During the last decade, clinicians, courts, and researchers have been faced with exceedingly difficult questions involving the crossroads where memory, traumatic memory, dissociation, repression, childhood sexual abuse, and suggestion all meet. In one criminal case, repressed memories served as the basis for a conviction of murder. In approximately 50 civil cases, courts have ruled on the issue of whether repressed memory for childhood sexual abuse may form the basis of a suit against the alleged perpetrators. Rulings that have upheld such use underscore the importance of the reliability of memory retrieval techniques. Hypnosis and other methodologies employed in psychotherapy may be beneficial in working through memories of trauma, but they may also distort memories or alter a subject’s evaluation of their veracity. Because of the reconstructive nature of memory, caution must be taken to treat each case on its own merits and avoid global statements essentially proclaiming either that repressed memory is always right or that it is always wrong.

Mare, Cornelia; Lynn, Steven Jay; Segal, David; Sivec, Harry; Marsden, Kim; Myers, Bryan (1992, October). The ‘dream hidden observer’: A real-simulator comparison. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Arlington, VA.

In previous research, after the Stanford Scale Form C dream suggestion, the authors gave the suggestion to the Ss that “in hypnosis you can discover part of the unconscious mind that is aware of new thoughts, images, that might be related or might not be related to your dream; let your index finger lift when that happens.” There were strong demand effects observed in those Ss.
94% of highs and 78% of mediums passed the hidden observer test, with more personal and more primary process material produced in the hidden observer condition. All Ss recalled their suggested dreams after awakening, but only 1/3 recalled their hidden observer. The authors think it was because Ss thought the hidden observer was “unconscious.”
Authors compared highs with low simulators in the present study. Michael Nash says two things differentiate highs: more primary process thinking, and more affect availability in hypnosis. In this study, if high hypnotizables’ dreams have more of these, it would support the psychoanalytic model.
N = 18 Highs who passed 9 Harvard Scale suggestions; 18 lows passed 3 or fewer suggestions. Simulating instructions were from Orne, 1977.
Hypnotists were blind to the hypotheses and to the hypnotizability of Ss. This differs from the first study in two ways: (1) instructions to Ss (here they were more like Hilgard’s original suggestions), and (2) more probing about dream content before receiving the hidden observer instructions.
We did a 5-point scale on bizarre content, on different thoughts after the experience, and on additional content. Primary process was measured by Bizarre Content and by Shifts in Time or Location. Did ANOVA on 2 primary process and 3 affect measures. Many other analyses also were used. Even under multiple probes, most Ss passed hidden observer test. (In both groups only 1 didn’t pass the hidden observer test.) So it is a very reliable suggestion, suggesting that hidden observer instructions are a very credible metaphor (for clinical practice).
The 2 groups were comparable on rates of reporting more personally revealing information in the hidden observer condition: so this suggestion could be useful to get additional information from patients.
The results supported one hypothesis: dream reports were associated with more primary process thinking. This was more true of highs than lows. Results supported the view that primary process is not attributed to role playing because the blending of dream and hidden observer responses occurred in the high hypnotizables; more novel content was found in the highs.
No support was found for the hypothesis that more affect is produced under these conditions.
Though simulators were unable to role-play the primary process thinking of highs, they may have been vigilant and may have suppressed primary process thinking.

Mozenter, Randi H.; Kurtz, Richard M. (1992). Prospective time estimation and hypnotizability in a simulator design. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40, 169-179.

The present study of prospective time estimation examined the effects of hypnosis on short time intervals using a real-simulator design. The major hypothesis predicted a 2-way interaction between group (high hypnotizability, low hypnotizability, and simulator) and condition (waking and hypnotic) across all 4 time intervals (30, 60, 120, and 240 seconds). It was further hypothesized that on a “suggested” task (a measure of hypnotic depth), high hypnotizability subjects and simulators would not differ from each other but would differ from low hypnotizability subjects. 42 undergraduates were screened on both the Creative Imagination Scale (Wilson & Barber, 1977) and the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale for Adults (Morgan & J. R. Hilgard, 1975, 1979) and assigned to 1 of 3 groups (high hypnotizability, low hypnotizability, simulator) based on combined hypnotizability scores. Subjects verbally estimated time intervals of 30, 60, 120, and 240 seconds, 3 times each, both while in a waking and a hypnotic condition. Hypnotic depth was assessed once following each time interval. Partial support was found for the first hypothesis where, for both the 60- and 120-second intervals, high hypnotizability subjects increased their overestimation in the hypnotic condition. Low hypnotizability and simulator Subjects showed no such increase. The second hypothesis, that high hypnotizability and simulator Subjects would differ from low hypnotizables on the “suggested” task, was confirmed. The partial replication of previous research was examined in the context of choice of hypnotizability measure and reliability of time estimation.

[Perhaps the increase in time estimation shown by highs is evidence of inhibition of cortical response–the time keeper. It is the opposite of the shortened experience of time that often has been found in hypnosis when retrospective technique was used (Bowers, 1979; Jasinski, 1986), though St. Jean did not find time shortening in 3 studies (p. 170).]

Berrigan, Lee P.; Kurtz, Richard M.; Stabile, Joseph P.; Strube, Michael J. (1991). Durability of ‘posthypnotic suggestions’ as a function of type of suggestion and trance depth. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 39, 24-38.

