Heide, Frederick J.; Wadlington, W. L.; Lundy, Richard M. (1980). Hypnotic responsivity as a predictor of outcome in meditation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (4), 358-385.

Hypnosis, 28 (4), 358-385.

This study tested the hypothesis that measures of hypnotic responsivity would predict outcome from brief meditation training. 58 Ss were matched on hypnotic responsivity and randomly assigned to meditation and control conditions. The Ss in the meditation group displayed significantly greater decreases in trait anxiety than control Ss following a 1-week treatment period. The Ss highest in hypnotic responsivity showed the most substantial decrements in anxiety. It is concluded that hypnotic responsivity is moderately predictive of outcome in meditation. Findings were also consistent with reports that hypnotic responsivity is not increased by practice in meditation.

Lehrer, Paul M.; Schoicket, Saundra; Carrington, Patricia; Woolfolk, Robert L. (1980). Psychophysiological and cognitive responses to stressful stimuli in subjects practicing progressive relaxation and clinically standardized meditation. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 18 (4), 293-303.

32 Ss were assigned to either progressive relaxation (PR), clinically standardized meditation (SM), or a waiting list control group, which was asked to relax daily without specific instruction. Ss were given paper and pencil tests 2 times/separated by 5 wks, during which time the 2 treatment groups received 4 weekly sessions of group training. At the end of the 5-wk period, all Ss were exposed to 5 very loud tones. While relaxing as deeply as possible and anticipating the loud tones, SMs exhibited higher heart rates and higher integrated frontalis EMG activity, but they also showed greater cardiac decelerations following each tone, more frontal alpha, and fewer symptoms of cognitive anxiety than the other 2 groups. PRs reported more sensations of muscular relaxation than the other groups but also some symptoms of hyperventilation. Results suggest that frontal EEG alpha may be a physiological marker for the absence of cognitive anxiety. Physiological findings also support D. J. Goleman and G. E. Schwartz’s suggestion that meditation prepares people to cope with stress.

Lundy, Richard M.; Heide, Frederick J.; Wadlington, W. L. (1980). Hypnotic responsivity as a predictor of outcome in meditation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (4), 358-366.

TM reportedly diminishes Trait Anxiety (not State Anxiety). Spielberger’s Anxiety Scale was administered. Non-analytical attention is increased in TM. Spanos, et al. found a relationship between sustained attention in a meditation task and hypnotizability. Both load on the same factor.
Used Control and Experimental groups pretested on a scale of hypnotizability (Harvard Scale?): Lows = 1-4; Mediums = 5-7; Highs = 8-12.
Subjects were given instructions for modified TM, including a lecture on physiological benefits. “Let the sound ‘OM’ repeat itself; let that sound pass through and return to the mantra.” Subjects logged practice on their 20 minute meditation twice a day, for 7 days. They were given pre- and posthypnotic tests of State and Trait anxiety.
RESULTS. Meditators decreased Trait anxiety but not State anxiety. But anxiety was reduced more for high hypnotizables than for other levels. There was greater change in anxiety for High hypnotizables who practiced meditation . No difference in pre- and posthypnotic test on Harvard, confirming Spanos, et al.
This provides more evidence that the skill of hypnotizability has more utility than we had thought, in therapy. Spanos, et al. also found that improvement in meditation was correlated with hypnotizability (in terms of number of intrusions) and Benson, Frankel, et al., found Lows benefit less in blood pressure change with either meditation or hypnosis

on Harvard, confirming Spanos, et al.

Puente, Antonio E.; Beiman, Irving (1980). The effects of behavior therapy, self-relaxation, and transcendental meditation on cardiovascular stress response. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 26 (1), 291-295.

Compared Behavior Therapy (BT), self-relaxation (SR), transcendental meditation (TM), and a waiting-list control group (WL) on measures of cardiovascular and subjective stress response. Male and female respondents (N = 60) to an ad for therapy were evaluated in assessment sessions before and after treatment. The results indicate that BT and SR were more effective than either TM or WL in reducing cardiovascular stress response. These data were interpreted as resulting from therapeutic suggestion and positively reinforced client progress.

