and behavior until the hypnotic task is completed” (p. 48). The feedback loop “provides information on the discrepancy between desired behavior and actual behavior: e = Bd-Ba, where e = error, Bd = desired behavior, and Ba= actual behavior (Arbib, 1972). The error signal generated by this discrepancy modifies the efferent output so as to eventually approximate e = 0” (p. 49). The author notes that this complex process of physiological feedback may be “augmented by external feedback such as modified verbal instructions or vocal intonations of the hypnotist and self-observation by S” (p. 49).
The author’s model is summarized as: “1. The context, setting, and expectations implied by being hypnotized as well as the wording of the hypnotic suggestions provides S with: (a) explicit or implicit instructions to use imagery, (b) repetitious wording which may increase the probability of fully accessing the relevant propositions, and (c) instructions that task completion is expected. This may function to increase the probability that the deep structure of the response propositions will be processed. 2. The hypnotic suggestion proper is composed of stimulus and response propositions embedded within a propositional network. 3. Stimulus propositions give rise to the phenomenological characteristics or the percept- like experience of the image but may be unimportant in determining hypnotic behavior. 4. Processing of the response propositions includes an active response. This response process is facilitated by S’s expectation to become actively involved in the imagined scene. Response propositions are the critical features of hypnotic imagery. 5. During hypnosis, the propositional network may be systematically modified by physiological or external feedback regarding the relative progress of the behavior toward task completion. This processing of response propositions is conceptualized as a negative feedback system. Efferent signals are delivered to the appropriate effector site while afferent signals feed back to the brain in order to modify further neural input, functioning to reduce the error between image and behavior. While the initial feedback is probably physiological, additional feedback may be obtained from the hypnotist’s instructions and S’s self-observations. 6. If stimulus propositions are simultaneously accessed, S experiences an image” (p. 51).

Lynn, Steven J.; Rhue, Judith W.; Weekes, John R. (1989). Hypnosis and experienced nonvolition: A social-cognitive integrative model. In Spanos, N.P.; Chaves, J.F. (Ed.), Hypnosis: The cognitive-behavioral perspective (pp. 78-109). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.

The authors present a model to account for the subjective experience of nonvolition. The model rests on four observations: (1) nonvoluntary responses “have all of the properties of behavior that is typically defined as voluntary” (p. 108); (2) “hypnotizable subjects can resist suggestions when resistance is defined as consistent with the role of a ‘good’ hypnotized subject” (p. 108); (3) “Hypnotic behaviors are neither reflexive/automatic … nor manifestations of innate stimulus-response connections” (p. 108); (4) “Hypnotic performances consume attentional resources … in a manner comparable to nonhypnotic performances” (p. 108). They continue, “At the same time, many of the cognitive operations and affective reactions that accompany hypnotic responding are not readily accessible to consciousness” (pp. 108-109).

Gorassini, Donald R.; Hooper, Cynthia L.; Kitching, Kathleen J. (1988). The active participation of highly susceptible hypnotic subjects in generating their hypnotic experiences. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 7 (3), 215-226.

Hypnotized individuals have traditionally been considered to be detached from the control of their own suggested behavior. We tested this and the alternative notion that hypnotized subjects attempt to self-generate the experiences (i.e., mainly of involuntariness) as well as produce the behaviors thought to be prototypical of high hypnotic ability. In an experimental investigation, highly susceptible hypnotic subjects were found to engage in the kind of imaginative activity that would be expected of individuals who were attempting deliberately to generate their experiences of involuntariness; they engaged as actively in imagery-generation as did subjects who were specifically instructed to imagine during suggested responding, and they experienced as much involuntariness as subjects in whom suggested movements were produced by an external physical force. The implications of these findings for the neodissociation and social psychological theories of hypnotic responding are discussed.

Crouse, Eric; Kurtz, Richard (1984). Enhancing hypnotic susceptibility: The efficacy of four training procedures. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 27, 122-136.

In this study, we have compared the effects on hypnotic susceptibility of several components of training procedures based on a social learning model, which have been reported to be successful in enhancing hypnotic susceptibility. These included: 1) attitude-conception of hypnosis information, 2) involvement instructions, 3) goal-directed fantasy instructions, and 4) practice vs. no practice in responding to hypnotic suggestions. A 3 x 2 x 2 repeated measures factorial design was used for the experiment with 60 female volunteers serving as subjects in the study. Contrary to expectations, no differential treatment effects were obtained on either objective or subjective measures of hypnotizability. Furthermore, it was questionable whether or not any of the three information-based components even produced gains in hypnotic susceptibility. None produced _clinically_ significant gains. They also were not found to alter either the subjects’ attitudes or their use of hypnosis-related skills. Similarly, practice was found to be ineffective in enhancing responsiveness to suggestions. Taken as a whole, the results of this study suggest that the gains in hypnotic susceptibility reported for social learning-type training procedures may be due to causes other than those posited by social learning theory.

