Hypnosis - Faculty

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Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Myers’
EXPLORING


PSYCHOLOGY

Module 16

Hypnosis and
Other Altered
States of
Consciousness


Altered States of Consciousness


Altered State of Consciousness
: A
state of
consciousness that differs significantly from baseline
or normal consciousness often identified with a brain
state that differs significantly from the brain state at
baseline or normal
consciousness.


However
, it is not the brain state itself that constitutes
an ASC. The brain state is an objective matter, but it
should not be equated with an EEG or MRI reading.
Otherwise, we would end up counting such things as
sneezing, coughing, sleeping, being in a coma,
thinking of the color red, and being dead as ASCs
.

Altered States of Consciousness

Lucid Dreaming


Lucid Dream
: Conscious
awareness of
dreaming.


A
learnable skill.


"While the dream is
happening you are fully
aware of the fact that
you are dreaming, that
the world around you is
a creation of your mind,
and that you are
independent from it."

Why might we want a lucid
dream?


What if, during this
supposed "unconscious" state,
we were aware of the fact that
we were dreaming? What if we
could explore our own minds at
will during this state, taking
advantage of our own, personal,
'virtual reality'? Lucid dreaming
is a way for us to be aware of
the extraordinary experience we
are having during a dream.

Altered States of Consciousness

Meditation


Meditation
:
Relaxation
technique designed
to enhance self
-
knowledge and well
-
being through
reduced self
-
awareness.

Is meditation important?


Yes, it is. No matter how much we may
wish to be good, if we cannot change the
desires that make us act the way we do,
change will be difficult. For example, a
person may realize that he is impatient
with his wife and he may promise himself,
"From now on I am not going to be so
impatient" But an hour later he may be
shouting at his wife simply because, not
being aware of himself, impatience has
arisen without him knowing it. Meditation
helps to develop the awareness and the
energy needed to transform ingrained
mental habit patterns.


Altered States of Consciousness

Hallucinations


Hallucinations
: Sensory
perceptions that are unrelated
to outside events
--

in other words, seeing or hearing
things that aren't there.


There are numerous medical and psychiatric causes
of hallucinations. Some of the common causes include
the following:


Fever, which can occur with almost any infection,
frequently produces hallucinations in children and
the elderly


Intoxication or withdrawal from such drugs as
marijuana, LSD, cocaine/crack, heroin, and alcohol

Altered States of Consciousness

Hallucinations


… common causes include the following:


Delirium or dementia


Sensory deprivation such as blindness or
deafness


Severe medical illness including liver failure,
kidney failure, and brain cancer


Some psychiatric disorders, particularly
schizophrenia, psychotic depression, and
post
-
traumatic stress
disorder.

Altered States of Consciousness

Religious Ecstasy


Religious Ecstasy
: Religious
experiences such as
speaking in tongues or holy rollers.


Are the brain states that elicit the feelings of mysticism in
the religious ecstatic, the epileptic, the one on an “acid”
trip, and the one with electrodes attached to his cranium
caused by God? Perhaps, but if so there is no way of
finding this out. Most likely, however, the mechanisms that
trigger these feelings are completely natural. They may be
a pleasant side effect of some evolutionary adaptation, but
as yet we do not know why such brain states are triggered.
And while it is an extremely interesting discovery that
religious experiences can be induced by disease,
electrodes, and by drugs, it hardly seems a compelling
reason for believing in God
.

Altered States of Consciousness

Hypnosis


Hypnosis
: A
social
interaction

in which one
person (
the hypnotist
)
suggests to another (the
subject) that
certain
perceptions,
feelings,
thoughts
or
behaviors will
spontaneously
occur.

Hypnosis

Four steps in Hypnosis


1. Distractions are
minimized.


2. The hypnotist tells the person to
concentrate on something
specific.


3. The hypnotist tells the person
what to
expect

in the hypnotic
state.


4. The hypnotist
suggests
certain events or
feelings he or she
knows

will occur
or
observes occurring.

Hypnosis


Posthypnotic
Amnesia
:
Supposed
inability to
recall what one
experienced during
hypnosis induced by
the hypnotist’s
suggestion.


Can
anyone be Hypnotized?


To some extent,
everyone is
suggestible.


Easily hypnotizable
people have rich
fantasy lives.


Unhypnotized
persons can also do
this, but probably
wouldn’t want to!

Can
hypnosis enhance recall of forgotten events?


Robert True (1949) used hypnosis to regress
people back to relive their 4
th

birthday party.


What day of the week is it?


82% accurate responding


No one could replicate


Four
-
year
-
olds don’t know what day today is


Later, True said he asked “Is today Monday?”, “Is
today Tuesday?”, Etc.


He knew the answer before asking the question


Can Hypnosis Force People to Act Against Their
Will?


Orne & Evans (1965)


Control group instructed to “pretend”.


Unhypnotized subjects performed the same
acts as the hypnotized ones.

Can
Hypnosis be Therapeutic?


Posthypnotic Suggestion


Suggestion to be carried out after the subject
is no longer hypnotized.


Used by some clinicians to control undesired
symptoms and behaviors.


Limited usefulness at
best.


People tend to follow post hypnotic
suggestions, but if the researcher describes
hypnotized people as “gullible” they stop
responding to the suggestion.


Can
Hypnosis Alleviate Pain?


Dissociation
: A
split in
consciousness.


Allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur
simultaneously with others


Perhaps a result of selective attention


Hidden
Observer
:
Hilgard’s

term describing a
hypnotized subject’s awareness of experiences,
such as pain, that go unreported during hypnosis


“Push the button if you feel pain”

Explaining
the Hypnotized State


Divided Consciousness or Social Phenomenon?