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Hypnotic Susceptibility and the Paranormal

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#1    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 04:57 PM

I can't be hypnotized. I've tried to use hypnosis (both self and performed by a hypnotist) to quit smoking and deal with my tendency to procrastinate. It doesn't work. In fact, the "professionals" that have tried have refunded my money saying, "You cannot be hypnotized. Sorry."

I also don't believe in the paranormal even after years of trying to see or feel anything.

Which leads to me asking the question, "Are those who cannot be hypnotized unable to see the paranormal?"

or the converse...

"Are those who are easily hypnotized more likely to experience the paranormal?"

Is there a correlation between suggestibility and paranormal experience. Is being open to the spirit world simply a nice way of saying someone is easily influenced by themselves or others?

The parallels are rather obvious. A trance is considered an essential step for both hypnosis and remote viewing, communing with the dead, etc. Rituals are also used in both cases to inspire that "open" state. Those under hypnotic suggestion and who can view the spirit world often report seeing and experiencing things others do not.

It should also be noted that those who score the highest on hypnosis susceptibility scales are those prone to fantasy, diassociative disorders and PTSD. Children that suffered abuse as children are also highly susceptible to hypnosis. Could that be the origin of the "angel" that protected me archetype we hear over and over again?

I believe that there is a correlation, and I believe that those who experience the paranormal are essentially hypnotizing themselves into seeing what they want to see. The expect ghosts, chills, strange lights, laughter, and disembodied heads, and that's exactly what the get. The ones that have dramatic experiences are simply those with a greater than average ability to self-hypnotize.

Those like me that cannot be hypnotized will never see anything no matter how often we sleep in a graveyard or insane asylum.

Thoughts?

ETA: I'm also willing to entertain the position that those susceptible to suggestion are just preferred vehicles for spirits...though I don't really believe that.

Edited by DystOpt, 30 July 2013 - 05:00 PM.


#2    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:14 PM

Quote

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Sour grapes? Hardly. I'm rather ambivalent about the whole thing. Why would I want to hallucinate or be susceptible to the influence of others? That seems like an odd desire to have.

Can you be hypnotized? Have you ever taken any of the tests? What was your score?

My position seems fairly easy to disprove. All I need is someone who cannot be hypnotized to tell me they routinely experience contact with spirits. I can't do this myself. Need a little help to do that.

I'm sorry that it seems to offend you that I notice a parallel between the various methods used to see spirits and the techniques for self-hypnosis.


#3    QuiteContrary

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:14 PM

View PostDystOpt, on 30 July 2013 - 05:14 PM, said:

Sour grapes? Hardly. I'm rather ambivalent about the whole thing. Why would I want to hallucinate or be susceptible to the influence of others? That seems like an odd desire to have.

Can you be hypnotized? Have you ever taken any of the tests? What was your score?

My position seems fairly easy to disprove. All I need is someone who cannot be hypnotized to tell me they routinely experience contact with spirits. I can't do this myself. Need a little help to do that.

I'm sorry that it seems to offend you that I notice a parallel between the various methods used to see spirits and the techniques for self-hypnosis.

Interesting
However, I'd suggest you'd need more than someone on a forum who just "tells" you they cannot be hypnotized and yet routinely experience contact with spirits (and vise versa) to establish any kind of connection.
Ever do a search to see if anyone else has proposed the same and done such experiments?

*EDIT: "proof" to "connection"

Edited by QuiteContrary, 30 July 2013 - 06:23 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#4    Lilly

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:15 PM

Just a bit of a reminder...please be tolerant of the opinions of others.

"Ignorance is ignorance. It is a state of mind, not an opinion." ~MID~

"All that live must die, passing through nature into eternity" ~Shakespeare~ Posted Image

#5    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:23 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 30 July 2013 - 06:14 PM, said:

Interesting
However, I'd suggest you'd need more than someone on a forum who just "tells" you they cannot be hypnotized and yet routinely experience contact with spirits (and vise versa) for proof.
Ever do a search to see if anyone else has proposed the same and done such experiments?

Am J Clin Hypn. 1994 Jul;37(1):34-40.

Relationships of hypnotic susceptibility to paranormal beliefs and claimed experiences: implications for hypnotic absorption.

Atkinson RP.


Source

Department of Psychology, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408-1202.