3 types of ‘posthypnotic suggestion,’ based upon factor analytic studies, were administered to high hypnotizability Ss (reals) and to low hypnotizable Ss instructed to simulate hypnosis (simulators) (N = 12 high and 6 low hypnotizable Ss per suggestion). The ‘posthypnotic suggestions’ consisted of instructions given to Ss following a hypnotic induction that, when the posthypnotic cue was later given, they would re-enter the hypnotic state and perform a certain task at that time. Ss were then tested 6 times for durability of ‘posthypnotic response’ during an 8-week period. Responses to the ‘suggestions’ were rated by research assistants (objective scores) and by Ss themselves (subjective scores). There was a significant Trials x Type of ‘Suggestion’ interaction for both types of scores for the reals but not for the simulators, indicating different rates of decline with time for the different ‘suggestions’ for the hypnotic Ss. Depth of reported hypnotic trance during the assessment sessions was found to be strongly related to performance of the ‘posthypnotic suggestion’ for both real and simulating Ss.

The suggestion was either arm lowering, verbal inhibition for the name of S’s hometown when asked, and suggestion of imagined or hallucinated smell of ammonia odor in response to the sound of a substance-free aerosol can being sprayed.
Kinnunen, Taru; Zamansky, Harold S.; Block, Martin L. (1991, August). Is the hypnotized subject lying?. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco.
To determine whether or not hypnotized subjects misrepresent or lie about their hypnotic experiences, electrodermal skin conductance responses were measured while groups of deeply hypnotized subjects and simulators responded to questions about their experiences to a series of suggestion. 89% of the responses of the hypnotic subjects met the criteria for truthfulness, while 65% of the responses of the simulators indicated deception. Differences between “reals” and simulators were highly significant. The relevance of the results for the nature and theory of hypnosis is discussed. (ABSTRACT from Bulletin of Division 30, Psychological Hypnosis, Provided by former Editor, James Council.)

Spanos, Nicholas P.; DuBreuil, Susan C.; Gwynn, Maxwell I. (1991). The effects of expert testimony concerning rape on the verdicts and beliefs of mock jurors. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 11, 37-51.

Mock jurors heard one of 4 versions of a ‘date rape’ case and deliberated in small groups, to a verdict. Exposure to the direct examination of an expert who testified about rape myths undermined belief in the defendant’s testimony that sex with the complainant had been consensual, and increased the frequency of guilty votes. However, exposure to the expert’s cross-examination reversed the effects of the direct examination on the frequency of guilty votes. Women jurors disbelieved the defendant and voted him guilty to a greater extent than male jurors, while in both sexes profeminist attitudes correlated with disbelief in the defendant’s testimony but failed to correlate significantly with final verdicts. Implications are discussed

Bates, Brad L. (1990). Compliance and the Carleton Skill Training Program. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 7, 159-164.

He presents examples of how the Carleton training program for increasing hypnotizability encourages compliance, which suggests that the results are not truly an increase in suggestibility or hypnotizability.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; James, Barbara; de Groot, Hans P. (1990). Detection of simulated hypnotic amnesia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 179-182.

Highly hypnotizability nonsimulators and high- and low-hypnotizable simulators of hypnosis were administered a hypnotic amnesia suggestion and tested for recall and recognition of a previously learned word list. Simulators exhibited higher levels of recall and recognition amnesia than non-simulators. Most important, simulators recognized ‘forgotten’ words at lower levels than expected by chance significantly more often than did nonsimulators. Implications for the detection of simulated amnesia in clinical samples are discussed.

Bryant, Richard A.; McConkey, Kevin M. (1989). Hypnotic blindness: A behavioral and experiential analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 71-77.

“This research examined the influence of visual information on a decision task that subjects were administered during hypnotically suggested blindness. Real, hypnotizable subjects and simulating, unhypnotizable subjects were tested in two experiments. Experiment 1 focused on behavioral responses, and Exper. 2 focused on experiential reactions. In both experiments, the findings indicated that the behavioral responses of reals were influenced by visual info. despite their reported blindness. The behavioral responses of reals and simulators were essentially similar. The experiential data in Experiment 2 provided information about the phenomenal nature of subjects’ reported blindness. The experiential reactions of reals and simulators were essentially different. The research is discussed in terms of the issues that need to be considered in the development of a model of hypnotic blindness” (p. 71).

Bryant, Richard A.; McConkey, Kevin M. (1989). Hypnotic emotions and physical sensations: A real-simulating analysis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 305-319.

Real hypnotizable Ss and simulating unhypnotizable Ss were administered a suggestion for either happiness, emotional neutrality, or sadness. The emotion was assessed through subjective and behavioral measures taken once before, twice during, and once after the emotion. Findings indicated that emotionally congruent changes occurred in both self-report and performance measures. Ss’ physical sensations during the emotion were assessed on a 34-item self-report scale. It was demonstrated that Ss in the happy versus sad conditions reported different physical sensations; in particular, they reported different facial sensations. The responses of real hypnotizable subjects, however, were essentially paralleled by those of simulating unhypnotizable subjects. Therefore, the possibility exists that hypnotized subjects may have been responding on the basis of social demands. The findings are discussed in terms of the effects of the emotion suggestions, and the implications of real and simulating Ss displaying similar affective responses.

Used the real-simulating model in an attempt to eliminate the possibility that hypnotized Subjects in previous studies may have been responding to the demand characteristics of the situation. Used both subjective and behavioral measures. Self-report happiness and sadness, of emotion intensity; behavioral performance measure of speech rate, indexed by counting speed (which has been shown to distinguish between happiness and sadness). Used 34-item self-report Physical Sensations Scale based on Pennebaker, J. W. The psychology of physical symptoms. New York: Springer-Verlag,

They cite Weiss, et al (1987) who focused on the onset latency, and the fluctuation of muscular contraction associated with facial expression indicated a difference between posthypnotically cued and simulated emotions of anxiety and pleasure.

