I'm not impressed with this article should I be? One participant?

  • #1
Pythagorean
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm not impressed with this article... should I be? One participant? Really?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025091559.htm

(Note, the peer-reviewed article was published in PLoS ONE:)

Sakari Kallio, Jukka Hyönä, Antti Revonsuo, Pilleriin Sikka, Lauri Nummenmaa. The Existence of a Hypnotic State Revealed by Eye Movements. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e26374 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026374

abstract said:
Hypnosis has had a long and controversial history in psychology, psychiatry and neurology, but the basic nature of hypnotic phenomena still remains unclear. Different theoretical approaches disagree as to whether or not hypnosis may involve an altered mental state. So far, a hypnotic state has never been convincingly demonstrated, if the criteria for the state are that it involves some objectively measurable and replicable behavioural or physiological phenomena that cannot be faked or simulated by non-hypnotized control subjects. We present a detailed case study of a highly hypnotizable subject who reliably shows a range of changes in both automatic and volitional eye movements when given a hypnotic induction. These changes correspond well with the phenomenon referred to as the “trance stare” in the hypnosis literature. Our results show that this ‘trance stare’ is associated with large and objective changes in the optokinetic reflex, the pupillary reflex and programming a saccade to a single target. Control subjects could not imitate these changes voluntarily. For the majority of people, hypnotic induction brings about states resembling normal focused attention or mental imagery. Our data nevertheless highlight that in some cases hypnosis may involve a special state, which qualitatively differs from the normal state of consciousness.
I'm still a skeptic when it comes to "one word cue" hypnosis.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
PAllen
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I've seen two demonstrations of hypnosis in my life. In one, I would say the a-priori likelihood of fakery was low (but not extremely low), in the other case unknown. Both were well within what I could see how they could be faked.

Despite my uncertainty about exactly what the state is, if it exists, I see a very promising application. The placebo effect is well known and can be powerful, but it relies on belief. It would seem that for suggestible individuals, you could have controlled, maximized placebo effect. Talk about cheap, no side effects medicine!
 
  • #3
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I'm still a skeptic when it comes to "one word cue" hypnosis.
You understand the initial hypnosis took some time, and the cue word that would send him back into the hypnotic state was installed during the longer, primary session, right?
 
  • #4
Pythagorean
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still skeptical
 

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