Schuman, Marjorie (1980). The psychophysiological model of meditation and altered states of consciousness: A critical review. In Davidson, J. M.; Davidson, R. J. (Ed.), The psychobiology of consciousness (pp. 333-378). New York: Plenum Press.

Psychophysiological changes have been found to occur as correlates of meditation. Major emphasis has been placed on changes in alpha brainwave activity and on changes in alpha blocking response to sensory stimuli. Taken together, these changes in baseline EEG and electrocortical responsiveness to sensory stimulation have been interpreted to be evidence of a unique meditative state of consciousness. The literature on the psychophysiology of meditation, including EEG and autonomic changes, is reviewed with careful attention to different types of meditation practice and various physiological measures of arousal and attentional set. The phenomenology of meditative states and their relationship to trance states is also considered. It is concluded that EEG and autonomic data cannot be used to define states of consciousness; the state of consciousness must be known before the significance of physiological changes can be inferred.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Stam, Henderikus J.; Rivers, Stephen M.; Radtke, H. Lorraine (1980). Meditation, expectation and performance on indices of nonanalytic attending. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (3), 244-251.

Following pretests on the Eysenck personality inventory (H. J. Eysenck & S. B. Eysenck, 1963) and hypnotic susceptibility as measured by the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. Orne, 1962), 2 groups of Ss attended nonanalytically for 20, 15-minute sessions and were then posttested. Sessions were defined as meditation for 1 group and as a study in attention style for the other. Meditators and attenders did not differ in their rate of signalling intrusions into their attending, and neither treatment affected hypnotic susceptibility or personailty dimension scores. The Ss who were defined as motivated to participate in the study, and those Ss who were unmotivated did not differ initially in rate of intrusions. At the end of the study, however, motivated Ss reported fewer intrusions than unmotivated ones. Intrusion rate correlated significantly with hypnotic sysceptibility.

The Harvard Scale (HGSHS:A) scores correlated -.41 with Mean number of intrusions. The meditation training consisted of one hour of training in transcendental meditation (TM)followed by 20 15-minute sessions spread across 4 or 5 weeks. In their Discussion section, the authors state, “The present finding that intrusion rate correlated significantly with hypnotic susceptibility replicated the results of Van Nuys (1972) and Spanos et al. (1978). In both the present study and that of Spanos et al. [Spanos, Gottlieb, & Rivers, The effects of short term meditation practice on hypnotic responsivity. Unpublished manuscript, Carleton University, 1978] meditation practice failed to produce either an overall reduction in rate of intrusions or an increment in hypnotic susceptibility. Thus, in these studies, the failure of meditation to enhance susceptibility can be accounted for in terms of its failure to increase proficiency at nonanalytic attending. Such an explanation cannot account for Spanos et al.’s (1979) results, however. These investigators, it will be recalled, found that experienced meditators who reported very few intrusions and unselected novice meditators with a relatively high intrusion rate, failed to differ from each other in susceptibility. The empirical interrelationships among meditation practice, intrusions into attending, and hypnotic suceptibility will have to be clarified if a theoretical integration of meditation and hypnotic phenomena is to be accomplished” (p. 249).

Barmark, Susanne M.; Gaunitz, Samuel C. B. (1979). Transcendental meditation and heterohypnosis as altered states of consciousness. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27 (3), 227-239.

The effects of transcendental meditation and relaxation-heterohypnosis on subjective phenomena and physiological arousal were examined. One group of Ss, who were experienced meditators, participated in meditation, and a second group of Ss, who were highly susceptible to hypnosis but with little hypnotic experience, were exposed to hypnosis. A period of quiet sitting served as control for Ss in each group. Neither heterohypnosis nor transcendental meditation were identified as low-arousal states. They were assumed to be similar phenomenologically altered states of consciousness, mainly characterized by changes in the distribution of attention and in body image.

Di Nardo, Peter A.; Raymond, Jayne B. (1979). Locus of control and attention during meditation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47 (6), 1136-1137.

