Social cognitive theories of hypnosis

Steven Jay Lynn, Irving Kirsch and Michael N. Hallquist

in The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780198570097
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social cognitive theories of hypnosis

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Beginning with an overview of the social cognitive perspective, this article reviews the social cognitive theories of hypnosis. Hypnosis theories are often dichotomized into state and nonstate theories, with social cognitive theories being the most prominent exemplars of nonstate theories. However, neither state nor nonstate theories of hypnosis are monolithic as there are a number of differently nuanced social cognitive theories of hypnosis. Although this article does not deny the possibility that reliable physiological markers of an altered state of hypnosis may one day be found, and underscore the importance of identifying the psychophysiological substrates of hypnosis, it argues that the claim that neurophysiological data resolve the altered state issue is not warranted by the available evidence. Furthermore it explains how social cognitive theorists have studied and conceptualized hypnotic phenomena that traditionally have been attributed to an altered state of consciousness.

Keywords: cognitive theories; classical hypnotist; imaginative suggestion; hypnotic induction; altered state of consciousness

Article.  20258 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Social Psychology

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