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

Coe, William C. (1992). Hypnosis: Wherefore art thou?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40 (4), 219-237.

The present paper focuses on the influences of social-political needs of various groups with interests in hypnosis (i.e., stage hypnotists, lay hypnotists, licensed practitioners, and researchers). While hypnosis is a specific topic of interest to groups with varying needs, it also serves as an example for other topics in psychology that may overlap the needs of other groups — especially practitioners and researchers. The identity given to hypnosis varies depending upon which particular group of persons is offering the identity, and the nature of the identity reflects each group’s biases and needs. These various identities, however, are not always acceptable, in part or in whole, by the other groups, as the needs of one or more may be in conflict with those of others.

Kirmayer, Laurence J. (1992). Social constructions of hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40 (4), 276-300.

Both clinical and experimental views of hypnosis are social constructions that reflect the biases and interests of practitioners and scientists. Each perspective offers useful metaphors for hypnosis. Underlying clinical uses of the term hypnosis are states of mind associated with imaginative reverie and automatic behavior based on procedural knowledge. Social discourse and narratives shape hypnotic experience, but they are themselves influenced by mechanisms of attention and automaticity. Study of hypnosis must proceed on both social and psychological fronts to account for the experience and clinical efficacy of hypnosis.

“In accord with Coe, Sarbin, and other social-psychological theorists, I will argue that hypnosis, like all higher mental phenomena, is fundamentally social in nature. To accept this, however, does not obviate the role of distinctive processes of attention, imagery, and imagination. Hypnosis is a socially constructed context and ritual for evoking imaginative enactment and involuntary of “automatic” modes of experience and behavior. Contemporary social-psychological theorists have failed to sufficiently explore the nature of enactment. A satisfactory account of hypnosis must go much deeper into the cognitive and social construction of experience; only then can involuntary behavior be properly distinguished from self-deception and self-authorship from cultural construction” (p. 277).

Nadon, Robert; Dywan, Jane; Adams, Barbara (1992, October). The social psychology of depth reports: Skirting the important data. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Arlington, VA.

Radke & Spanos used a new 7-point scale that permitted Ss to say they passed an item but were not hypnotized, and only 25% (instead of 88% on usual 4-point scale) said that they were hypnotized.
Do we delude ourselves in thinking reports of hypnotic depth just reflect scale wording, or is something genuine being measured? Radke & Spanos found that breaking down Ss into low, medium, and high hypnotizable groups, the mediums are the ones who are affected by scale manipulations.
Perry, Campbell (1992). Theorizing about hypnosis in either/or terms. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 40, 238-252.
The present paper addresses 3 issues raised by Coe (1992). First, it maintains that the “altered state” issue of the 1960s remains buried in current dichotomous classifications of hypnosis theories as involving either “special processes” or the social- psychological position. Given the current diversity of the field, it appears imprudent to classify theorizing in either/or terms; additionally, despite a history of using the term “altered state” in a circular way, it is not an inherently circular formulation. It can be used descriptively simply to point to the observation that some individuals in hypnosis report subjective alterations. A second issue broached concerns the metaphorical status of the term “hypnosis”; it is accepted as a misleading metaphor inherited from 19th century investigators such as Braid, Faria, Puysegur, and Liebeault. Provided that it is recognized that this metaphor refers to a “domain” (E. G. Hilgard, 1973) of characteristically elicited behaviors, no problem ensues in retaining this metaphor derived from nocturnal sleep. A subsequent discussion of current conceptualizations of hypnosis indicates considerable agreement among investigators; there is much consensus that hypnosis is an individual differences phenomenon, in which imagination may, in some individuals, become so intense and so vivid, as to take on “reality value,” to the extent that a hypnotized person may have difficulty in distinguishing fantasy from reality. The S abilities of imagery/imagination, absorption, dissociation, and automaticity (which may be proved to be an index of dissociation) are proposed as being the main ingredients of the hypnotic experience. Finally, a synergistic approach is proposed as a means of progressing beyond the current impasse of either/or theorizing.

Spanos, Nicholas P. (1992, October). Multiple identity enactments: A social psychological perspective. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Arlington, VA.