Marks, David F.; Baird, John McR.; McKellar, Peter (1989). Replication of trance logic using a modified experimental design: Highly hypnotizable subjects in both real and simulator groups. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 232-248.

A potentially useful method for diagnosing the presence of hypnosis has been the comparison of hypnotic Ss and simulators. The present study attempted to replicate the hypnotic-simulator differentiation in regard to trance logic, as originally described by Orne (1959), using a modified design in which Ss in the 2 conditions were matched for hypnotizability scores. Orne’s doubled person hallucination (DPH) suggestion was presented, and the results showed significant differences between the two treatment conditions in both DPHs and spontaneous transparency reports. One interesting case of DPH occurred in the simulator group with one S in whom a hypnotic-like state was self- induced. In contrast to the placid acceptance of DPH among Subjects in the hypnotic condition, the experience was a confusing and mildly disturbing one for this S, who was not expecting any unusual perceptual experiences. Trance logic results from the ‘metasuggestion,’ experienced through participation in a formal induction procedure, that hypnosis entails new rules of experience and behavior.

Demonstrates changes in perception as a function of suggestion. This experimental design should show what the essential characteristics of hypnosis would be. They compared hypnotized Subjects with simulating Subjects, but modified the original simulator design so that the Subjects in the two conditions were matched for hypnotizability scores. In this design, hypnotizability can be eliminated as a causal factor if any differences are found between groups. The design has the disadvantage of not being able to assure that the simulating Subjects do not inadvertently enter hypnosis.
“The results indicate that the distribution of hypnotized and simulator Subjects reporting DPH has a 1-in-20 probability of occurring by chance. These results confirm Orne’s (1959) original claim that hypnotized Subjects who report the hallucination will tend to acknowledge the real target person behind. In contrast with most of the previous research, the present study has replicated Orne’s finding that 100% of reals who acknowledge the hallucination also report DPH. Orne also claimed that simulators who report the hallucination will seldom report DPH. In the present experiment 58% of the simulators produced DPH responses, a greater number than would be expected on the basis of Orne’s original data. In the 25 year period between the two studies, however, the sophistication of the university student population in regard to hypnotic effects could well have increased and, therefore, a better level of hypnotic simulation might well be expected. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, highly hypnotizable simulators can be expected to be more successful at accurately playing the role of hypnotized Ss, because they are more likely to have had direct access to relevant fantasy-oriented experiences than low hypnotizables” (p. 242).
“The claim by Orne (1959) that a spontaneous transparency response is ‘absolutely diagnostic” of the hypnotized S therefore appears to be correct” (p. 242).
“Hypnosis is a condition in which suggestions bring about alterations in imagery, memory, mood, motor control, or perception. These alterations are subjectively real, and while the circumstances under which these alterations occur most reliably entail co- operative, highly hypnotizable Ss participating in a hypnotic induction procedure, highly hypnotizable Ss may experience hypnotic phenomena in their everyday life (Shor, 1959; Shor, Orne, & O’Connell, 1962). The results of the present investigation correspond well to the description of ‘trance logic’ given originally by Orne (1959). The Ss were selected from the high end of a continuum which has variously been characterized as ‘tranceability’ or suspension of usual ‘generalized reality-orientation’ (Shor et al., 1962), ‘absorption’ (Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974), ‘fantasy-proneness’ (Wilson & Barber, 1983), and in the general literature, ‘hypnotizability’ or ‘hypnotic susceptibility.’ The Subjects who experienced DPH would likely have been characterized by high scores on other measures of hypnotizability, and they were found to have significantly higher scores on the measure of hypnotizability used in the present study (CIS plus BSS)” (p. 244).

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Flynn, Deborah M. (1989). Simulation, compliance and skill training in the enhancement of hypnotizability. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 6, 1-8.

Subjects who underwent cognitive skill training were compared to no treatment controls and to subjects in two simulation treatments on the behavioural and subjective dimensions of two hypnotizability post-tests. Ss in a trained simulation treatment received skill training but were instructed to fake the responses of someone who had been transformed by training into an excellent hypnotic subject. Standard simulators did not receive skill training, but were instructed to fake their responses to the two post- tests. A final group of untrained Ss (i.e. naturals) who attained the same behavioural scores on a hypnotizability index as did post-tested skill-trained Ss, was also compared to the treated groups. Ss in the two simulation treatments performed similarly on all hypnotizability indexes. Simulators out-performed both skill-trained and natural subjects (who failed to differ from one another) on all indexes, and skill-trained and natural subjects, in turn, out-performed the no treatment controls. These findings suggest that sustained faking cannot account adequately for the enhancements in hypnotizability produced by skill training.

Van Denberg, Eric J.; Kurtz, Richard M. (1989). Changes in body attitude as a function of posthypnotic suggestions. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37, 15-30.

Hypothesized that highly hypnotizable subjects who remained amnesic for posthypnotic suggestions to improve body attitude would show greater changes than subjects who were not amnesic. Subjects given simulating instructions were used as a comparison group to assess experimental demands. 48 females were screened with the Harvard and assigned to one of 4 conditions: (a) high hypnotizable with amnesia suggestions, (b) high hypnotizable without suggested amnesia, (c) low hypnotizable simulator with amnesia, and (d) low hypnotizable simulator without suggested amnesia. A fifth group was formed of those high hypnotizable subjects who remembered the suggestion despite instructions to the contrary. The Body Attitude Scale (Kurtz, 1966) was administered prior to and 3 days after the experimental suggestions. Results generally demonstrated that high hypnotizable amnesic subjects manifested the greatest attitudinal and phenomenological changes as a result of the posthypnotic suggestion, although conclusions were tempered by performance of simulating subjects. The implications for hypnosis research and clinical practice are discussed.