Abstract


This study examined the relationships of hypnotic susceptibility level to belief in and claimed experience with paranormal phenomena. The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) and the Inventory of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences were administered on consecutive days to 43 undergraduate students (14 men, 29 women) at a midwestern university. A significant multiple correlation was obtained (r = .55, p < .001). A partial correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and belief in paranormal phenomena was also significant (r = .53, p < .001), while hypnotic susceptibility was not found to be significantly related to claimed paranormal experiences. Implications of these relationships for the role of absorption in hypnosis are discussed.

I cannot find the complete study just the abstract.



#6    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:38 PM

Found one more.

http://www.bial.com/.../Bolsa 6100.pdf

Still no complete study available for download, but the two abstracts seem to indicate there is a strong correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and paranormal experiences.

Of course, correlation is not causation. For those who believe in the paranormal, this is just an example of how sensitive they are.

TO those that don't, it shows that those that experience the paranormal have the ability to perceive the product of their minds in a much more "real" way than others, but that does not mean it is supernatural in any way.


#7    QuiteContrary

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:40 PM

View PostDystOpt, on 30 July 2013 - 06:23 PM, said:

Am J Clin Hypn. 1994 Jul;37(1):34-40.
Relationships of hypnotic susceptibility to paranormal beliefs and claimed experiences: implications for hypnotic absorption.

Atkinson RP.

Source

Department of Psychology, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408-1202.


Abstract


This study examined the relationships of hypnotic susceptibility level to belief in and claimed experience with paranormal phenomena. The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (HGSHS:A) and the Inventory of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences were administered on consecutive days to 43 undergraduate students (14 men, 29 women) at a midwestern university. A significant multiple correlation was obtained (r = .55, p < .001). A partial correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and belief in paranormal phenomena was also significant (r = .53, p < .001), while hypnotic susceptibility was not found to be significantly related to claimed paranormal experiences. Implications of these relationships for the role of absorption in hypnosis are discussed.

I cannot find the complete study just the abstract.


Bolding and underscoring, mine
I guess I'm not understanding the abstract: "while hypnotic susceptibility was not found to be significantly related to claimed paranormal experiences."
Are you saying you still believe there is a more significant correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and claimed paranormal experiences, despite the above statement in the abstract?

Edited by QuiteContrary, 30 July 2013 - 06:44 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#8    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:49 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 30 July 2013 - 06:40 PM, said:

Bolding and underscoring, mine
I guess I'm not understanding the abstract: "while hypnotic susceptibility was not found to be significantly related to claimed paranormal experiences."
Are you saying you still believe there is a more significant correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and claimed paranormal experiences, despite the above statement in the abstract?

That part of the abstract confused me. First they say there is a strong and partial correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and paranormal experiences, and then they say they are not significantly related. That seems to contradict the previous statement. That's why I would like to see the entire study. Also, I'm more concerned with the outliers on the bell curve (the top and bottom ten percent). Most people are hypnotizable (is that a word?) in some way. Only ten percent are not. Only ten percent are highly susceptible. I wonder if those top ten percent are more likely to experience paranormal events than the rest of us, and if the bottom 10 percent never experience them.

Does that make sense?

I would like to read the complete studies, but I'm not paying $137 to download them.

Edited by DystOpt, 30 July 2013 - 06:51 PM.


#9    QuiteContrary

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

View PostDystOpt, on 30 July 2013 - 06:49 PM, said:

That part of the abstract confused me. First they say there is a strong and partial correlation between hypnotic susceptibility and paranormal experiences, and then they say they are not significantly related. That seems to contradict the previous statement. That's why I would like to see the entire study. Also, I'm more concerned with the outliers on the bell curve (the top and bottom ten percent). Most people are hypnotizable (is that a word?) in some way. Only ten percent are not. Only ten percent are highly susceptible. I wonder if those top ten percent are more likely to experience paranormal events than the rest of us, and if the bottom 10 percent never experience them.

Does that make sense?

I would like to read the complete studies, but I'm not paying $137 to download them.

