What could cause a mentally-healthy individual to imagine they are of the opposite sex? What could influence people into acting as fools in front of large crowds? One word: hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a phenomenom that many college students have witnessed in their lives. I personally recall watching my first hypnosis show at my high school "Senior All-Night Party." Like others, I left the show in pure amazement as to how and why hypnosis works!
In chapter five of our textbook, hypnosis is discussed as one of the concepts dealing with consciousness. From the text, I was hoping to find out the secret behind hypnosis. To my disappointment, it turns out that psychologists and scientists are still uncertain about some of the effects of hypnosis. However, they have learned that hypnosis increases people's suggestibility through relaxation techniques that make one unconscious and unaware of their actions.
I was surprised to find out that hypnosis is not disregarded as a pseudoscience. In fact, hypnotic therapy is used by criminal investigators as a means of retracting consciously-forgotten information. Hypnosis is also used to by some to treat severe mental disorders. While there is a correlation between hypnotic therapy and positive results/improvements, scientists are unsure of the causality of these results. I would suggest for one not to rely on hypnotic therapy as a treatment for mental disorders until scientists can pin-point the mechanics and actual effects of hypnosis.
This information makes me wonder if there will be a professional position or even college major for "hypnotic psychology" someday.