The roles of response expectancies, baseline experiences, and hypnotizability in spontaneous hypnotic experiences

Cardeña, Etzel and Terhune, Devin Blair. 2019. The roles of response expectancies, baseline experiences, and hypnotizability in spontaneous hypnotic experiences. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 67(1), pp. 1-27. ISSN 0020-7144 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study evaluated factors underlying individual differences in spontaneous (unsuggested) experiences during hypnosis. Participants varying in hypnotizability (low, medium, and high) completed a questionnaire about various dimensions of consciousness they would expect to experience at the “deepest level of hypnosis” (expectancy), an eyes-closed resting condition (baseline), and their actual experiences during “neutral hypnosis” (hypnosis). Responses during hypnosis were characterized by higher scores in dimensions related to alterations in conscious experience, affect, and imagery, and lower scores in rationality and agency. Only highs and mediums evinced increases in altered experience and body image. Across conditions, highs reported greater alterations in time experience and lower self-awareness than other groups. Participants overall tended to overestimate the changes they would experience in hypnosis. Baseline and hypnosis correlated in various dimensions, including affect, arousal, and internal dialogue. After controlling for baseline scores and hypnotizability, expectancies correlated with some dimensions having to do with alterations in consciousness. In sum, spontaneous experiences during hypnosis are driven by response expectancies, hypnotizability, and baseline experiences, which show differential effects.

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7 August 2018Accepted
31 January 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Feb 2019 10:03

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:06

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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