Undergraduates were assigned to an internal or external group on the basis of their locus of control scores. A meditation task required subjects to focus their attention on an actual stimulus or an imagined stimulus while recording intruding thoughts by pressing a button on a counter. Results showed that an internal locus of control was related to fewer intrusions than was an external locus and that the actual stimulus resulted in fewer intrusions than did the imagined stimulus. These results suggest that performance in meditation, and possibly in other self-control procedures, may be influenced by individual differences in deployment of attention.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Steggles, Shawn; Radtke-Bodorik, H. Lorraine; Rivers, Stephen M. (1979). Nonanalytic attending, hypnotic susceptibility, and psychological well-being in trained meditators and nonmeditators. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88 (1), 85-87.

Four groups of trained meditators differing in amount of meditation practice and a group of nonmeditators attended nonanalytically to a mantra in two meditation sessions. Subjects signaled intrusions into their attending, and were also assessed on several person variables. The four trained meditator groups differed from one another only in terms of self-esteem. When combined into a single group, meditators signaled fewer intrusions and reported “deeper” levels of meditating than nonmeditators. However, meditators and nonmeditators did not differ on hypnotic susceptibility, absorption, or indices of psychopathology.

Benson, Herbert; Frankel, Fred H.; Apfel, Roberta; Daniels, Michael D.; Schniewind, Henry E.; Nemiah, John C.; Sifneos, Peter E.; Crassweller, Karen D.; Greenwood, Martha M.; Kotch, Jamie B.; Arns, Patricia A.; Rosner, Bernard (1978). Treatment of anxiety: A comparison of the usefulness of self-hypnosis and a meditational relaxation technique. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 30, 229-242.

We have investigated prospectively the efficacy of two nonpharmacologic relaxation techniques in the therapy of anxiety. A simple, meditational relaxation technique (MT) that elicits the changes of decreased sympathetic nervous system activity was compared to a self-hypnosis technique (HT) in which relaxation, with or without altered perceptions, was suggested. 32 patients with anxiety neurosis were divided into 2 groups on the basis of their responsivity to hypnosis: moderate-high and low responsivity. The NIT or HT was then randomly assigned separately to each member of the two responsivity groups. Thus, 4 treatment groups were studied: moderate-high responsivity MT; low responsivity MT; moderate-high responsivity HT; and low responsivity HT. The low responsivity HT group, by definition largely incapable of achieving the altered perceptions essential to hypnosis, was designed as the control group. Patients were instructed to practice the assigned technique daily for 8 weeks. Change in anxiety was determined by three types of evaluation: psychiatric assessment; physiologic testing; and self-assessment. There was essentially no difference between the two techniques in therapeutic efficacy according to these evaluations. Psychiatric assessment revealed overall improvement in 34% of the patients and the self-rating assessment indicated improvement in 63% of the population. Patients who had moderate- high hypnotic responsivity, independent of the technique used, significantly improved on psychiatric assessment (p = 0.05) and decreased average systolic blood pressure from 126.1 to 122.5 mm Hg over the 8-week period (p = 0.048). The responsivity scores at the higher end of the hypnotic responsivity spectrum were proportionately correlated to greater decreases in systolic blood pressure (p = 0.075) and to improvement by psychiatric assessment (p = 0.003). There was, however, no consistent relation between hypnotic responsivity and the other assessments made, such as diastolic blood pressure, oxygen consumption, heart rate and the self-rating questionnaires. The meditational and self- hypnosis techniques employed in this investigation are simple to use and effective in the therapy of anxiety.

Significantly improved on psychiatric assessment (p = 0.05) and decreased average systolic blood pressure from 126.1 to 122.5 mm Hg over the 8-week period (p = 0.048). The responsivity scores at the higher end of the hypnotic responsivity spectrum were proportionately correlated to greater decreases in systolic blood pressure (p = 0.075) and to improvement by psychiatric assessment (p = 0.003). There was, however, no consistent relation between hypnotic responsivity and the other assessments made, such as diastolic blood pressure, oxygen consumption, heart rate and the self-rating questionnaires. The meditational and self- hypnosis techniques employed in this investigation are simple to use and effective in the therapy of anxiety.

