Following two surgical operations under hypnotic anesthesia, it was possible, during subsequent recall under hypnosis, to elicit a representation of the past operative experience. It would seem that under hypnosis there is a persistence of the preception of nociceptive information and of its recognition as such by the subject. From an analysis of these two experiments in recall, it is possible to formulate several hypotheses concerning the psychological processes involved in hypnotic analgesia.
The effect of varying number of response descriptors on hypnotic depth ratings was assessed. Following hypnotic susceptibility testing, subjects in one group (n = 111) rated their hypnotic depth on a unidimensional four-point scale with alternatives ranging from "not hypnotized" to "highly hypnotized." A second group (n = 111) responded to a four-point scale that confounded the two descriptors, hypnotic depth and degree of absorption.
The authors posits that the central mechanisms in cases of multiple personality appears to be spontaneous self-hypnosis. As the syndrome is a product of hypnosis and as excellent hypnotic subjects are potentially able to induce a variety of psychiatric symptoms, these patients report many symptoms referable to other major syndromes. This accounts for the many diagnoses attributable to them. The study of multiple personalities offers insights into the capabilities of hypnosis, the genesis of an unconscious, and the mechanism of repression.
State manifestations of the trait of absorption--a trait associated with differential responsivity to hypnosis, meditation, marijuana intoxification, and electromyograph (EMG) biofeedback--were assessed to determine (a) if absorption correlates with various (sub)dimensions of phenomenological experience, and (b) if individuals of differing absorption ability experience different states of consciousness. In two experiments 249 and 304 participants completed Tellegen's absorption scale and experienced several stimulus conditions.