“The hypothesis that hypnotized subjects would report greater positive changes in affect, self-esteem, and social functioning than simulators was tested using a brief structured questionnaire. An analysis of Subjects responses to the questionnaire while with the ‘blind’ research assistant (simulators in role) revealed number significant differences between groups (N = 48) on six of the seven questions. … An analysis of Subjects’ responses to the questionnaire while being debriefed by the primary investigator (simulators out of role) revealed significant differences among groups (N = 48) on three of the seven questions. … High hypnotizable subjects with maintained amnesia demonstrated a strong tendency to be the most responsive of all groups of subjects on the first and second assessment. In contrast, the high hypnotizable Ss for whom amnesia ‘broke down’ reported the fewest phenomenological changes of any of the five groups during the first assessment, and comparatively few during the second assessment. Also of note is that once out of their role, simulators in both conditions dramatically reduced their reporting of positive change” (pp. 23-24).
“Moreover, a closer examination of the data demonstrated that phenomenological and behavioral differences in the groups did appear at several points during the experiment. For example, the 10 high hypnotizable subjects told to explicitly remember the suggestion did so, while 3 of the 10 simulators in this condition claimed to have forgotten it. On debriefing, these Subjects reported they did this because they believed ‘really hypnotized subjects wouldn’t be able to remember anything, even if they were told they could.’ Further, no simulator in the amnesia condition reported they could recall the suggestion, in contrast to the high hypnotizable subjects, 44% of whom said they did remember it. With regard to phenomenological differences, simulators stated during debriefing with the primary investigator that they intentionally faked changes on BAS, and that they experienced no true effects from the suggestion for positive body attitude change. In contrast, high hypnotizability amnesic subjects reported global, pervasive changes in their mood and self-esteem that went beyond specific alterations in attitudes toward their appearance. By comparison, high hypnotizable subjects told to remember the suggestion reported greatly increased self-absorption and acute awareness of the suggestion, ‘sort of like a broken record in my head'” (pp. 25-26).
“As shown by the present study, amnesia maintenance can be quite problematic. Of 18 high hypnotizable subjects for whom amnesia was suggested, only 10 remained fully amnesic for the suggestion after 3 days. In addition, those 8 subjects for whom amnesia ‘broke down’ showed minimal shifts on BAS, or in reports of phenomenological changes. Such frequent amnesia failure has been reported by other researchers, although the effectiveness of the suggestion is not always so compromised” (p. 26).

Gruzelier, John; Allison, James; Conway, Ashley (1988). A psychophysiological differentiation between hypnotic behaviour and simulation. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 6, 331-338.

Psychophysiological differentiation between conditions of hypnosis and simulation were examined with markers evolved from a series of experiments charting neuropsychophysiological accompaniments of hypnotic behaviour. Eighteen subjects participated in two sessions in which bilateral electrodermal activity was monitored to moderate intensity tones. Measurement in Session I, a Baseline-Control, of individual variation in rates of habituation of orienting responses, non-specific responses and tonic levels of skin conductance, enabled allocation of matched groups to Session II in which the same auditory stimuli were mixed with a taped hypnotic induction. Half the subjects were instructed to fake hypnosis and the others to comply. In session II the groups were differentiated as follows: (1) rate of habituation to the tones was retarded in the simulation condition and facilitated in the hypnosis condition compared with baseline; (2) the incidence of non-specific electrodermal responses was elevated in simulators after instructions to ‘fake hypnosis’; (3) right-hand levels of skin conductance were elevated in simulators; (4) all but one subject in the hypnosis condition admitted to hearing the tones whereas all but one in the simulation condition claimed not to have heard them

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Gwynn, Maxwell I.; Della Malva, C. Lori; Bertrand Lorne D. (1988). Social psychological factors in the genesis of posthypnotic source amnesia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97 (3), 322-329.

Three experiments assessed the role of social psychological variables in source amnesia. Experiment 1 found that low-hypnotizable subjects instructed to simulate partial amnesia were more likely to exhibit source amnesia than high-hypnotizable hypnotic or task-motivated subjects. Experiment 2 found equivalent rates of source amnesia in low-hypnotizable simulators and high-hypnotizable hypnotic subjects. In addition, the findings of Experiment 2 failed to support the idea that the instructions for partial amnesia given to simulators cued for the occurrence of source of amnesia as well as for the occurrence of partial amnesia. In Experiment 3, preliminary instructions that legitimated source amnesia as a role-appropriate response produced significantly more posthypnotic source amnesia than did neutral or no instructions. Together, the findings of the 3 experiments support the relation of source amnesia to experimental demands and subjects’ expectations.

Nash, Michael R.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Stanley, Scott; Carlson, Victor (1987). Subjectively complete hypnotic deafness and auditory priming. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 35 (1), 32-40.

The present study examined the cognitive and attentional mechanisms by which auditory information is maintained out of awareness during complete hypnotic deafness. Adopting a methodology from recent work on subliminally presented pattern- masked words and dichotic listening, the study tested whether spoken words presented during complete hypnotic deafness affect lexical decisions concerning subsequently presented word choices. The response of 9 hypnotized and 15 simulating Ss to spoken stimulus words presented following hypnotic deafness instructions was compared to the response of 20 baseline control Ss who never were exposed to the stimulus words. While the response pattern of hypnosis Ss appeared different from that of baseline control Ss, hypnotic Ss showed no evidence of the priming effect found in subliminal perception and dichotic listening studies. Simulator response deviated significantly from hypnotized and baseline control responses.

