Hypnotic Psychology?

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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!

hypnosis.jpgIn 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.


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I remember my Senior All Night Party as well when the hypnotist came. Although it was very hilarious, a lot of the other seniors were trying to figure out whether or not they were actually hypnotized throughout the performance or if they were going along with the act for fun. To find out that this is used in criminal investigations, therapies, and that it’s not considered a pseudoscience is very fascinating. I unquestionably would have believed assumed it to be a pseudoscience because hypnotists tell us before it begins that some people are not “susceptible” to the hypnotic affects. It would be pretty interesting to find out why some people are more vulnerable to this than others.

When I think of people who are getting hypnotized I always used to think it was "magic" instead of as a science. That is why I figured people who got hypnotized just believed in a placebo. It was surprising for me to find that it was an actual science. Even though scientist do not really know what cause hypnotism I find it very unique that the are even considering it when they do not consider many other "magic" techniques.

Hypnosis to me used to seem kind of outrageous. To think that an outside force could control the human mind. It was always just something that you could see one hundred times on TV, but still never believe. I saw it once in person and now I am fascinated by how it works. To me the most interesting part would be to find out how hypnosis affects the mind in a biological way. What kinds of neurotransmitters are involved? Is it anything like dreaming or sleeping or that person? And why can't people remember afterwards?

I was also disappointed that the book did not explain how hypnosis works and that science doesn't have a clear understanding of the process yet. I find it intriguing that in a day and age where science is so advanced that hypnotism remains somewhat of a mystery. This inability for us as humans to fully explain hypnosis brings out a good point that we are not as advanced as we often believe we are.

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This page contains a single entry by gross630 published on February 19, 2012 7:03 PM.

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