Diamond (1977) posited 3 core components to modification procedures: attitudinal and set factors, cognitive strategy factors, and optimal learning factors (specific ways subjects are taught the internal responses).
“The present study was undertaken to more fully clarify the extent to which each of the critical components hypothesized by Diamond contributes to increasing susceptibility. It was predicted that subjects receiving attitude-conception of hypnosis information and subjects receiving involvement instructions would show a significantly greater gain in hypnotizability than Ss receiving goal-directed fantasy instructions. Secondly, it was predicted that a significantly greater gain in subjects’ hypnotizability would result from an opportunity to practice responding to hypnotic suggestions when coupled with involvement instructions than when accompanied by goal-directed fantasy instructions or attitude-conception of hypnosis information” (p. 125).
A revised SHSS:C was used; it deleted words that explicitly suggested goal directed fantasies (GDF’s) on several items: hand lowering, moving hands apart, taste hallucinations, arm rigidity, arm immobilization. Experimenters used audiotaped presentation. Subjects in 3 of 6 experimental groups were also given opportunity to practice 30 minutes on 3 occasions spaced no more than one week apart. They were given 2 practice trials on each of 5 hypnotic suggestions taken from several different scales.
“While differential treatment effects were not found, there was a general facilitation of hypnotic responsiveness for all Ss across treatment conditions on both objective and subjective hypnotizability measures. The mean change in the objective hypnotizability score for all subjects was +.68, …p<.001; the corresponding mean change in the subjective hypnotizability scores was +3.11 ... p<.001. Although statistically significant, neither of the shifts appear to indicate _clinically_ significant shifts in hypnotic responsiveness" (p. 129). The changes in the positive direction in hypnotizability were not correlated with hypnotizability. Subjects appear to change in their conceptualization of hypnosis, in the direction of it being more a self-induced phenomenon (p <.001). In their Discussion, the authors write, "Taken as a whole, results of this study challenge assumptions which have been made about how training procedures based on a social learning model affect gains in hypnotic susceptibility" (p. 131). Each experimental manipulation was intended to influence a mediating variable, and that apparently did not happen. Teaching subjects to use GDFs on a few items did not generalize so that subjects would generate GDFs on novel items. The results suggest "caution against assuming that social learning base training procedures are effective in altering subjects' attitudes and/or their use of skills thought to mediate hypnotic responsiveness" (p. 133). Nevertheless, the correlational data support previous studies that relate hypnotizability to the mediating factors under investigation. Continuing their Discussion, the authors write, "Clearly, more attention should be paid in future studies to assessing changes in mediating variables produced by such training procedures. This is particularly important in terms of subjects' use of GDF's and their use of cognitive strategies to increase the extent of their involvement in the hypnotic experience. It is significant that in this study neither involvement instructions nor GDF instructions were found to alter subjects' use of cognitive strategies. Changes in these skill-related factors need to be demonstrated if social learning based training procedures are to be proven effective in altering subjects' hypnotic abilities rather than simply in raising subjects to their optimal level of responsiveness. "One explanation which has been offered for the reported success of such training procedures is that they work by changing subjects' attitudes, motivation and/or expectations of hypnosis while leaving any aptitudinal component to hypnosis unaltered (Perry, 1977). From this point of view the gains in susceptibility reported for such procedures result from subjects moving closer to their optimal or 'plateau' level of responsiveness rather than from real changes in subjects' hypnotic abilities" (p. 134). Alternatively, it is possible that the increases observed following training programs have something to do with the hypnotist-subject relationship. For example, increases in hypnotizability are more modest when the training is given in written instructions than when it is given in person by a hypnotist. 1976 Spanos, Nicholas P.; Spillane, Jeanne; McPeake, John (1976). Cognitive strategies and response to suggestion in hypnotic and task-motivated subjects. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18, 254-262. Thirty-two male and 32 female subjects, exposed to an hypnotic induction or task-motivational instruction, were administered either three suggestions which provided a cognitive strategy (i.e., a goal-directed fantasy, GDF) for experiencing suggested effects, or three suggestions that did not provide such a strategy. Subjects provided with GDF strategies were more responsive overtly and subjectively to two out of the three suggestions. Subjects in the No GDF Strategy treatment who spontaneously devised their own goal-directed fantasies were more responsive to suggestions than subjects who failed to devise such a strategy. These results support the contention that goal-directed fantasy helps both hypnotic and non-hypnotic subjects experience suggested effects. NOTES 1: NOTES: The suggestions were for arm levitation, arm rigidity, and amnesia. 1975 Barber, Theodore Xenophon (1975). Responding to 'hypnotic' suggestions: An introspective report. