Hypnotizability and attention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Developed an attentional explanation of cognitive hypnotic phenomena (e.g., hallucinations and amnesia) based on the ability to shift the pertinence of stored information. It was hypothesized that individuals who were successful at a difficult attentional task would also succeed on cognitive hypnotic items. The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A was used to assess hypnotizability in 42 adult night-school students. To measure pertinence-shift ability, 2 tape recordings made by the same person were played through a single sound source. One tape was designated the target tape. Amount remembered and perceived task ease were summed to form an additive score of task success. Ss above the median on the task were assigned to the good pertinence shift group (GP); those below the median were assigned to the poor pertinence shift group (PP). As predicted, GP subjects passed significantly more cognitive hypnotic items than did PP subjects. When task difficulty and compliance were controlled for, the results remained significant. Results were replicated in a 2nd study with 23 summer-school students. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1979

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • hypnotizability, attention, adult education students


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypnotizability and attention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this