10 highs capable of hypnotic deafness, screened by Harvard Group and Stanford Profile Scales (Means 11.0 and 24.7, respectively) and 15 lows (means 1.7 and 1.7, respectively) participated in the study; the low hypnotizables being in the simulation group. For the experimental session, a different E administered a standard hypnotic induction and the deafness suggestion, testing for deafness by snapping fingers near S’s ear and making loud requests for motor responses.
An experimental trial consisted of tapping an S on the hand, saying the stimulus word out loud, and visually presenting four words for the S to read out loud and circle one. “Of the 18 main experimental trials, the four-word array consisted of two words which were related to the stimulus (one word which was semantically related to the spoken stimulus word and one word which was phonetically related), and two neutral unrelated words” (p. 34). For example, if the spoken word were ‘dream,’ the word array might include ‘cream, tennis, sell, sleep.’ There also were “3 phonetically unrelated trials (whose arrays consisted of one phonetically related choice and 3 unrelated choices) and 2 stimulus word-unrelated trials (whose arrays consisted of the stimulus word and 3 unrelated choices) … [and] 7 dummy trials with 4 unrelated choices only” (p. 34). Ss rated their degree of deafness on a 10-point scale after hypnosis was terminated.
Possible sources of bias were examined by having 20 control Ss respond to blank tachistoscopic slides with the instructions that they were participating in a study of ‘subliminal perception.’ Another 22 Ss were asked to identify the semantically and phonetically related words from the word array, which for the most part they did successfully.
All Ss rated themselves as ’10’ on the deafness scale, indicating total deafness. The principal results are seen in Tables 1 and 2.
Table 1 Mean Number of Related and Unrelated Responses (Percentage of Responses) for all S Groups on the 18 Mean Experimental Trials
Response Category S Group N Related Unrelated Total
Hypnotized 9 7.22 10.78 18
(40.13%) (59.88$) (100%)
Simulating 15 12.13 5.87 18
(67.43%) (32.61%) (100%)
Baseline 19 8.79 9.21 18 Controls (48.82%) (51.17%) (100%)
Table 2 Mean Number of Phonetic and Semantic Responses within the Related Response Category on the 18 Main Experimental Trials
Related Responses S Group Phonetic Semantic Hypnotized 1.78 5.44
(9.89%) (30.24%) Simulating 7.07 5.07
(39.27%) (28.16%) Baseline 4.21 4.58 Controls (23.38%) (25.44%)
Hypnotized Ss were significantly different from simulators (Table 1) in number of related responses. Simulators gave significantly more related responses than baseline controls. Simulators also gave more phonetically related words than either the hypnotized or baseline Ss (Table 2); there was no difference between groups on semantically related words. (Authors performed other useful and detailed analyses.)
In their Discussion section, the authors note that they did not obtain the expected results of hypnotized Ss producing more related responses than baseline Ss. “In fact, internal analyses of hypnotized and baseline responses revealed that the pattern of choices for hypnotic deaf Ss was opposite to the direction predicted by subception. Hypnotic Ss appeared to avoid phonetically related word choices, even for items on which baseline control Ss scored above chance. …
“This kind of non-baseline performance by hypnotic Ss can be accounted for by either a strategic enactment conceptualization of hypnosis (Spanos, 1982; Wagstaff, 1981) or Hilgard’s (1979) neo-dissociation theory. Spanos might emphasize the hypnotic S’s active strivings to meet the hypnotist’s perceived expectations. … Neo-dissociation theory might stress the mechanisms by which processing of auditory inputs are maintained outside of awareness via a dissociative barrier.
” … Given the tendency for simulating Ss to ‘overplay’ hypnotic phenomena (Levitt & Chapman, 1979), one might have expected simulators to pointedly avoid related responses, thus producing a lower frequency of related words than either the hypnotic Ss or the baseline controls (in effect being more deaf than the deaf). Just the opposite occurred. One possible explanation for this behavior presents itself: In their work with posthypnotic suggestion and the ‘disappearing hypnotist’ … M. T. Orne and others found that simulating Ss may be more alert and responsive to demand cues than are hypnotic Ss. In the present study, the authors’ original hypothesis was that hypnotic Ss might reveal a subception effect by above-chance responding on related word choices. If we assume that this expectation was somehow communicated to Ss by some subtle aspect of the experimental procedure, then it is conceivable that simulating Ss were able to detect and act upon these cues, while hypnotized Ss remained relatively unattuned to such subtleties.
“In sum, the priming effect noted in the subliminal perception research does not appear to be a feature of complete hypnotic deafness, at least as measured in this study. The behavior of simulating Ss in the present study should be another caution to researchers that differences between hypnotized and simulating Ss may reflect simulation effects in addition to, or instead of, hypnotic effects” (pp. 37-38).

Weiss, F.; Blum, G. S.; Gleberman, L. (1987). Anatomically based measurement of facial expressions in simulated versus hypnotically induced affect. Motivation and Emotion, 11, 67-81.

Cited by Bryant R. A. & McConkey, K. M. (1989) Hypnotic emotions and physical sensations: A real-simulating analysis, IJCEH, 37, 305-319, who state, “Finally, future research could usefully focus on aspects of experiencing emotions that are not obvious to simulators. Recent research by Weiss et al. (1987), for instance, that focused on the onset latency and the fluctuation of muscular contraction associated with facial expression indicated a difference between posthypnotically cued and simulated emotions of anxiety and pleasure, and this points to the potential value of investigating specific aspects of emotional experience. Thus, future investigations of real and simulated emotions and physical sensations could usefully employ more subtle and unobtrusive measures of the specific emotional responses of subjects” (p. 316).

