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Patterns of hypnotic response, revisited


It has long been speculated that there are discrete patterns of responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions, perhaps paralleling the factor structure of hypnotizability. An earlier study by Brenneman and Kihlstrom (1986), employing cluster analysis, found evidence for 12 such profiles. A new study by Terhune (2015), employing latent profile analysis, found evidence for three such patterns among highly hypnotizable subjects, and a fourth comprising subjects of medium hypnotizability. Some differences between the two studies are described. Convincing identification of discrete "types" of high hypnotizability, such as dissociative and nondissociative, may require a larger dataset than is currently available, but also data pertaining directly to divisions in conscious awareness and experienced involuntariness.

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