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Reading: Hock - Reading 8

by: Brianda Hickey

Reading: Hock - Reading 8 APSY.UE.0002

Marketplace > NYU School of Medicine > Psychlogy > APSY.UE.0002 > Reading Hock Reading 8
Brianda Hickey

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About this Document

A detailed summary of Reading 8 within Forty Studies That Changed Psychology by Roger R. Hock. To find more information, reference the book. The underlined headings used correspond with those in th...
Adina Schick,
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brianda Hickey on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to APSY.UE.0002 at NYU School of Medicine taught by Adina Schick, in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 60 views. For similar materials see INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY AND ITS PRINCIPLES in Psychlogy at NYU School of Medicine.


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Date Created: 02/10/16
Reading: Hock 8 - Acting As If You Are Hypnotized Nicholas Spanos: believed hypnosis is nothing more than an increased degree of motivation to perform certain behaviors and can be explained fully without invoking notions of trances or altered states hypnotized participants are actually engaging in voluntary behavior designed to produce a desired consequence does not involve an altered state of consciousness Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815): believed that “hysterical disorders” were a result of imbalances in a “universal magnetic fluid” present in the human body. We acquired the word Mesmerize from Mesmer Ernest Hilgard (1904-2001): believed hypnosis to be an altered psychological state Description of Hypnosis: susceptibility to suggestion involuntary performance of behaviors improvements in recall increased intensity of visual imagination dissociation - the psychological separation from a person’s current environmental reality analgesia - lowered sensitivity to pain Theoretical Propositions Spanos Theorized: all behaviors commonly attributed to a hypnotic trance state are within the normal, voluntary abilities of humans. People act hypnotized because they expect to be hypnotized Method 16 different studies conducted by Spanos Studies offered interpretations of hypnotically produced behavior other than the common assumption of a unique altered state of being Results and Discussion 2 key aspects of hypnosis lead people to perceive it as an altered state of consciousness 1. participants go into the situation believing they are/will being controlled - making their actions seem involuntary 2. The “hypnosis ritual” creates expectations in participants -> they act in ways that are consistent with their expectations The Belief That Behavior Is Involuntary During hypnosis - participants are asked to perform tests to affirm their hypnotic state “Your arm is as rigid as a steel bar and you cannot bend it" Wording of tests suggest 2 things: 1. asks participants to do something 2. asks them to interpret the action as having occurred involuntarily Spanos suggests that whether participants interpret their behavior to be voluntary or involuntary depends on the way the suggestion is worded One group suggested: “your arm is very light and is rising" more likely to interpret their behavior as involuntary Other group told: “ Raise your arm” more like to interpret their behaviors as voluntary A person’s susceptibility to hypnosis correlates with his or her general tendency to become absorbed in other activities, such as books,music, or daydreaming more willing to cooperate with suggestions in hypnosis Creation of Expectations in Hypnotic Participants People engage in certain behaviors under hypnosis because they think they should, rather than because if an altered state of awareness Example given by Spanos: 2 lectures about hypnosis were given In one of the lectures, the group was told arm rigidity typically happened spontaneously during hypnosis When both groups were hypnotized ( in the exact same matter), the group of people who were told arm rigidity typically happened during hypnosis reported it happened to them Analgesia (pain reduction) effect - Hypnosis can cause people to become insensitive to pain Spanos: a person is able to disassociate pain from the act being committed Implications of The Findings Goal of Spanos Research: not to disprove the existence of hypnosis, but to demonstrate that what we call hypnotic behaviors are the result of highly motivated, goal-directed social behavior, not an altered and unique state of consciousness Under hypnosis, participants will not engage in acts they believe are antisocial & are unable to perform feats of superhuman strength or endurance Whether or not hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness remains a highly controversial issue Recent Applications Research was conducted on people hesitant to participant in hypnosis 3 groups formed Control group - told almost no information about what to expect from a hypnotic experience (control group) cognitive-behavioral group: was told what to expect about how they would think and behave while under hypnosis Trance group: told a hypnotic trance was like a trance accompanied by a cognitive dissociation both cognitive-behavioral group and the trance group demonstrated greater hypnotic suggestibility than the control group Might indicate: “knowledge is power" Researchers believe : Hypnosis may distort memories or even create new ones of abuse that never took place The thought that hypnosis may uncover old memories actually instills new dramatic ones


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