Schacter, Daniel L. (1986). Amnesia and crime: How much do we really know?. American Psychologist, 41, 286-295.

Claims of amnesia occur frequently after the commission of violent crimes and can have a significant bearing on the outcome of criminal trials. This article considers the relation between amnesia and crime within the broader context of research on memory and amnesia and provides a critical evaluation of current knowledge concerning the issue. Particular attention is paid to the problem of distinguishing between genuine and simulated claims of amnesia. It is suggested that reliable data concerning the nature of amnesic episodes that occur after the commission of a crime are sparse, and that there is as yet little evidence that genuine and simulated amnesia can be distinguished in criminal cases. The results of several laboratory studies are summarized that indicate that feeling-of- knowing ratings distinguished between genuine and simulated amnesia under conditions in which psychologists and psychiatrists did not.

Silverman, Paul S.; Retzlaff, Paul D. (1986). Cognitive state regression through hypnosis: Are earlier cognitive stages retrievable?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 192-204.

Piagetian theory maintains that stage sequence is invariant due to irreversible transformations of cognitive structure which characterize development. The present study aimed to test this claim by attempting to stage-regress hypnotized and hypnosis-simulating adults. A prediction discrepancy technique was used whereby 3 tasks (conservation of volume, horizontality, and seriation) and target ages (8, 7, and 5 years) were selected based on evidence of failure by actual children, but adult predictions of success by children. Under both regressed and simulating conditions, adult task scores were substantially higher than those of actual children, though slightly lower than scores obtained during the normal adult state. The modest partial regression obtained suggests superficial performance adjustments attributable to procedure demand characteristics or to enhancement of role playing rather than temporary modifications of cognitive structure.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Robertson, Lynda A.; Menary, Evelyn P.; Brett, Pamela J. (1986). Component analysis of cognitive skill training for the enhancement of hypnotic susceptibility. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 350-357.

Four treatments to enhance the hypnotic responsiveness of subjects who pretested as low in hypnotic susceptibility were compared. Complete skill training included information aimed at encouraging (a) positive attitudes, (b) the use of imagery strategies, and (c) an interpretation of hypnotic behavior as active responding. Partial training included only components (a) and (b). Both training packages enhanced attitudes toward hypnosis to an equivalent degree. However, complete training was much more effective than either partial training or no treatment at enhancing behavioral and subjective responding on two different posttest scales of hypnotic susceptibility. More than half of the subjects who received complete training, but none of the partial training or control subjects, scored in the high-susceptibility range on both posttests. Subjects explicitly instructed to fake hypnosis and those in the complete skill-training treatment exhibited significantly different patterns of posttest responding. Findings support social psychological perspectives that emphasize the importance of contextual factors in hypnotic responding.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Weekes, John R.; Menary, Evelyn; Bertrand, Lorne D. (1986). Hypnotic interview and age regression procedures in the elicitation of multiple personality symptoms: A simulation study. Psychiatry, 49, 298-311.

Patients diagnosed as suffering from multiple personality (i.e., multiples) behave as though they possess two or more distinct personal identities. When behaving as one identity, these patients often display signs of amnesia for events that occurred while they were behaving as a different identity (Sutcliffe and Jones 1962; Taylor and Martin 1944). In most theoretical accounts multiples are conceptualized as the passive victims of unconscious psychological processes that are beyond their sphere of control. For instance, patients’ secondary identities are typically described as “dissociated” mental entities, as “taking over” behavioral control, as behaving independently of (and often in opposition to) patients’ wishes and intentions, and so on (Allison and Schwarz 1980; Gruenewald 1984; Prince 1930; Watkins and Johnson 1982). Our paper criticizes this traditional account and suggests instead that multiple personality may be more usefully conceptualized as a social role enactment. Along these lines we present a study using college student role players as subjects to test the hypothesis that the kinds of clinical interview procedures employed routinely to diagnose multiple personality may instead encourage and legitimate enactments of this syndrome.

Ashton, M.A.; McDonald, R.D. (1985). Effects of hypnosis on verbal and non-verbal creativity. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33 (1), 15-26.

60 female volunteers, 30 hypnotizable and 30 unhypnotizable, screened on 2 measures of hypnotizability, were assigned to a hypnosis, simulation, or waking motivated treatment condition to assess whether hypnosis has a differentially enhancing effect upon verbal and non-verbal creativity test performance. Verbal and figural components of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Torrance, 1974) and the Sounds and Images Test (Cunnington & Torrance, 1965) were the principal dependent variables. Postexperimental measures of absorption and effortless experiencing were also obtained. A 2 x 3 independent groups ANOVA did not sustain the prediction of an interaction effect between S hypnotizability and the presence of hypnosis on 3 composite measures of verbal and nonverbal creativity. Although there was an absence of treatment effects, hypnotizable Ss consistently achieved higher scores on the Torrance scoring categories, and their performance was statistically superior on a composite index of overall creativity. Absorption and effortless experiencing measures were also significantly higher for hypnotizable Ss than for unhypnotizable Ss.

Lundy, R. M.; Geselowitz, L.; Shertzer, C. L. (1985). Role-played and hypnotically induced simulation of psychopathology on the MMPI: A partial replication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33 (4), 302-309.