Yes, I also wonder what other factors might "override" one's susceptibility to the paranormal even if one is easily hypnotized (and vise versa). Upbringing, influence, etc.
It would be nice to see what questions were asked of participants in the study.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 30 July 2013 - 07:02 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#10    DystOpt

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:14 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 30 July 2013 - 07:02 PM, said:

Yes, I also wonder what other factors might "override" one's susceptibility to the paranormal even if one is easily hypnotized (and vise versa). Upbringing, influence, etc.
It would be nice to see what questions were asked of participants in the study.

Here's a rather wonky albeit short essay I found that might answer some of those questions.

http://www.ukessays....ology-essay.php

The lady that speaks when you open the page is annoying, and you have to say you won't use the essay to cheat -- whatever that means, but it's a good read.


#11    QuiteContrary

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostDystOpt, on 30 July 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

Here's a rather wonky albeit short essay I found that might answer some of those questions.

http://www.ukessays....ology-essay.php

The lady that speaks when you open the page is annoying, and you have to say you won't use the essay to cheat -- whatever that means, but it's a good read.

Although a student's paper and I would need to read the references used:
I am/have been a poster child for anxiety, depression and fantasizing. Yet, I am not a  believer in the paranormal or cryptids, nor have I ever been (except a short-lived, measured in months, curiosity into one particular cryptid). I have explored spirituality, however. But the paper seems to separate the two- spirituality and the paranormal. My mind doesn't even go to the paranormal when assessing a sound or sight of my own experience or "evidence" presented on the web or TV.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 30 July 2013 - 08:24 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#12    Sergeant

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:37 PM

View PostDystOpt, on 30 July 2013 - 04:57 PM, said:

I can't be hypnotized. I've tried to use hypnosis (both self and performed by a hypnotist) to quit smoking and deal with my tendency to procrastinate. It doesn't work. In fact, the "professionals" that have tried have refunded my money saying, "You cannot be hypnotized. Sorry."

The quote by your hypnotist is either mistaken or inaccurate. Everone can be hypnotized to some degree. Hypnotism is not limited to popular theatrics such as raising an arm by means of subconsious suggestion or clinical applications such as smoking or loosing weight.

Close your eyes and imagine you're on a hot sunlit sandy beach. Either picture it in your mind or concentrate what it would be like to picture it. That's a form of hypnotism if external stimulation diminishes. Watch a movie you enjoy. It is normal for a person to become so concentrated within it that everything else in the room vanishes to be inconsequential. You only notice it when your mind returns out of the trance. That too is a form of hypnotism. There are so many examples we commonly take for granted.

It seems a more accurate statement by your hypnotist should have been "I have not been able to hypnotize you, sorry".


#13    DystOpt

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:42 PM

And you are wrong according to at least these reputable sources. Well, the daily mail isn't always reputable, but the scientist is.

http://psychcentral....ized/45672.html

http://www.dailymail...pan-better.html

Some people simply cannot be hypnotized, and no, the ability to focus your attention on something for an extended period is not self hypnosis.


#14    rodentraiser

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:52 PM

"Paranormal" involves more than just seeing ghosts. I think seeing a ghost is just one facet of the paranormal experience and whether you can be hypnotized or not, even if you don't see a ghost doesn't mean you haven't had a paranormal experience at some point. So I think when you try to link experiencing any part the entire realm of the paranormal with being able to be hypnotized, there could be a different result.

I don't know - does that make sense?

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#15    Sergeant

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 01:30 AM

View PostDystOpt, on 02 August 2013 - 09:42 PM, said:

And you are wrong according to at least these reputable sources. Well, the daily mail isn't always reputable, but the scientist is.

http://psychcentral....ized/45672.html

http://www.dailymail...pan-better.html

Some people simply cannot be hypnotized, and no, the ability to focus your attention on something for an extended period is not self hypnosis.

You're right the dailymail is not a very good source. However if you look at your other link, the headline "Not everyone can get hypnotized" quote is not from the study itself, but a conjecture from Janice Wood the Associate News editor.

The study itself is about two groups those with "High hypnotizability" and those with "Low hypnotizability":

Quote

"For the study, Spiegel and his colleagues performed functional and structural MRI scans of the brains of 12 adults with high hypnotizability and 12 adults with low hypnotizability."


Hypnotism is not the ability to focus attention on something for long periods of time. Hypnotism is simply concentration which causes other external stimuli to diminish.

I don't believe it has correlation to the perception of the paranormal.






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