Frequency of reports of multiple personality disorder has varied over the centuries. The diagnosis is limited now to North America; and some therapists see more than others. Contemporary cases report severe child abuse, but this was much less so at the turn of the century.
There is an older syndrome, called demonic possession, which shares all of these characteristics. Demonic possession was diagnosed for almost 2000 years and the disorder included: secondary (demonic) selves, and the patient being amnesic during the personality take-over by a demon. The diagnosis was more prevalent during some periods (when Christianity was proselytizing but not when it was a state religion; then again in the 16th Century when Christianity was breaking up and both Catholics and Protestants had interest in it–each inspired by the other group). Demonic possession was more often found by some experts than others; and often was diagnosed as something else initially– e.g. psychosomatic problems. Symptoms that were ambiguous were more definitive when patients were then seen by expert.
Some symptoms–convulsions, increased strength, and insensitivity to pain–were common across Europe. But in Catholic countries the possessed manifested a secondary personality: the demon, with a different voice, spoke through the person. This rarely happened in Protestant countries, where there were convulsions, amnesias, extra strength, etc. but no alter personality.
Why were there such different symptoms in Catholic and Protestant countries? The main difference was that Catholic countries used exorcism–getting information from the demon (name, when the demon entered the body, why, how long demon planned to stay). The exorcist didn’t address the possessed person directly; he would say “I’m not talking to Mary; I’m talking to the demon.” If the demon didn’t reply, they would use brimstone, etc. to elicit a reply.
In Protestant countries it was believed that exorcism was inappropriate, because that would mean going to the Devil for help. They used prayer and fasting, but no attempt to communicate with the Demon. Hence, in France 20 nuns had secondary personalities, whereas in Protestant Salem, none of them had secondary personalities.
Often demon possession would occur to several people, with one person saying an image is attacking someone else, and then that second person would be possessed–so people would respond to social context, experience being possessed in terms of what that meant to them. Demonic possession was maintained by the community, so it was a social phenomenon.
Reports of ritual abuse then occurred, with witches talking about mockery of the Catholic mass, etc. Modern historians say these were fantasies, and that there were no witches’ Sabbaths or ritual abuse of children.
One could infer that a therapist may be carrying out a secularized exorcism when he diagnoses multiple personality disorder.
To examine the contribution of social context to the reports of alternate personalities, we conducted a series of experiments.
We experimentally studied people instructed to simulate “an accused murderer remanded for psychiatric evaluation,” and to behave as a criminal would. [They were hypnotized?] We used the interview employed with hypnotized Ss calling for a different part of themselves to speak. Of these simulators, 80% reported a secondary personality, and almost 100% claimed amnesia.
We took the people who displayed a secondary personality and amnesia and gave them psychological tests. They gave different pictures on the semantic differential [for the different personalities?].
A second experiment looked at how students would develop an alter personality. They were hypnotized and age regressed “to a past life,” and were told about reincarnation. We then studied those who reported a past life. For half we told them people with a past life were likely to be born of a different race, etc. (because that is rarely reported spontaneously). Those who were told this were more likely to incorporate that information in their report of a past life experience.
In a third study, we told them that people in past eras, being less enlightened, tended to punish their children more. Those given this information were more likely to report abuse than those who were uninstructed.
A fourth study looked at how a hypnotist could influence the belief that it is a real past life rather than fantasy. They varied what Ss were told: Group 1 was told reincarnation is real. Group 2 was told reincarnation is fantasy. Group 3 was not told anything.
The first group reported a stronger belief that it was real than fantasy. (Oddly, the neutral group was nearly as high.) The Fantasy group had lower mean rating for credibility.

Woody, Erik Z.; Oakman, Jonathan; Drugovic, Mira (1992, October). Fleshing out a two-component view of individual differences underlying hypnotic responsiveness. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Arlington, VA.

