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Hypnosis, absorption, and time perception

Hypnosis, absorption, and time perception

Abstract

Previous research attempting to relate absorption to hypnotic time perception has been inconclusive. The present study provides a more thorough test of the absorption hypothesis by assessing the separate and combined effects of hypnotic responsiveness, hypnotic vs waking context, and involvement of the stimulus content. 60 college students, tested in either a waking or a hypnotic condition, provided retrospective time estimates of 2 taped story narrations, selected to represent opposite extremes of interest and involvement. Assignment to high- or low-responsive groups on the basis of Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility scores was cross-checked with scores on the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale. Overall, duration estimates were shorter for the involving than for the noninvolving content, and high-responsive Ss tended to give shorter estimates than did low-responsive Ss. However, the only substantial underestimation occurred when the high-responsive Ss listened to the involving tape in the hypnotic context, a finding that supports a general absorption hypothesis. (15 ref)
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