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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010 Feb;78(1):126-30. doi: 10.1037/a0017388.

The predictive utility of hypnotizability: the change in suggestibility produced by hypnosis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA.



The predictive utility of hypnotizability, conceptualized as the change in suggestibility produced by a hypnotic induction, was investigated in the suggested reduction of experimental pain.


One hundred and seventy-three participants were assessed for nonhypnotic imaginative suggestibility. Thereafter, participants experienced hypnotic and nonhypnotic imaginative analgesia suggestions, counterbalanced for order. Hypnotic suggestibility was then assessed.


Hypnotizability, operationalized as hypnotic suggestibility with imaginative suggestibility statistically controlled (Braffman & Kirsch, 1999), predicted intraindividual differences in responding to the hypnotic and imaginative analgesia suggestions. Higher hypnotizability was associated with relatively greater response to the hypnotic analgesia suggestion than to the imaginative analgesia suggestion.


Operationalized in this way, hypnotizability may be a useful predictor of the effect of adding a hypnotic induction to a specific imaginative suggestion.

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