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Conscious Cogn. 2008 Mar;17(1):240-53. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Is hypnotic suggestibility a stable trait?

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Psychology Department, State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), Binghamton, NY 13905, USA.


The present study examined the trait-like nature of hypnotic suggestibility by examining the stability of hypnotic responsiveness in a test-retest design in which the procedures were administered either live or by audiotape. Contrary to the idea that hypnotizability is a largely immutable, stable trait, scores on the scale of hypnotic responsiveness decreased significantly at the second session. Measures of subjective experiences and expectancies accounted for a sizable portion of the variance in hypnotic responding, both at initial test and at retest. Participants became disengaged with the hypnotic procedures at retest. Participants who received the hypnotic induction by audiotape did not differ from participants who received it live. The results are consistent with sociocognitive and altered state theories of hypnosis, and underline the important role of subjective experiences in hypnotic responding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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