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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;59(12):1155-61.

Hypnotic suggestion and the modulation of Stroop interference.

Author information

1
Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Ave, Box 140, New York, NY 10021, USA. amr2006@med.cornell.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hypnosis has been used clinically for hundreds of years and is primarily a phenomenon involving attentive receptive concentration. Cognitive science has not fully exploited hypnosis and hypnotic suggestion as experimental tools. This study was designed to determine whether a hypnotic suggestion to hinder lexical processing could modulate the Stroop effect.

METHODS:

Behavioral Stroop data were collected from 16 highly suggestible and 16 less suggestible subjects; both naturally vigilant and under posthypnotic suggestion. Subjects were urged to only attend to the ink color and to impede reading the stimuli under posthypnotic suggestion.

RESULTS:

Whereas posthypnotic suggestion eliminated Stroop interference for highly suggestible subjects, less suggestible control subjects showed no significant reduction in the interference effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

This outcome challenges the dominant view that word recognition is obligatory for proficient readers, and may provide insight into top-down influences of suggestion on cognition.

PMID:
12470132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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