Our research extends studies that have examined the relation between hypnotic suggestibility and experiential involvement and the role of an hypnotic induction in enhancing experiential involvement (e.g., absorption) in engaging tasks. Researchers have reported increased involvement in reading (Baum & Lynn, 1981) and music-listening (Snodgrass & Lynn, 1989) tasks during hypnosis. We predicted a similar effect for film viewing: greater experiential involvement in an emotional (The Champ) versus a non-emotional (Scenes of Toronto) film. We tested 121 participants who completed measures of absorption and trait dissociation and the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility and then viewed the two films after either an hypnotic induction or a non-hypnotic task (i.e., anagrams). Experiential involvement varied as a function of hypnotic suggestibility and film clip. Highly suggestible participants reported more state depersonalization than less suggestible participants, and depersonalization was associated with negative affect; however, we observed no significant correlation between hypnotic suggestibility and trait dissociation. Although hypnosis had no effect on memory commission or omission errors, contrary to the hypothesis that hypnosis facilitates absorption in emotionally engaging tasks, the emotional film was associated with more commission and omission errors compared with the non-emotional film.
Conscious Cogn. 2015 Jan 13;33C:170-184. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.11.013. Maxwell R1, Lynn SJ2, Condon L1. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.