Social Cognitive Theory And Hypnosis

Topics: Hypnosis, Ernest Hilgard, Consciousness Pages: 4 (859 words) Published: September 17, 2016

Hypnosis appears to be far too difficult and complex of a subject to simply summarize it with one single theory. Due to its complexities, there are two main theories currently being taught and debated: social-cognitive-theory and hypnosis as dissociation (“the hidden observer”). Currently, there is no way to prove or disprove either theory. The prudent thing to do is research both to gain the most proficient understanding of hypnosis. After researching both, one might find a higher agreement with the social-cognitive-theory. Before a decision is made, a closer look at both theories is in order. After researching both, will it be possible to discover that the social cognitive theory holds stronger evidence of how subjects are unknowingly...

The social-cognitive-theory of hypnosis assumes that people who are hypnotized are not in an altered state but are merely playing the role expected of them in the situation. They might believe that they are hypnotized, but in fact it is all a very good performance, so good that even the “participants” are unaware that they are role-playing. (Ciccarelli 157) It is not that the subjects are purposefully attempting to deceive the hypnotist; instead, they have preconceived expectations that cause them to truly believe they are experiencing hypnosis, thereby causing their “hypnotic responses”. This theory seems to present a more logical explanation of how hypnosis works, and why the results are not any different from the dissociation theory. The subjects can often guide themselves to having positive responsiveness simply due to the expectations they hold about...

The ability to use cognitive methods to overcome pain or change a behavior is not a new technique. While a woman is in Lamaze class, she is taught different methods to help raise her pain threshold and assist in coping to the extreme pain that labor and delivery can induce. From a personal standpoint, having experience with three deliveries- all of which had partial to full epidural failure, this is an agreeable method with proven effectiveness. Woman are taught to find an object in the room (usually a clock or piece of art), focus on one specific part of it and concentrate on staring at it- similar to some hypnosis induction methods. Concentrating on specific breathing patterns only further enhances the application. If someone is intensely focusing on doing two other things, they are not allowing themselves to focus on the pain- thereby giving an analgesic quality to the method despite the lack of...
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