In Wilcox and Dawson (1977) hypnotized Ss who were simulating paranoia while taking the MMPI (Dahlstrom & Welsh, 1960) were not detected as simulators by 2 MMPI validity measures, the F scale and the Gough F minus K index (Gough, 1950). The present study found that hypnotized Ss were detected by the same measures, thus failing to replicate Wilcox and Dawson (1977). Hypnotized Ss in the present study, however, were different from a comparison group in not appearing to overplay psychopathology to the same degree.

Nash, Michael R.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Stanley, Scott; Frauman, David; Rhue, Judith (1985). Hypnotic age regression and the importance of assessing interpersonally relevant affect. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33, 224-235.

The present study was undertaken to replicate an earlier experiment and to clarify which factors in this previous experiment (Nash, Johnson, & Tipton, 1979) were responsible for the obtained child-like behaviors of hypnotically regressed Ss. As in the previous study, 3 characteristics of the transitional object relationship (spontaneity, specificity, and intensity) were used as the primary criteria to investigate the effects of hypnotic age regression when Ss were regressed to age 3 and placed in 3 home situations. While in the previous study E suggested separation anxiety and isolation during the 3 home situations (mother-absent condition), the present study deleted all references to anxiety and isolation, and replaced them with suggestions of security and maternal proximity (mother-present condition). As expected, the mother-present versus mother-absent conditions led to similar hypnotized- simulating differences. In further accord with predictions, hypnotized Ss and simulating Ss requested a transitional object infrequently in the presence of mother. The importance of using dependent measures which index affective processes germane to interpersonal affect-laden experience is discussed.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Weekes, John R.; Bertrand, Lorne D. (1985). Multiple personality: A social psychological perspective. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 362-376.

The part of an accused murderer remanded for pretrial psychiatric evaluation was role played by 48 college students. Role players were assigned to interview treatments that varied in how extensively they cued for symptoms of multiple personality. The most explicit treatment (i.e., Bianchi treatment, n = 16) included a hypnotic interview that was used in diagnosing a suspect in the “Hillside strangler” rape- murder cases as suffering from multiple personality. A less explicit hypnotic treatment (n = 16) and a nonhypnotic treatment (n = 16) were administered to the remaining role players. Most subjects in the Bianchi treatment displayed the major signs of multiple personality (e.g., adoption of a different name, spontaneous posthypnotic amnesia). In a later session subjects who role played as multiple personalities performed very differently on psychological tests administered separately to each role-played identity. Those who failed to enact the multiple personality role performed similarly when tested twice. Findings are discussed in terms of a social psychological formulation that emphasizes the roles of active cognizing, contextual cueing, and social legitimization in the genesis of multiple personality.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; de Groot, Hans P.; Tiller, Dale K.; Weekes, John R.; Bertrand, Lorne D. (1985). ‘Trance logic,’ duality, and hidden observer responding in hypnotic, imagination control, and simulating subjects: A social psychological analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94 (4), 611-623.

Tested the hypothesis that a tolerance for logical incongruity characterizes hypnotic responding and is related to reports of duality experiences during age regression and hidden-observer responding during suggested analgesia. 30 undergraduates (the “reals”) with high scores on a responsiveness-to-suggestion scale were randomly assigned to hypnotic or imagination control treatments, while 15 undergraduates with low scores were assigned to a simulation treatment in which they were instructed to fake hypnosis. Ss were assessed on 6 indicators of logical incongruity, given age-regression suggestions and perception tasks, administered a suggestion for analgesia and hidden observer instructions, and interviewed. Results do not support the hypothesis. The differences in responding that did emerge between reals and simulators were accounted for by the different task demands to which Ss were exposed. These behavioral differences, which have been previously interpreted in terms of intrinsic characteristics of hypnosis, may instead reflect a combination of between-treatments differences in demands and between- Ss differences in the interpretation of those demands and in the ability to fulfill them.

Lynn, Steven Jay; Nash, Michael R.; Rhue, Judith W., Frauman, David C.; Sweeney, Carol A. (1984). Nonvolition, expectancies, and hypnotic rapport. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 (3), 295-303.

Prior to hypnosis, subjects were informed either that hypnotizable subjects can resist motoric suggestions or that such control does not characterize good hypnotic subjects. During hypnosis, susceptible and simulating subjects received countering suggestions involving inhibiting suggestion-related movements. Susceptible subjects’ responses were found to be sensitive to prehypnotic normative information. There was a corresponding tendency for reports of involuntariness to be sensitive to the expectancy manipulation. Furthermore, subjects were able to feel deeply hypnotized and to rate themselves as good subjects yet concomitantly experience themselves as in control over their actions when normative information supported this attribution. Reports of suggestion-related sensations but not imaginative involvement were associated with movements in response to countersuggestion. Simulators were unable to fake susceptibles’ reports of sensations and involuntariness. However, for all subjects, movements paralleled expectancies about appropriate response, supporting the hypothesis that involuntary experiences are sensitive to the broad expectational context and are mediated by active cognitive processes. Also, rapport with the hypnotist was found to be a factor. Susceptible subjects with highly positive rapport resolved hypnotic conflict, in part, by achieving a compromise between meeting normative expectations and complying with the hypnotist’s counterdemand.

Matthews, William J. Jr.; Kirsch, Irving; Allen, George J. (1984). Posthypnotic conflict and psychopathology — controlling for the effects of posthypnotic suggestions: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 32 (4), 362-365.