Balthazar and I pointed out that different psychological processes are implicated in hypnotizability scale items, depending on the difficulty of the item. One process is more important on easy items, the other on difficult items.
We correlated an external variable as a function of difficulty of the items. Used the Absorption scale as the non-hypnotic measure for the latent correlation (biserial correlations). As item difficulty increases, the correlation with Absorption increases (from .2 to .5).
This suggests a high level of Absorption is needed to pass difficult items on the hypnotizability scale. We argued that Absorption is connected to true hypnotic responsiveness.
Now we are looking for indicators of easy item responsiveness. Last year I tried to explain anomalies in the data, anomalies that disappeared with a full complement of Ss.
Another possible external variable to correlate with item difficulty is a social compliance type of attribute, but in the history of hypnosis those variables are not found. Therefore we used a model from alcohol research that investigates an expectancy type of suggestion.
In that model, Ss drank two drinks that were alcohol free, but one drink purportedly had alcohol. Ss were told that large amounts of alcohol affect changes in perception, and that we were testing whether small amounts did. They were tested for “feeling of sluggishness in limbs,” etc. They rated a list of experiences they might be having. The 109 Ss had been tested on Harvard A scale in separate research.
Ratings in the alcohol model had high internal consistency; this suggestion score correlated with hypnotizability in .2-.3 range.
The pattern of latent correlations would be predicted to be a graph with a negative slope, which the researchers obtained. R = -.77
The easier the hypnosis item, the stronger the correlation with the expectancy measure. The easiest Harvard A scale items tap little more than those expectancy effects, and the hardest items have almost nothing to do with the expectancy effect.
What does this mean? We thought it was evidence of a social influence factor. Further work suggests we need to be more specific.
We measured the other putative variables: 1. Compliance Questionnaire (Gudionsson, 1989); it evaluates the tendency to comply with requests, and to obey instructions; e.g., “I tend to go along even when someone is wrong.” It has correlated with a measure of social conformity. 2. Suggestibility Questionnaire (which we developed). Items were based on interviews in which Ss told about everyday suggestible things–e.g. “When I hear about an illness I tend to get it. When someone tells me they smell something, I tend to also.”
These Compliance and General Suggestibility tests correlated .12 and .07 respectively with the alcohol expectancy measure; nor did they correlate with each other. They do not measure the same trait. Also, though they correlated .18 and .26 with hypnotizability, neither variable showed the spectral pattern on latent correlation analysis.
Thus, we need to be more specific in linking the alcohol expectancy measure to hypnosis.
Most items on Harvard A scale are motor items of either direct suggestion or inhibition (challenge) type. The relationship of alcohol expectancy to direct motor items is strong; the relationship is weaker with motor challenge items (for which another process must be important).
We can think of will vs automatic control of behavior, as in the theory presented by Normal and Shallice. For well-learned behavior there are two levels of control: 1. low level – doesn’t require conscious attention and control 2. higher level – relevant to initiation of action, planning
Direct motor suggestion response requires little attentional effort and the role of will is not important. There exists ambiguity for indeterminacy of the role of will and attention. Ambiguity offers an opportunity to attribute one’s action to hypnosis. What happens in alcohol expectancy is different, but an ambiguous experience is happening due to “alcohol” in the drink–ambiguous experience is interpreted according to the context.
This differs from the neodissociation theory explanation, according to which the suggested behavior is enacted voluntarily but the voluntary aspect is separated from consciousness. To me, for simple motor acts the causality is inferred rather than perceived. For simple motor acts, no such higher level control is needed.
Motor challenge items have instructions to “try” to overcome; S must exert will. “Try to raise your arm” is different from “Raise your arm.” The S could remain role consistent and not try; ambiguity is maintained and the S could look to the context for an explanation.
In the Normal and Shallice model, hypnosis weakens the higher system relative to the lower system. The S might be trying to exert will but experience it as less [influential] than in the normal state. Such capacity would not be tapped by an alcohol expectancy measure.
We think of individual differences in hypnotizability as multiple processes, like a tree that consists of more than one healthy branch but has plenty of dead wood to be pruned out.

Sheehan, Peter W. (1991). Hypnosis, context, and commitment. In Lynn, S. J.; Rhue, J. W. (Ed.), Theories of hypnosis: Current models and perspectives (pp. 520-541). New York: Guilford Press.

“There are several different ways to classify the model that is expounded in this chapter. One may view it … as an individual-differences model of hypnosis, because it emphasizes the significance of intragroup differences in the pattern of hypnotic performance. Alternatively, one may view it as a phenomenologically based model…. Invariably, however, single categories fail to do justice to the nature of theories, and hence it is perhaps wisest to view this theory as a means of exploring particular hypotheses about hypnotic phenomena that focus primarily on the meaning of suggestion as perceived by susceptible subjects. This model focuses, in a way that most other theories do not, on the motivational implications of the cognitive involvement of the susceptible subject in the events of the hypnotic setting. It offers a variant of contextual theories of psychological functioning, but is experiential in its emphasis rather than simply behavioral” (p. 537).

Van Dyck, Richard; Zitman, Frans G.; Linssen, A. Corry G.; Spinhoven, Philip (1991). Autogenic training and future oriented hypnotic imagery in the treatment of tension headache: Outcome and process. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 39, 6-23.

The aim of the present study was (a) to investigate the relative efficacy of autogenic training and future oriented hypnotic imagery in the treatment of tension headache and (b) to explore the extent to which therapy factors such as relaxation, imagery skills, and hypnotizability mediate therapy outcome. Patients were randomly assigned to the 2 therapy conditions and therapists. 55 patients (28 in autogenic therapy and 27 in future oriented hypnotic imagery condition) completed the 4 therapy sessions and 2 assessment sessions. Patients were to practice at home. No significant main effect or interaction effects for treatment condition or therapist was revealed. A significant effect for time in analyzing scores for headache pain, pain medication usage, depression, and state anxiety was found. In the self-hypnosis condition, pain reduction proved to be associated with depth of relaxation during home practice (as assessed with diaries) and capacity to involve in imagery (as assessed with the Dutch version of the Creative Imagination Scale). After statistically controlling for relaxation and imagery, hypnotizability scores (assessed by Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale) were significantly correlated with ratings of pain reduction. Results are discussed in the context of the neo- dissociation and social-cognitive models of hypnoanalgesia. The clinical relevance and the methodological shortcomings of the present study are also critically assessed. NOTES 1:

“Unexpectedly, pain reduction occurring in AT [autogenic training] appears to be brought about by different means than in hypnotic treatment. Not only imagery skills and hypnotizability, but also level of relaxation were unrelated to pain reduction achieved during AT. Since the first two therapy sessions of AT and hypnosis were identical and in both treatment conditions patients are explicitly instructed to relax, the absence of a relationship between depth of relaxation and pain reduction in AT cannot be easily explained” (p. 19).

