The influence of hypnosis on the recall of cognitively dissonant material
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The purpose of the study has been to explore certain cognitive processes as they operate in the hypnotic state. More specifically, it was to investigate the influence of hypnosis on the recall of verbal material cognitively dissonant in nature. Cognitive dissonance occurs when one element of cognition does not follow from the other. On the basis of the literature on hypnosis, especially from the writings of Gill and Brenman (1959) and Shor (1959), and the findings of Orne (1959) concerning the suspension of rational thinking in the hypnotic state, two predictions were made: 1. Cognitively dissonant material exposed under hypnosis is recalled better than cognitively dissonant material exposed in the normal state. 2. Cognitively dissonant material exposed in the normal state is recalled better under hypnosis than when it is both exposed and recalled in the normal state. The subjects were sixteen undergraduate students, nine females and seven males, from 22 to 27 years of age, with the median at 23. In several screenings they had passed from ten to twelve of the Stanford hypnotizability tests and were classified as good hypnotic subjects. They were divided into four groups of four according to their scores on a pretest of verbal recall ability. They were also given three subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale: Information, Similarities, and Vocabulary. Later, the subjects within each group were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions: (1) both exposure and recall under hypnosis; (2) exposure under hypnosis and recall in the normal state; (3) exposure in the normal state and recall under hypnosis; and (4) both exposure and recall in the normal state [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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