"I need to find someone who has an open, free mind. Someone who is willing to fall into a deep, deep sleep..".
I am pretty sure we have all had some type of interaction with a hypnotist. Whether it was at your high school senior year graduation party (that would be me), a childhood birthday party, or even a paid show you were able to attend. Each time, they always look for those few brave individuals who are willing to get under their trance and look foolish in front of their peers. I know I never had the guts to do it, but I have always been fascinated with how it is done.
Hypnosis to me is a method that supplies the people affected with new ideas for which their perception, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors can change. Hypnosis is so important because it can be used for many purposes: obesity, anxiety, treating pain, smoking addiction, and my personal favorite, entertainment (Lilienfeld, 2011). For the entertainment aspect, although in such popular movies such as Shallow Hal, The Garden Murders, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I still prefer the traditional stage hypnosis.
At my class graduation party, it was great to see some of my classmates quack like a duck, act like they are on Mars, or even just watch them fall asleep with a simple SNAP of the finger. I always was curious how it worked, or even what it was like to be under hypnosis. After reading chapter five in the textbook, it was interesting to see that it is rare for people to forget what happens during hypnosis. This came to a surprise to me since a good friend of mine did it and said he had no memory at all of what happened during his whole time under hypnosis. Either my friend was trying to make up an excuse for acting the way he did up on stage, or he may have had spontaneous amnesia, which is a rare case when the people does not actually remember anything during hypnosis. Another interesting aspect of hypnosis that I read about it that hypnosis does not bring the individual into a sleeplike state. This was shocking to me because I always recalled all of the participants "falling asleep" at the beginning of the performance, so I figured they were just sleeping throughout the whole show. Evidence does show though that the brain does not have similar patterns during sleep and hypnosis (Lilienfeld 2011).
Overall, I find hypnosis to be a fascinating topic and one I hope to further learn about. I am curious,however, on what qualities makes for the most capable person to be hypnotized. I know an open mind is always asked for, but I am curious what the hypnotist looks for while selecting his panel to perform on. Also, I am interested in how the hypnotist selects their main prop to perform the initial hypnosis. I have seen spinning black and white circles and swinging watches before, but I wonder if one works better than the other, or if it is just personal preference.
Photo Link: http://www.cyranoworks.com/Assets/Watch.jpg
Photo Link: http://thecia.com.au/reviews/s/images/shallow-hal-poster-0.jpg
Link to a stage hypnosis performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noXaXipdqBI