Fellows, Brian J. (1990). Current theories of hypnosis: A critical overview. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 7, 81-92.

The present state of theory in hypnosis is reviewed and observations are made concerning future prospects. The state- non-state issue continues to dominate theoretical debate, although no satisfactory reply has yet been made to T. X. Barber’s criticisms of the ‘hypnotic trance’ concept. The impact of social-psychological theory has been considerable and the results of Spanos’s hypnotic training programme could have significant implications for our understanding of hypnosis. Future theorizing should see a move towards a more integrated sociocognitive approach. Neodissociation theory has generally not fulfilled its early promise and is encumbered with the ‘hidden observer’ concept. The role of imaginative processes continues to be a dominant theme in hypnosis theory, although the relatively small correlation between imaginative and hypnotic abilities remains a problem. The links between hypnosis, sleep and relaxation deserve further research, although, as theories of hypnosis, their scope seems limited. Suggestibility and role enactment theories have shown few signs of development in recent years. Theoretical problems over the interpretation of hypnosis need to be more widely recognized and the use of question-begging terminology curtailed. One advantage of the imagination hypothesis is that it provides a bridge, or a point of convergence, between state and non-state approaches (Spanos & Barber, 1974). It also handles certain hypnotic phenomena very well. For example, the known facts of age regression can be readily interpreted, together with the oddities of age progression and past life regression, as imaginative reconstructions (Barber, 1979). However, other phenomena, such as amnesia and analgesia, are less easily explained.

Kihlstrom, John F.; McConkey, K. M. (1990). William James and hypnosis: A centennial reflection. Psychological Science, 1, 174-178.

For William James, hypnosis was both an experimental technique for creating divisions of consciousness, and a laboratory model of naturally occurring disorders of awareness. James’ treatment of consciousness in hypnosis presages contemporary interests in dissociation and implicit cognition, and underscores the role of the self in conscious mental life. At the same time, James recognized the complexity of hypnosis as an interpersonal process. In the end, James’ views suggest how a rapprochement between the cognitive and social approaches to hypnosis might be achieved.

Sherman, S. J.; Lynn, S. J. (1990). Social-psychological principles in Milton Erickson’s psychotherapy. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 7, 37-46.

In this article we will suggest that social-psychological principles may be used to understand M. H. Erickson’s psychotherapeutic approach. In addition to using an array of indirect suggestive approaches, Erickson exploited clients’ reactance, increased their perceptions of control and mastery, altered the accessibility of thoughts and memories, and modified thoughts and behaviours. To accomplish these therapeutic goals, Erickson used the following techniques: seeding, priming, confusion, script enactment, framing, explanation, and perspective modification.

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

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

Zane, Nolan W. S. (1989). Change mechanisms in placebo procedures: Effects of suggestion, social demand, and contingent success on improvement in treatment. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 36, 234-243.

Investigated the treatment effects of three social influence variables frequently implicated in psychotherapy placebos. Socially anxious male Subjects participated in an experimental treatment for reducing dating anxiety. Subjects were either given or not given specific suggestions for decreasing social anxiety, placed in conditions of high or low social demand, and received feedback indicating either high or moderate success on the therapy task. Results support the importance of social influence variables in therapeutic change. Contingent success had its greatest impact on personal attributes; suggestion affected skill behaviors; and social demand effects were found in the self- evaluation of heterosocial performance. Various social influences appear to mediate change differently and do not exert the generic effects commonly assumed to be characteristic of therapy placebos. Implications for outcome research are discussed.

Fowler, Keith (1988). Hypnotic transformation—three studies of theatrical role-playing: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 36, 249-255.

In order to provide student actors with an effective technique for dramatic characterization, a transformation procedure was devised, which incorporated hypnosis with Chekhov’s (1953) technique of centering. 3 studies involving the procedure are described. Results suggest that in 25 of 26 Ss, hypnosis may have facilitated actors’ apparent adoption of new personae.

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

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

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

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

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.

Gfeller, Jeffrey D.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Pribble, W. Eric (1987). Enhancing hypnotic susceptibility: Interpersonal and rapport factors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52 (3), 586-595.