Parker, Jerry C.; Gilbert, Gary S.; Thoreson, Richard W. (1978). Reduction of autonomic arousal in alcoholics: A comparison of relaxation and meditation techniques. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (5), 879-886.

To investigate and compare the effects of progressive relaxation training and meditation training on autonomic arousal in alcoholics, 30 subjects were selected from a population of alcoholics in a Veterans Administration hospital substance-abuse program. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the following three experimental conditions: (a) progressive relaxation training group, (b) meditation training group, or (c) quiet rest control group. All groups met for 3 weeks during which state anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, and spontaneous galvanic skin responses were measured. The measures were designed to assess the treatment effects following the first training session and at the end of the total training period. The results indicate that both progressive relaxation training and meditation training are useful for reducing blood pressure in alcoholics. In addition, significant differences between the groups in the effectiveness of the relaxation procedures were found. Meditation training induced blood pressure decreases at an earlier point in the 3-week training period and affected decreases in systolic blood pressure that progressive relaxation training did not. These results support the idea of considerable specificity of response to relaxation techniques.

Reed, Henry (1978). Improved dream recall associated with meditation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 34 (1), 150-156.

Analyzed the effect of meditation on the completeness and vividness of intentional dream recall by use of data protocols obtained from an experimental home-study dream research project that involved Ss who recorded dream recall for 28 consecutive days. It was found that when a S had meditated the day before, there was significantly greater completeness of dream recall on the following morning. A significant interaction effect also was found between the regularity of the S’s meditation and whether such meditation was associated with improved dream recall. The results were discussed in terms of Cayce’s attunement model of meditation, which predicts more observable effects of meditation when it is practiced regularly

Schwartz, G. E.; Davidson, R. J.; Goleman, D. J. (1978). Patterning of cognitive and somatic processes in the self-regulation of anxiety: Effects of meditation versus exercise. Psychosomatic Medicine, 40, 321-328

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Rivers, Stephen M.; Gottlieb, Jack (1978). Hypnotic responsivity, meditation, and laterality of eye movements. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87 (5), 566-569.

Right-handed male subjects were pretested on a number of person variables; they then meditated for eight sessions. Measures of hypnotic responsivity, meditating skill, imaginal abilities, and attitudes toward hypnosis loaded on a common factor that was labeled sustained nonanalytic attending. However, laterality of eye movement (left moving) failed to load on this factor. The implications of these findings for current theorizing concerning hypnosis and meditation are discussed.

Zuroff, David C.; Schwarz, J. Conrad (1978). Effects of transcendental meditation and muscle relaxation on trait anxiety, maladjustment, locus of control, and drug use. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (2), 264-271

Sixty undergraduate volunteers were randomly assigned to receive training in transcendental meditation (Transcendental meditation), training in a muscle relaxation technique, or no treatment. The training in muscle relaxation was designed to be maximally similar in structure and atmosphere to training in Transcendental meditation. Measures of trait anxiety, locus of control, maladjustment, and drug use were collected before and after the 9-week treatment period. On a behavioral measure of trait anxiety, the scores of all three groups decreased equally, but on a self-report measure the Transcendental meditation subjects reported steady decreases in anxiety, whereas the scores of the other two groups remained unchanged. There were no differences in maladjustment, locus of control, or drug use as a function of treatment. Although Transcendental meditation subjects held higher expectancies for benefits, and were slightly more regular in practicing their technique, individual differences in expectancy and frequency of practice were not correlated with degree of reported anxiety reduction. It is concluded that Transcendental meditation may reduce trait anxiety, but it has not been shown to be of value in inducing general personality change.

Avila, Donald; Nummela, Renate (1977). Transcendental meditation: A psychological interpretation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33 (3), 842-844.

The authors suggest that Transcendental Meditation offers a great deal of promise for use in helping relationships. They also suggest that the technique might receive wider acceptance if it could be explained in other than a purely philosophical or mystical way. For that reason, in their article they offer a psychological interpretation of he TM process.

