Chapter 5: Hypnosis: Are you still "you?"

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Though the entire chapter centered on consciousness was intriguing, I was surprised to see such a large portion of it dedicated to Hypnosis. Defined as "a set of techniques that provides people with suggestions for alterations in their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors" (Kirsch & Lynn, 1998). Hypnosis seems like such a strange, far-fetched entity that I believe most people ignore it, or don't see it as a legitimate practice and write it off as something fake. A huge part of this disbelief may come from the portrayal of hypnosis in media and television. It is often the butt of a joke or simply overdramatized and treated like something fantastical. It's a way to make people do silly things that they would never do were they not in a hypnotic state. However, there are other instances where it has helped solve crime or benefitted clinical psychology practice.
I found this section intriguing because I've had two real life encounters with hypnosis. The first as a freshman in high school in a cruise ship variety show. I was one of many who were "hypnotized" for the performance. I went through all of the motions they put me through, where my biggest thing was that I had to speak a fake language. I was completely aware of everything the entire time but when I came back o my seat my mother was convinced otherwise. Though I felt as if I had simply played along, she was convinced I wouldn't have had I not been at least somewhat "under." Afterwards I started to believe her. The other opportunity I had to witness hypnosis was during a high school graduation event put on by our high school. The people hypnotized during this came out of it very much dazed and confused with no recollection of what they had done. And some of the things they had done definitely didn't seem like things they would have consciously done.According to our textbook, most people actually do remember everything, which I found surprising as I thought that it simply didn't work on me. It also discusses how people who respond positively to the suggestions they receive while under hypnosis will respond to a few more than they would in a normal state, but that hypnosis is not enough to make someone act completely against their nature.
Is hypnosis really so strong a force? Or merely a method that opens people up just a bit more than they were already? Do you think it's a legitimate tool in psychology or is it still too pseudoscientific?

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This page contains a single entry by dunn0384 published on January 26, 2012 11:28 AM.

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