This research supported the hypothesis that hypnosis can be thought of as a set of potentially modifiable social-cognitive skills and attitudes. A low-interpersonal- training treatment devised by Gorassini and Spanos (1986) was compared with a treatment designed to modify not only cognitive factors but also to augment rapport with the trainer and diminish resistance to responding (high-interpersonal training). Fifty percent of the initially unhypnotizable subjects in the high-interpersonal condition tested as being highly susceptible to hypnosis (high susceptibles) at posttest on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (Shor & Orne, 1962); 25% of the unhypnotizable subjects in the low-interpersonal condition responded comparably. Eighty-three percent of the medium- susceptibility (medium susceptibles) subjects tested as being highly susceptible at posttest in both conditions. Practice-alone control subjects’ performance was stable across testings. The study was the first to demonstrate that treatment gains generalize to a battery of novel, demanding, suggestions (generalization index) that have been found to differentiate highly susceptible subjects from unhypnotizable simulating subjects. The importance of rapport was evidenced by the finding that rapport ratings paralleled group differences in hypnotic responding and that rapport correlated substantially with susceptibility scores at posttest and with the generalization index. Whereas initial hypnotizability scores correlated significantly with retest susceptibility scores, initial hypnotizability failed to correlate significantly with the generalization index.

Hilgard, Ernest R. (1987). Research advances in hypnosis: Issues and methods. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 35, 248-264.

There are substantial areas of agreement upon the classical phenomena of hypnosis, illustrated by what we now have learned about hypnotic talent, amnesia, hallucinations, analgesia, and dissociative processes. While genuine advances in knowledge about hypnosis have been made in recent decades, differing orienting attitudes have kept some controversy alive, particularly in the interpretation of empirical findings. Differences of interpretation of the phenomenal and behavioral facts are to be expected in the present stage of developmental, cognitive, and social psychology.

NOTESThe author writes of the “domain of hypnosis” as within the larger domain of social psychology (because it is usually interpersonal); cognitive psychology (because of alterations in perception, imagination, memory, and thought); developmental and personality psychology (because of individual differences); and physiological psychology (because of neurophysiological aspects).
In terms of what we know about hypnotic talent, he notes that high hypnotizability is not generally associated with psychopathology; that it may however be associated with a personality measure called absorption; and that there may be some inherited ability (Morgan, 1973). In the author’s view, hypnosis is no longer considered simply a response to suggestion, since imagination and/or fantasy are very important.
In reviewing evidence of posthypnotic amnesia the author writes, “Subtleties in language require making careful distinctions among concepts such as compliance, suggestion, compulsivity, belief, self-deception, automaticity, the voluntary, the involuntary, and a happening. If these distinctions are glossed over, the choice of words (e.g., substituting compliance for response to suggestion) may give the impression that a finding departs more widely from conventional views than it does. We, too, have found that Ss used varied strategies or skills during amnesia, but this need not deny augmentation by suggestion.
“It takes genuinely high Ss to illustrate truly high posthypnotic amnesia… Many of the truly high hypnotizable individuals cannot break amnesia, no matter how hard they try” (p. 253).
Regarding the evidence for hypnotic hallucinations and trance logic, the author suggests that trance logic is not a clear concept because the Subject is capable of good logic while tolerating some inconsistencies. “It is ordinary logic to assume that if your hallucination is your own construction, it is you who can influence it by your own wishes. In the rare cases of transparent or diaphanous hallucinations there is still an ‘out there’ quality. People who report that they see wispy ghosts also see them as ‘out there,’ so that they qualify as hallucinations. The distinction appears to be one of perception and perception-like experiences within hypnosis rather than of logic” (p. 256).
In reviewing the evidence for hypnotic analgesia, the author acknowledges that pain relief is available with other kinds of interventions, or by using other kinds of psychological processes, but that does not diminish the contribution of hypnosis (which has a long and impressive clinical history). Following laboratory studies, it is noted that “the amount of alleviation of pain through hypnosis is positively correlated with the hypnotizability of the candidate for pain reduction. This result is not universally accepted, because some clinicians are convinced that those unsuccessful in hypnotic pain reduction are resisting hypnosis” (p. 256-257). In the present paper he acknowledges but does not review physiological literature on hypnoanalgesia.
Regarding the concept of dissociation, the author indicates that he considers it a more useful concept than the concept of trance or hypnotic state “when a person is only slightly or moderately involved in hypnosis … . The advantage is that dissociations, as compared with altered states, can be described according to limited or more pervasive changes in the cognitive or motor systems that are being activated or distorted through suggestion in the context of hypnosis. Perhaps when all-inclusive enough, such changes can justify the use of the term trance or altered state, but I believe that these terms should be used, if at all, only for those for whom the immersion in the hypnotic experience is demonstrably pervasive” (pp. 258-259).
The author goes on to describe his initial discovery of the ‘hidden observer’ in an experimental context, and to relate the ‘hidden observer’ to others’ earlier observations of a secondary report of an experience previously concealed from S’s consciousness (Binet, 1889-1890/1896; Estabrooks, 1957; James, 1899; Kaplan, 1960). “The issues are still being worked on, but as in the case of trance logic the heart of the problem is not whether to speak of a hidden observer, but to recognize that there may be cognitive distortions in hypnosis even while some more realistic information is being processed in parallel, so that everything is not reportable by S” (p. 260).