Brown, Daniel P.; Fromm, Erika (1977). Selected bibliography of readings in altered states of consciousness (ASC) in normal individuals. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 388-391.

The bibliography is divided into the following sections:
I. General Works
II. Reference material on personality in relation to altered states
III. Social and cultural determinants of altered states
IV. Cognition, information-processing, and ego-functioning
V. Methodology in the study of altered states
VI. Differentiation of hyperaroused states
VII. Shamanistic states
IX. Psychedelic states
X. The meditative states
XI. Personality differences and meditation
XII. Affective and cognitive change in meditation
XIII.Ordinary Buddhist meditation, concentration, and insight meditation
XIV. The variety of Buddhist meditation traditions

Brown, Daniel P. (1977). A model for the levels of concentrative meditation. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25 (4), 236-273.

Classical Tibetan meditation texts are used to specify the most important variables in meditation that can be subjected to empirical test. There are 3 kinds of variables: (a) nonspecific variables, common to all meditation systems; (b) specific variables, limited to specific types of meditation practice; and (c) time-dependent variables, changing over the course of meditation practice. The latter, time-dependent variables, comprise the majority of meditation variables. One set of time-dependent variables for classical concentrative meditation is explored. Using the semantic-field method of translating, technical terms most important in each level of the entire phenomenology of concentrative meditation are discussed. These terms are translated into hypotheses, which are worded in terms of traditional constructs from cognitive psychology. Supporting empirical research is presented and suggestions for further research are made. Certain similarities are noted between the Yogic texts and the constructivist theories of perception, information-processing, and affect. The overall direction of change in concentrative meditation follows an invariant sequence of levels of consciousness.

Cauthen, Nelson R.; Prymak, Carole A. (1977). Meditation versus relaxation: An examination of the physiological effects of relaxation training and of different levels of experience with transcendental meditation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45 (3), 496-497.

Three groups of meditators with varying amounts of experience, a group trained in relaxation, and a pseudomeditation group were tested for changes in heart rate, respiration, skin temperature, and skin conductance during meditation or relaxation. The two more experienced groups of meditators showed decreases in heart rate during meditation while the relaxation group showed decreases after relaxing. The group trained in relaxation and the least experienced meditators showed increases in skin temperature. There were no significant changes in skin conductance or respiration before, during, or after the meditation or relaxation periods.

Davidson, R. J.; Goleman, D. J. (1977). The role of attention in meditation and hypnosis: A psychobiological perspective on transformations of consciousness. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 291-308.

A temporally based scheme for investigation of changes in consciousness, applicable to areas such as meditation and hypnosis, is proposed and is divided into 3 basic epochs: before — predispositional variables that affect response to consciousness altering techniques; during — the state effects of the particular technique; and after — the trait effects of the practice. Research is surveyed which indicates the role of attentional processes during each of these 3 basic epochs in both meditation and hypnosis. Attentional flexibility is a predispositional variable affecting response to both meditation and hypnosis. The state effects of concentrative meditation involve alterations in stimulus set while the state effects of hypnosis may reflect primarily response set. The trait effects elicited by meditation depend critically on the psychobiological systems which are called into play. Evidence is discussed which suggests that concentrative meditation shares with relaxation an autonomic quiescence, but in addition enhances some attentional skills. A mindfulness technique involving the adoption of a particular attentional stance toward all objects of awareness appears to enhance cortical specificity, but a concentration technique does not. Some implications of attentional self-regulation are discussed.

Dillbeck, Michael C. (1977). The effect of the transcendental meditation technique on anxiety level. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33 (4), 1076-1078.

Two weeks of twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation (Transcendental meditation) technique was compared with 2 weeks of twice-daily practice of passive relaxation as a means of reduction of anxiety, as measured by the Trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Thirty-three graduate and undergraduate students were assigned randomly to a relaxation group and a Transcendental meditation group. After a 2-week experimental interval, the relaxation Ss began Transcendental meditation. As hypothesized, in the comparison between the relaxation and meditation Ss, as well as between conditions of the relaxation-meditation group, Transcendental meditation was significantly more effective in reducing anxiety level. Thus, the anxiety-reducing effect of the practice of Transcendental meditation cannot be attributed merely to sitting quietly twice daily, although additional research must determine the extent to which S expectations for change contributed to this effect.

