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J Abnorm Psychol. 1991 May;100(2):223-6.

Effects of active alert and relaxation hypnotic inductions on cold pressor pain.

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Psychology Associates of Spokane, Washington.


We contrasted relaxation and active alert hypnotic inductions with or without a specific suggestion for cold pressor pain analgesia. Groups of high (n = 38) and low (n = 27) hypnotizable subjects were tested; hypnotizability had been determined from results of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C. Cold pressor pain data were obtained after counterbalanced exposure to relaxation and active alert inductions. Highly hypnotizable subjects demonstrated lower pain scores than did low hypnotizable ones. Pain reports did not differ between induction conditions. Highly hypnotizable subjects given an analgesic suggestion showed lower pain scores than did those exposed only to hypnosis. The findings, conceptualized within E.R. Hilgard's (1977a) neodissociation theory, show that relaxation is not necessary for hypnotic analgesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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