Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What's the science behind hypnotism?

  1. Jan 2, 2004 #1
    What's the science behind hypnotism? Is there really some sort of way to be quickly put into a trance-like state where you'll be succeptable to suggestions? For instance, if someone bites their nails, could they concievably be hypnotized and commanded to stop, and when they wake have no desire to bite their nails?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2004 #2

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Hypnotism is real and it works, but it isn't anything super powerful. It is a suggestion and the hynotee will either choose to follow or not depending on numerous factors. It's power lies in the fact that it seems to go straight to the subconscious, a region which we typically can't access very well...whatever that really means.

    the point is, it is more powerful than a normal suggestion:
    EG: Me walking up to you and saying "Hey, why don't you stop biting your nails"
    but is essentially the same sort of thing.

    Perhaps it can work to counter nail-biting on acount of the fact that Hypnosis is supposed to be sub-conscious stuff, and nail biting is sub-conscious sort of stuff too. So me telling you to stop biting your nails is one thing (You may agree with me and tell me that you are trying to stop), but then you subconsciously continue to do it when you aren't aven aware of it. While Hypnosis tells the part of the brain which actually does it to stop...???
  4. Jan 3, 2004 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't see how hypnotism can work, unless the subject is "very" willing to go along.

    When I lived in Chicago, I met a psychologist that happened to be one of the "leading clinical hypnotists" in the US at the time. He said he had never met anyone he was not able to put under.

    Well, he couldn't put me under, and I wasn't fighting it, I actually thought it would be an interesting experience and wanted to try it.

    I ruined his day.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook