SELF-CONTROL IN HYPNOSIS: TO WHAT EXTENT ARE SUGGESTIONS COERCIVE?
The changing of self-control in hypnosis in subjects of different hypnotic susceptibility was studied in our research, comparing experiential and behavioral aspects of resistance. Subjects first participated in a usual group hypnosis with test suggestions, then in another session participants were requested immediately after arrival to resist the suggestions (that were the same as before) without the hypnotist's awareness of this request. During both hypnosis sessions the passing of the suggestions was measured according to the judgments of both the subjects and independent observers. Furthermore, subjects were asked to rate how intentional they felt the resistance, how much effort they had to do, and how involuntary they felt their behaviour. The results showed that people are usually able to resist suggestive effects. The degree of their resistance was higher according to their own judgment than according to the observers' measure. The classical suggestion effect, namely the involuntariness of experiencing suggestions, operates also in a resistance situation, but this involuntariness is not coercive for the majority of the people to pass the suggestions. Significant decrease of self-control in hypnosis could be observed only in a small proportion of the people. Resisting demanded active cognitive effort in most of the cases, especially for hypnotically susceptible subjects. But it seems that not only hypnotic susceptibility plays role in a successful resistance, but the influence of different - cognitive and affective - mediating factors can be presumed. In the present study the effect of motivation is emphasized primarily because our results show that the success of resistance is significantly determined by the subjects' intention to resist. People are often inclined to let the suggestions take an effect on them, when the experiences promise to be interesting or pleasant for them, even when the demand of the environment is to resist.
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