Monteiro, Kenneth P.; Zimbardo, Philip G. (1987). The path from classroom seating to hypnotizability–a dead end: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 35, 83-86.

It has been proposed that classroom seating behavior predicts brain functioning involved in hypnotizability and in other cognitive processes. The present authors attempted to test this hypothesis and to replicate some earlier findings. The relationships between classroom seating preference, actual seating location, and hypnotizability in male and female students were investigated. No relationship was found between any of the seating measures and hypnotizability. These findings lend no support for the hypothesis that classroom seating predicts hypnotizability. This failure to replicate is discussed in relationship to the lack of theoretical grounding for the seating-hypnosis connection. NOTES 1:

The authors review the literature, then present and test specific hypotheses that right-side seating preferences would be correlated with hypnotizability for males, while actual seating on the right side of the class would be associated with higher hypnotizability scores for females. This pattern should be more robust for right-handed than for left- handed students. They found no support for these hypotheses. They suggest that other measures of cognitive processing may correlate with a social behavior such as classroom seating. Monteiro & Zimbardo (unpublished ms.) found that the variables of field independence and field sensitivity predicted actual seating behavior in males and seating preference in females.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Cross, Wendi P.; Lepage, Mark; Coristine, Marjorie (1986). Glossolalia as learned behavior: An experimental demonstration. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 21-23.

60 Ss listened to a 60-s sample of glossolalia (defined to them as pseudolanguage) and then attempted to produce glossolalia on a 30-s baseline trial. Afterward, half of the Ss received two training sessions that included audio- and videotaped samples of glossolalia interspersed with opportunities to practice glossolalia. Also, live modeling of glossolalia, direct instruction, and encouragement were provided by an experimenter. Both the trained subjects and untreated controls attempted to produce glossolalia on a 30-s posttest trial. About 20% of subjects exhibited fluent glossolalia on the baseline trial, and training significantly enhanced fluency. Seventy percent of trained subjects spoke fluent glossolalia on the posttest. Our findings are more consistent with social learning than with altered state conceptions of glossolalia.

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.

Sweeney, Carol A.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Bellezza, Francis S. (1986). Hypnosis, hypnotizability, and imagery-mediated learning. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 29-40.

The relationship between hypnotizability, imagery utilization ability, and hypnosis was examined in a study described to Ss (N = 157) as an ‘imagery experiment.’ In Session 1, the Tellegen Absorption Scale (Tellegen, 1976) was completed and the imagery-mediated paired-associate learning task was administered as a baseline measure. In Session 2, either hypnosis, task motivation, or no treatment instructions were administered and the learning task was repeated with a different word list (each 15 high, 15 low imagery pairs). In Session 3, the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. C. Orne, 1962) was administered. Overall, recall was superior for high imagery words. Hypnotizability was not associated with imagery-mediated recall. Recall performance, however, was correlated with Tellegen Absorption Scale scores. Interestingly, learning and recall performance decreased between Sessions 1 and 2 for hypnotized Ss but remained the same for task motivated and control Ss. The decrease in performance was mediated by less concern for performance and diminished anxiety. Self- reports of imagery utilization did not differ among groups of Ss.

