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Hypnosis: Applications

  • Author(s): Kihlstrom, JF
  • et al.
Abstract

In hypnosis, the subject responds to suggestions given by the hypnotist for imaginative experiences involving alterations in perception, memory, and the voluntary control of action. Individual differences in hypnotizability, assessed by standardized behavioral tests, are only weakly correlated with personality traits such as absorption. The most successful clinical applications involve the control of pain. Claims for enhanced physical strength and endurance, or the recovery of forgotten or repressed memories, are not supported by controlled scientific research. Experimental studies of hypnotic alterations of perception and memory, including hypnotic deafness, blindness, and anesthesia, have contributed to our understanding of unconscious mental life.

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