Fromm, Erika (1977). An ego-psychological theory of altered states of consciousness. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 372-387.

In this paper a new ego-psychological theory is proposed for the understanding of altered states of consciousness. The dichotomies of primary and secondary process, ego activity and ego receptivity, and automatization and de-automatization of ego functions in daydreaming, in the inspirational phase of creativity, in hypnosis, in psychedelic states, and in meditation are discussed; so are the roles of fantasy, imagery, and varous forms of attention.

The author provides a table titled “Typology of Waking State and Several Altered States of Consciuosness by Attention Mode.” The states listed in the table are: Waking, normally alert, and concentrated; Waking, fascinated, entranced; Free association; Daydreaming; Dreaming; Psychedelic drugs; Hypnosis; Self-hypnosis; Biofeedback; Transcendental meditation; Concentrative meditation; Satipatthana [mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and mental events]; Classical vipasyana [Clear intuitive insight into physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disappear, seeing them for what they actually are]. She summarizes, “In general, the present author strongly feels that the advantage of hypnotherapy over therapy in the waking state is that hypnosis allows the therapist to help patients work with more primary process thinking, more fantasy, more imagery, more ego receptivity than they would employ in the waking state” (p. 385). “What helps the therapy is not the depth itself; it is that in the hypnotic state there is greater mobility, a greater ability to dip into the unconscious and to bring the unconscious material back into the waking state of consciousness” (p. 385).

and concentrated; Waking, fascinated, entranced; Free association; Daydreaming; Dreaming; Psychedelic drugs; Hypnosis; Self-hypnosis; Biofeedback; Transcendental meditation; Concentrative meditation; Satipatthana [mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and mental events]; Classical vipasyana [Clear intuitive insight into physical and mental phenomena as they arise and disappear, seeing them for what they actually are]. She summarizes, “In general, the present author strongly feels that the advantage of hypnotherapy over therapy in the waking state is that hypnosis allows the therapist to help patients work with more primary process thinking, more fantasy, more imagery, more ego receptivity than they would employ in the waking state” (p. 385). “What helps the therapy is not the depth itself; it is that in the hypnotic state there is greater mobility, a greater ability to dip into the unconscious and to bring the unconscious material back into the waking state of consciousness” (p. 385).

Sacerdote, Paul (1977). Application of hypnotically elicited mystical states to the treatment of physical and emotional pain. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 309-324.

Mystical states by-pass usual sensory perception and logical thinking. They often represent the ultimate goal of long apprenticeships in Eastern or Western monastic practices which stress self-discipline and meditation; or they correlate with sudden religious conversions. While interest has also been revived in mystical experiences stimulated by hallucinogens within the appropriate physical, intellectual, and emotional environment, less attention has been paid to those mystical experiences which appear spontaneously during hypnosis and Transcendental Meditation. The present author facilitates the unleashing of mystical experiences by using hypnotic approaches specifically aimed at altering space and time perceptions. Case presentations illustrate the methodologies for guiding receptive subjects to mystical states with the aim of relieving or correcting organic and functional painful syndromes unresponsive to other interventions. The probable biopsychological processes are discussed.


Goleman, Daniel J.; Schwartz, Gary E. (1976). Meditation as an intervention in stress reactivity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44 (3), 456-466.

Meditation and relaxation were compared for ability to reduce stress reactions in a laboratory threat situation. Thirty experienced meditators and 30 controls either meditated or relaxed with eyes closed or with eyes open and then watched a stressor film. Stress response was assessed by phasic skin conductance, heart rate, self-report, and personality scales. Meditators and the meditation condition habituated heart rate and phasic skin conductance responses more quickly to the stressor impact and experienced less subjective anxiety. Meditation can produce a psychophysiological configuration in stress situations opposite to that seen in stress-related syndromes. Research is indicated on clinical applications and on the process whereby meditation state effects may become meditator traits.