The authors review literature on the relationship between hypnotizability, hypnosis, and imagery abilities, noting that results are conflicting. One reason for differing results may be that imagery scales are self-report measures, subject to reporting bias of varying types. The imagery-mediated paired-associate learning paradigm, using high and low imagery paired associates, may address that reporting bias issue.
This investigation used 157 Ss grouped into high (9-12), medium (5-8), and low (0-4) hypnotizability levels on the basis of the Harvard Scale. Given the fact that high imagery words are usually recalled more easily than low imagery words (Paivio, 1971), a relationship observed between hypnotizability and imagery-mediated recall would elucidate the role of imagery utilization for memory functions.
The experimental conditions included hypnosis, task motivation, and a no treatment control condition, in order to evaluate the possible enhancement effects of hypnosis on imagery utilization for memory functions. The task motivation group was included to control for motivational factors, and the no treatment control condition to control for the practice effects of repeated testing.
The word pair stimuli were from Paivio et al (1968): 30 pairs consisting of 15 high and 15 low imagery noun pairs. Each Subject participated in three experimental sessions.
Session 1. Ss were told that they were in an experiment on imagery to remember pairs of words. They completed the Tellegen Absorption Scale, then were given instructions for using imagery for recalling words, and for rating vividness and clarity of each image immediately after it was formed. Finally they performed the learning task.
Session 2. Ss received either hypnosis, task motivation instructions (“try to form good interacting images of the word pairs” with exhortation to score as high as possible), or control (Like Session 1). No one in hypnosis group refused the induction (despite the fact that they were not forewarned in Session 1 that the experiment might involve hypnosis). Ss completed a questionnaire on the percentage of word pairs they used images to remember, how easy it was to block out or ignore distractions, how vivid and clear were images of words during recall, how concerned they were about their performance, and how much anxiety, if any, they experienced during the experiment.
Session 3. The Harvard Scale was administered. Three Ss declined to participate in the Harvard Scale administration.
The results were analyzed with a 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 repeated-measures ANOVA: hypnotizability, instruction (hypnotic induction, task motivation, no treatment), session (1 and 2), and pair imagery (high and low). The expected enhanced memory performance of high hypnotizables with high imagery words in the hypnosis condition did not emerge in the results. However, the expected stimulus-imagery effect was observed (a higher proportion of high imagery words than low imagery words recalled). The expected higher imagery ratings for hypnotized high hypnotizable Ss also was not found. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction effect for recall session by hypnotizability: low hypnotizable Ss rated imagery less vivid in Session 2 than in Session 1, while highs rated it more vivid in Session 2 than in Session 1. Thus, low hypnotizable Ss’ imagery ratings actually decreased between Recall Session 1 and 2, while high hypnotizable Ss’ imagery ratings increased between Recall Session 1 and 2.
While the Absorption Scale correlated with the Harvard (.28, p <.001) and with various measures of recall, hypnotizability did not correlate with any of the recall measures. The questionnaires administered during Session 2 suggested that hypnotized Ss were less concerned and anxious than the no treatment control Ss, and less concerned than the Ss receiving task motivation instructions. In their Discussion, the authors speculate that the strong stimulus-imagery effects might have made it unlikely for them to find differences between high, medium, and low hypnotizable Ss in imagery-based paired associate learning. They suggest including word pairs that range across the continuum of imagery ratings in future research. They also speculate that differences between hypnotizability levels might be found (as 'T Hoen reported in 1978 publication) if Ss were required to respond in a shorter time interval, or if hypnotizability were measured by a scale with more cognitive items than the Harvard Scale--both conditions in 'T Hoen's research protocol. "The most striking finding of the present research is that instead of facilitating performance in an imagery-mediated recall task, hypnosis resulted in a decrement in recall relative to control conditions. In the hypnotic condition, the amount of learning actually decreased from one session to the next (waking-hypnosis) but remained equivalent in the task motivation (waking-task motivation) and no treatment groups (waking-waking)" (p. 37). The authors note that it is not possible to determine from their research design wither hypnosis interfered with the learning task, the retrieval task, or both. "The findings suggest that hypnotizability may be related to reported vividness and clarity of imagery but unrelated to the actual ability to utilize imagery in an imagery- mediated paired-associate learning task. ... Although high hypnotizables' self-report ratings of imagery and vividness increased, their recall performance was not accordingly enhanced. The disparity between subjective and objective measures underscores the importance of including both types of measures in studies of imagery abilities" (pp. 37- 38). To a considerable degree, this study controlled for Ss' expectancies regarding hypnosis better than some earlier studies. This study differs from earlier research in that (1) Experimenters didn't test hypnotizability prior to the imagery-mediation task; and (2) the study was defined as an experiment on imagery, and hypnosis was not mentioned until just before the induction in Session 2. "In conclusion, the present results indicate that, under certain conditions, hypnosis may decrease Ss' motivation and performance. No support was provided for the ability of hypnosis to facilitate imagery utilization and performance on an imagery-mediated task. The results are compatible with the views proferred [sic] by theoreticians who have emphasized the importance of expectancies and the experimental context (e.g., Barber, 1979; Coe & Sarbin, 1977; M. T. Orne, 1951, 1959; Spanos, 1982)" (p. 38). Zamansky, Harold S.; Clark, Lorene E. (1986). Cognitive competition and hypnotic behavior: Whither absorption?