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18 (1), 6-22. The author first presents an introspective report which describes some of his attitudes, motivations, and expectancies and ongoing thought processes while he is responding to 'hypnotic' suggestions. The introspective report indicates that (a) suggested effects are experienced when a person thinks with and imaginatively focuses on those things that are suggested and (b) a person imaginatively focuses on the suggestions when he sees the test situation as useful and worthwhile and when he wants to and expects to experience those things that are suggested. It is then argued that the responsive subject in a hypnotic situation differs in every important respect from the sleepwalker and closely resembles the person who is involved in reading an interesting novel or in observing an interesting motion picture. Finally, the author outlines a course, now being developed, that aims to teach individuals how to respond to suggestions. 1974 Spanos, Nicholas P.; Barber, Theodore Xenophon (1974). Toward a convergence in hypnosis research. American Psychologist, 29 (7), 500-511. NOTES 1: The authors believe that there is general agreement that "responding to suggestions involves at least two interrelated factors. The first can be conceptualized as a willingness on the part of the subject to cooperate with the experimenter in fulfilling the aims of the suggestions. The second can be described as a shift in cognitive orientation from an objective or pragmatic perspective to one of involvement in suggestion-related imaginings" (p. 500). They suggest that the two major theoretical positions lead to different approaches to research. "The construct trance or hypnotic state, despite its inherent vagueness and lack of amenability to operational definition, continues to dominate state conceptualizations of hypnosis. This construct seems to refer to a state that differs, not simply quantitatively, but in some basic, qualitative way, from waking states and from states of sleep. As Bowers (1966) noted, 'Most [present-day] investigators interested in hypnosis believe that there is an hypnotic state which fundamentally differs from the waking state [p. 42].' This belief makes it much more likely that it will be state theorists who will conduct studies aimed at establishing a physiological basis for the hypothesized fundamental alteration. The state theorists are also more likely than the nonstate theorists to pursue research that might indicate that hypnotic performance involves unique or highly unusual changes in perceptual functioning or in cognitive functioning, such as trance logic (Orne, 1959). Although studies of this type have generally produced negative or inconclusive findings (Barber, 1979, 1970a, 1973; Barber & Ham, 1974; Hilgard, 1972; Johnson, 1972; Johnson, Maher, & Barber, 1972; Sarbin & Slagle, 1972), they have on occasion yielded some provocative results (Graham, 1979). "On the other hand, the guiding assumption of the nonstate theorists -- that the good hypnotic subject is not fundamentally different from the normal individual who is cooperating in a social situation in which he is asked to experience suggested effects -- will lead these investigators to continue their studies of situational and social-psychological antecedents of hypnotic performance. The nonstate investigators may be expected to probe further into the effects of such variabels as how the situation is defined to the subject, what attempts are made to remove fears and misconception, and how the suggestions are worded (Barber & DeMoor, 1972; Spanos, 1973). The basic assumption of the nonstate theorists will also continue to influence their conceptualization of hypnotic performance as a set of socially influenced cognitive skills or abilities. However, despite these differences in the research proclivities of state and nonstate investigators, theoretical convergences of the type outlined in this article indicate that a good deal of the future research carried out by proponents of both paradigms will dovetail in focusing on the role of imaginative processes in hypnotic performance" (pp. 508-509). 1972 Barber, Theodore Xenophon; de Moor, Wilfried (1972). A theory of hypnotic induction procedures. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 15 (2), 112-135. The first part of the paper delineates nine variables in hypnotic induction procedures that give rise to heightened responsiveness to test-suggestions: (a) defining the situation as hypnosis; (b) removing fears and misconceptions; (c) securing cooperation; (d) asking the subject to keep his eyes closed; (e) suggesting relaxation, sleep, and hypnosis; (f) maximizing the phrasing and vocal characteristics of suggestions; (g) coupling suggestions with naturally-occurring events; (h) stimulating goal-directed imagining; and (i) preventing or reinterpreting the failure of suggestions. Data are presented to support the theory that the nine variables augment responsiveness to test-suggestions by giving rise to positive attitudes, motivations, and expectancies which, in turn, tend to produce a willingness to think with and vividly imagine those things that are suggested. The second part of the paper specifies situational variables and variables involved in induction procedures that produce a trance-like appearance, changes in body feelings, and reports of having been hypnotized. GROUP HYPNOSIS 2001 Sapp, Marty; Hitchcock, Kim (2001). Havard group scale with African American college students. Sleep and Hypnosis, 3 (3), 111-117. NOTES See also 1998 Bowers, Kenneth S. (1998). Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C: Manual and Response Booklet. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (3), 250-268. The manual and response booklet for the Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C (WSGC) is presented. The WSGC is a group adaptation of the individually administered Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (SHSS:C). Kirsch, Irving; Milling, Leonard S.; Burgess, Cheryl (1998). Experiential scoring for the Waterloo-Stanford Group C Scale. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (3), 269-279.