Smith, Jonathan C. (1976). Psychotherapeutic effects of transcendental meditation with controls for expectation of relief and daily sitting. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44 (4), 630-637.

Two experiments were conducted to isolate the trait-anxiety-reducing effects of transcendental meditation (TM) from expectation of relief and the concomitant ritual of sitting twice daily. Experiment I was a double-blind study in which 49 anxious college student volunteers were assigned to TM and 51 to a control treatment, “periodic somatic inactivity” (PSI). PSI was carefully designed to match the form, complexity, and expectation-fostering aspects of TM but incorporated a daily exercise that involved sitting twice daily rather than sitting and meditating. In Experiment 2 two parallel treatments were compared, both called “cortically mediated stabilization” (CMS). Twenty-seven volunteers were taught CMS1, a treatment that incorporated a TM-like meditation exercise, and 27, CMS2, an exercise designed to be the near antithesis of meditation. Results show 6 months of TM and PSI to be equally effective and 11 weeks of CMS1 and CMS2. to be equally effective. Differences between groups did not approach significance (p > .6). The results strongly support the conclusion that the crucial therapeutic component of TM is not the TM exercise.


Meares, Ainslie (1972). Group relaxing hypnosis. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 19, 137-141.

The paper is reprinted from Med. J. Aust., 1971, 2, 675-676 with permission of Editor. The author discusses theoretical concepts, techniques and patient selection for this method. “I avoid all logical communication, as this would only keep the patient alert, and so prevent the atavistic regression which is the essential factor in hypnosis” (p. 139). He moves from patient to patient, saying little except “Good–easy–natural” etc. and he uses touch to reinforce their development of hypnotic state. To ratify the trance and make sure they are hypnotized, not just relaxed, he places a clip on forearm skin for a few moments. “This potentially painful stimulus has the effect of further deepening hypnosis” (p. 139). After about 35-40 minutes he alerts the group. Patients are taught self hypnosis to extend the results into daily life.

Meares, Ainslie (1968). Hypnotherapy without the phenomena of hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 211-214

A clear distinction must be drawn between the phenomena of hypnosis and the hypnotic state itself. Hypnosis is a state of mind characterized by regression to atavistic mental functioning. The phenomena are produced as a result of this regression. The production of phenomena in either the induction or the therapeutic process is generally undesirable. Hypnosis may be used for reduction of anxiety or as a therapeutic experience without the production of any hypnotic phenomena. (French & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

1963 Das, J. P. (1963). Yoga and hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 11, 31-38.

The nature of Yoga and Samadhi (concentration) was described. A comparison with hypnosis revealed widely differing objectives, but many points of functional and methodological similarity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Yoga methods (with introduction by W. Grey Walter). International Journal of Parapsychology, 5, 25-41.

1960 Meares, Ainsley (1960). The Y-state: An hypnotic variant. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 8 (4), 237-242.

(Author”s Summary) “Two different forms or manifestations of hypnosis are commonly used in clinical practice. These are hypnotic sleep, and hypnotic activity. Hypnotic sleep is used for giving therapeutic suggestions, and for resting the patient. In this form, the patient is utterly passive. Hypnotic activity is used in abreaction, and in all the various techniques of hypnoanalysis. In this form the activity, whether it is verbal, emotional or motor, is uncontrolled. An hypnotic variant can be induced which materially differs from both hypnotic sleep and hypnotic activity. It is a Yoga-like trance, and for convenience is referred to as the Y-state. It is a state of calm abstraction. It is distinguished from hypnotic sleep by the intense cerebration, and from ordinary hypnotic activity by the fact that activity is subjective and is actively controlled. Y-state has been used with encouraging results in certain cases of chronic anxiety” (p. 241).

“In contrast to hypnotic sleep, there is another variety of the hypnotic state which involves quite a different state of consciousness. For convenience, we will refer to it as the state of hypnotic activity. In it, the patient talks spontaneously and moves spontaneously. He may express himself by graphic or plastic means if he is given suitable materials. In hypnotherapy, this state of hypnotic activity is used in abreaction and in the uncovering techniques of hypno-analysis. In this state, the activity is essentially uncontrolled, and unrelated to present reality” (p. 237).