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 205-214. According to the widely held absorption notion, the successful response to hypnotic suggestions requires S to focus attention on the content of these suggestions and to avoid incompatible and contradictory cognitive activities. This assumption was tested by exposing high, middle, and low hypnotizability Ss continuously to incompatible suggestions and images as they attempted to respond to the direct suggestions of the hypnotist. Performance under these circumstances was substantially as effective as in baseline sessions (without incompatible suggestions) for the high and medium hypnotizable Ss. On the other hand, fewer than half of the low hypnotizability Ss responded successfully. The results are viewed as compatible with both a social enactment and a neodissociation interpretation of hypnosis. NOTES Subjects were 58 volunteer students divided into 12 high (8-12), 26 medium (5- 7) and 20 low (<5) hypnotizables on the basis of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A (SHSS:A). Depending on the number of suggestions passed during the SHSS:A, 2-4 'target suggestions' were selected from among those each S passed. All Ss had passed at least one of the target suggestions. The target suggestions that had been successfully passed were readministered with incompatible suggestions and imagery being given to the S. For example, the S might be asked to practice the opposite response, to note and remember the movements and muscles used to produce the response, to think that they should be able to resist the suggestion, to picture themselves performing the opposite response by recalling the earlier practice experience. For example, while giving a suggestion for arm rigidity, the Experimenter might say "Picture yourself bending your arm" or "Imagine what it would be like to bend your arm." The S was even encouraged to perform another competing response , e.g. to bend the other arm, and to try to use that experience in resisting the target suggestion. The S was requested to verbalize the incompatible thoughts out loud while performing the target suggestion. Nevertheless, the direct suggestion also was interspersed, as, "You will find, nevertheless, that your right arm won't bend." RESULTS. All 12 highs passed at least one target item and 10 passed all of the target items. 23 of 26 medium suggestible Ss passed at least one item and 17 passed all of them. Only 8 of 20 low hypnotizable Ss passed at least one target suggestion; 7 passed all of them however. Usually the low hypnotizables had only one or two target items, since they passed few items on the original SHSS:A test. In their Discussion, the authors state, "Despite popular opinion, therefore, it appears that it is not necessary for the good hypnotic S to be fully 'absorbed' or to be 'imaginatively involved' (J. R. Hilgard, 1979) in the direct suggestions of the hypnotist to perform these suggestions successfully. ... It is the responses of the lows that were quite clearly degraded by the presence of conflicting thoughts and images" (p. 209). As a control study, the authors tested 11 other Ss who had low hypnotic susceptibility, to determine whether the effect found with lows (that they could resist) was actually a function of test-retest unreliability. They administered 1-2 target suggestions without contradictory suggestions two or more times. The results were that, once a S had passed a suggestion once, they continued to pass it (even when it was administered 3-4 times). "If anything, the suggestions sometimes appeared to gain in effectiveness with repetition" (p. 210). The authors did another control study with 17 highs, 9 medium Ss, and 8 lows, in which the conflicting suggestion was given by a hypnotist who did not know the hypnotizability of the S: after S was hypnotized, hypnotist A wrote the "target" on a slip of paper, left the room, and hypnotist B entered and gave the conflicting suggestions for that target. All 17 highs and 7 of the 9 medium hypnotizable Ss passed, but only 2 of 8 lows were able to do so. The authors conclude, "It may well be that processes such as absorption and imaginative involvement may facilitate the successful response to hypnotic suggestions, but, clearly, the utilization of such processes is not essential for the successful hypnotic performance of high and medium hypnotizability Ss" (p. 212). 1985 Banyai, Eva I.; Meszaros, Istvan; Csokay, Laszlo (1985). Interaction between hypnotist and subject: A social psychophysiological approach (preliminary report). In Waxman, David; Misra, Prem C.; Gibson, Michael; Basker, M. Anthony (Ed.), Modern trends in hypnosis (pp. 97-108). New York: Plenum Press. There is a vast amount of literature demonstrating that hypnotic susceptibility is a stable personality trait. In the course of our practice of teaching beginners to hypnotize, however, it occurred to us that hypnotists without sufficient previous training frequently measured a lower level of hypnotic susceptibility than the true score. It has to be emphasized that hypnosis is a special altered state of consciousness which develops as a result of an interaction between a hypnotist and a subject. The failure of beginners to induce hypnosis could be explained by considering an insufficient participation of the hypnotist in this interaction. The purpose of the present study was to analyze the necessary and sufficient subjective, behavioral and physiological alterations in both participants of the hypnotic interaction. During successful and unsuccessful hypnotic inductions the subjective experiences, behavioral manifestations and physiological indicators including respiration, ECG, EMG, EOG, GSR and bilateral fronto- occipital EEG leads, were recorded simultaneously in the hypnotists and the hypnotized subjects. The results indicate that hypnotic induction is successful if a mutual "tuning" of the other person occurs not only on the subjective and behavioral levels, but first of all on the psychophysiological level. 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. 1984