Variations in the sense of agency during hypnotic responding: Insights from latent profile analysis

Terhune, Devin Blair. 2016. Variations in the sense of agency during hypnotic responding: Insights from latent profile analysis. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research and Practice, 3(4), pp. 293-302. ISSN 2326-5523 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The primary phenomenological feature of a response to hypnotic suggestion is the perception that a person is not the author of their actions and experiences. This distortion in volition during hypnotic responding, known as the classic suggestion effect, has the potential to illuminate the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying hypnosis and inform broader models of agency. Here, we sought to clarify interindividual differences in the patterns of agency that participants experience during hypnosis. We applied latent profile analysis, a finite mixture modeling method for partitioning participants into homogeneous classes, to participants’ responses to a standardized behavioral measure of hypnotic suggestibility and an experiential measure of sense of agency during hypnotic responding. The best fitting model suggested that there were 4 discrete response patterns: a low suggestible class, 2 medium suggestible classes, and 1 highly suggestible class. The 2 medium suggestible classes displayed nearly equivalent patterns of behavioral hypnotic responding but diverged in their experience of agency during hypnotic responding: 1 class experienced greater involuntariness during responding, whereas the other experienced greater effortlessness during responding. These results reinforce previous research highlighting differential patterns of hypnotic responding and complement work suggesting that there may be 2 or more phenomenologically distinct modes of hypnotic responding. They also have a number of implications for the measurement of hypnotic responding and for the use of low and medium suggestible individuals in experimental hypnosis research designs.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Timing, Awareness, and Suggestion Lab


20 September 2016Accepted
1 December 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2017 12:59

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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