Sukhakarn, Khun Vichit (1960/1962). Extra ocular vision [Letter]. British Journal of Medical Hypnotism, 14 (2), 41-47.

The article is in the original form of a letter to Herbert Spiegel, M.D. The author describes experiences training subjects, both blind and with normal vision, to ‘see’ through the skin of their cheeks. Training involved concentrative meditation (Buddhist) and hypnosis. Simple tests were performed, apparently independently, by two other scientists.
“From information available from our subjects, the Extra Ocular Vision gained through the cheek-skin is different from those through the eyes as best explained here below:– (1) The vision through the cheek-skin first takes a form of a series of spots somewhat like the image of coarse gain prints. Only after further training the spots are transformed into a clear object, so clear that needle threading is possible. (2) Objects seen through the cheek-skin are as clear as through the eyes. Distant objects can be magnified by the subject’s wish, just like looking through an opera glass. (3) The vision gained through the cheek-skin is first ‘seen’ in black and white, and the ‘colour picture’ is achieved only after further training. But the colour ‘seen’ through the cheek is more intense than those through the eyes. (4) The field of vision ‘seen’ through each side of the cheek is more narrow than those seen through each eye. (5) There is a sign indicating that the vision through the cheek is only two-dimensional, the subjects find it difficult at first to stand the finger to another finger test” (p. 42).


Eisen, Mitchell L.; Henn-Haase, Clare (1995, November). Memory and suggestibility for events occurring in and out of hypnosis. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.

Resistance to misinformation uses two paradigms: 1. Elizabeth Loftus – expose Subject to slides or videotape, give misinformation with leading or misleading questions 2. Martin Orne – pseudomemory, i.e. age regress people in hypnosis and suggest events occurred.
Each approach yields mixed results. Misinformation is accepted more readily in context of hypnosis; but there is no relationship to hypnotizability. Spanos found that highs were more responsive to social pressure. In general, in the absence of social pressure, when presented subtly and outside the context of hypnosis, the relationship diminishes. Other factors play a more prominent role: source of information, type of information, salience of information, etc.
They examined whether events occurring in context of hypnosis were more prone to distortion when assessed in biased fashion with use of misleading information, than outside hypnosis. Also, form of questions (dichotomous or with ‘I don’t remember’ option).
They gave the Harvard and asked afterwards 3 misleading items (e.g. did you clench your fist, when they didn’t do it). Also asked them to circle items if they had no memory of it. Tellegen Absorption Scale and Dissociation scale (DES) were administered a week later. Also a week later asked about events that occurred, including confederate items. Half of Ss had 2 choices, half had also ‘I don’t remember’ as a third option.
In a previous study, resistance to misleading information was related to the strength of the initial memory and not to hypnotizability (article published in AJCH).
RESULTS. When given 3 choices, the number of misleading items endorsed dropped from .7 to 0.4 which is the most robust finding in the study and affects the rest of the study. Many Ss who endorsed the items reported minutes later that they had no memory for the event (on the check list). While many Ss given only two choices wrote in the margin that the event had never occurred.
Offering an ‘I don’t know’ third option decreased endorsement of the Harvard items also, from 6.4 to 5.2 which is significant. The relationship between hypnotizability and endorsement of misleading items became much weaker when accounting for this.
Scoring high on DES is significantly related to accepting misinformation. Tellegen Absorption Scale also related to accepting misleading information. Harvard Hypnotizability Scale was not related to accepting misinformation.
Total memory on the Harvard (before cue plus after cue) did not correlate with resistance to misleading information. History of abuse was related to hypnotizability. Have to evaluate whether it was traumatizing, multiple abuse, etc.

Eisen, Mitchell L.; Goodman, Gail S.; Qin, Jianjian (1995, November). Child witnesses: Dissociation and memory and suggestibility in abused children. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.


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.

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.