Hypnotically implanted paramnesias (false memories) designed to arouse Oedipal and non-Oedipal sexual conflicts were implanted in 2 groups of male undergraduate Ss. Ss in a third condition were hypnotized but no paramnesia was implanted. In a fourth condition, the Oedipal paramnesia was presented to Ss who had been instructed by coexperimenters to simulate hypnosis. All Ss had achieved a score of 7 or higher on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. C. Orne, 1962). Following implantation of the paramnesia, Ss were given conflict activating instructions consisting of posthypnotic suggestions to express strong sexual feelings in response to cue words contained in the paramnesias. Ss in all conditions produced significantly more symptoms of discomfort to cue words than to neutral words. No significant between-group differences were found. These results question the contention that discomfort following the implantation of an Oedipal paramnesia constitutes empirical support for psychoanalytic theory.

Orne, Martin T.; Dinges, David F.; Orne, Emily Carota (1984). On the differential diagnosis of multiple personality in the forensic context. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 32 (2), 118-169.

The problems of diagnosing multiple personality disorder in a forensic context are discussed, and illustrated by the case of State v. Kenneth Bianchi (1979), a defendant who was both charged with first degree murder and suspected of having the disorder. Because of the secondary gain (e.g., avoiding the death penalty) associated with the diagnosis of multiplicity in such a case, hypotheses had to be developed to permit an informed differential diagnosis beween multiple personality and malingering. If a true multiple personality disorder existed, then (a) the structure and content of the various personalities should have been consistent over time, (b) the boundaries between different personalities should have been stable and not readily altered by social cues, (c) the response to hypnosis should have been similar to that of other deeply hypnotized subjects, and (d) those who had known him over a period of years should have been able to provide examples of sudden, inexplicable changes in behavior and identity, and evidence to be the case. Rather, the content, boundaries, and number of personalities changed in response to cues about how to make the condition more believable, and his response to hypnosis appeared to reflect conscious role playing. Further, the life history indicated a persistent pattern of conning and deliberate deception. It is concluded that Mr. Bianchi was simulating a multiple personality and the diagnosis of Antisocial Personailty Disorder with Sexual Sadism was made. Differential diagnoses and the clinical aspects that appeared to account for his behavior are discussed.

Sheehan, Peter W.; Tilden, Jan (1984). Real and simulated occurrences of memory distortion in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 (1), 47-57.

79 undergraduates were prescreened for high or low susceptibility to hypnosis (Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility–Form A) and tested individually to examine memory distortion in hypnosis. Independent groups of Ss were allocated to a 2 x 2 factorial design in which s grouping (hypnotic or simulating) was crossed with an information condition that either misled or did not mislead Ss about a series of scenes depicting an apparent robbery. It was hypothesized that memory distortion would characterize the performance of hypnotic Ss when memory was examined in unstructured, narrative recall. Results show that real Ss were differentiated appreciably from simulating Ss in the extent to which they incorrectly intruded uncued errors (i.e., errors not arising from misleading information) into their memories but not in their intrusion of cued errors (i.e., errors arising from misleading information). Real Ss remembered correctly more detail of a peripheral kind but also distorted more with respect to the same kind of detail. Results overall negate the view that earlier memory traces are revived in hypnosis, thereby leading to more accurate retrieval, and suggest that hypnotic Ss bring distinctive styles of information processing to bear on their recollections of complex, socially meaningful events

Sheehan, Peter W.; Grigg, Lyn; McCann, Terry (1984). Memory distortion following exposure to false information in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 (3), 259-265.

92 Ss preselected for hypnotic responsiveness on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility–Form A were tested in strict application of the real-simulating model of hypnosis to examine the hypothesis that hypnotic Ss distinctively incorporate false material into their memories when that material is introduced after, rather than before, hypnotic induction. Both real (n = 46) and simulating (n = 46) Ss were either exposed or not exposed to misleading information after receiving induction instruction. Procedures for testing were otherwise identical to those adopted in an earlier study by the 1st author and J. Tilden (see PA, vol 71:14147) in which false information was presented prior to hypnosis. Results confirm the hypothesis and show that hypnotic Ss differed appreciably from simulating Ss by incorporating more misleading material into their memory. Findings highlight the possibility of distinctive processing in hypnosis and implicate lowered critical assessment by hypnotic Ss of information they confidently accepted in the hypnotic context (20 ref)


Nogrady, Heather; McConkey, Kevin M.; Laurence, Jean-Roch; Perry, Campbell (1983). Dissociation, duality, and demand characteristics in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Examined hypnotic dissociation (as indexed by the “hidden-observer” method), duality in age regression, and the potential impact of situational cues on these phenomena. 12 high- and 9 low-susceptible undergraduates (as determined by the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale) were tested in an application of the real-simulating paradigm of hypnosis; 10 high- to medium-susceptible Ss were also employed. Inquiry into Ss’ experiences was conducted through the experiential analysis technique, which involves Ss viewing and commenting on a videotape playback of their hypnotic session. Results demonstrate that neither the hidden-observer effect nor duality could be explained solely in terms of the demand characteristics of the test situation. The hidden-observer effect was observed in high-susceptible Ss only; all Ss who displayed the hidden-observer effect also displayed duality in age regression. High-susceptible Ss were distinctive in their reports of multiple levels of awareness during hypnosis. Findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive skills that Ss bring to hypnosis and the degree to which the hypnotic setting encourages the use of dissociative cognitive processes. (43 ref).

Wagstaff, Graham F. (1983). Comment on McConkey’s “Challenging hypnotic effects: The impact of conflicting influences on response to hypnotic suggestion”. [Comment/Discussion] .

“Probably the most consistent finding to emerge from McConkey’s review is that hypnotic subjects tend to respond in accordance with what they feel the hypnotist really wants, regardless of conflicting experimental demands” (p. 13).

Raikov, V. L. (1982). Hypnotic age regression to the neonatal period: Comparisons with role playing. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30 (2), 108-116