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Am J Clin Hypn. 2010 Oct;53(2):109-17; discussion 119-32.

Methodological and interpretative issues regarding the Phenomenology of consciousness inventory--hypnotic assessment procedure: a comment on pekala et al. (2010a, 2010b).

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Department of Psychology, Lund University, Sweden.


In two papers, Pekala et al. (2010a, 2010b) reviewed and empirically assessed the relationships among response expectancies, hypnotic suggestibility, spontaneous alterations in consciousness following a hypnotic induction, and hypnotic depth. We appreciate their attempt to integrate diverse facets of hypnotic responding and reconcile seemingly competing accounts of hypnosis. In addition, we applaud their complementary use of phenomenological and hypnotic suggestibility measures. However, in their attempt to develop a clinically-viable measure of hypnotic responsiveness, we believe that they have sacrificed too much, resulting in a measure with a number of important shortcomings whose empirical utility is questionable. Furthermore, their review and study gloss over a number of important distinctions. Finally, we believe that they over-interpret the relationships between their selected measures and ones previously used in the extant literature. A closer examination of variability among highly suggestible individuals, from the purview of the approach that Pekala et al. have adopted, but with a greater diversity of methods, is likely to yield a number of insights into the characteristics and determinants of hypnotic suggestibility and self-perceived hypnotic depth.

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