Watch this video, and look in your book on page 123 at the Challenge Your Thinking section. What are your thoughts about these phenomena? Do you think you'd be fooled by one or both? Why?
Uses of Hypnosis
As psychologists’ interest in studying consciousness has grown, hypnosis has emerged as a useful tool (Beebe, 2014; Flor, 2014). Some researchers employ hypnosis in a way similar to transcranial magnetic stimulation, to dampen brain processes experimentally (Cox & Bryant, 2008). Combining hypnosis with brain imaging allows researchers to understand both the effects of hypnosis itself and the brain’s functioning (Oakley & Halligan, 2011).
Beyond its role in basic research, hypnosis has been applied to a variety of problems. In the United States, practitioners of hypnosis use the technique to treat alcoholism, somnambulism, depression, suicidal tendencies, posttraumatic stress disorder, migraines, overeating, diabetes, and smoking. Whether hypnosis actually works for these diverse problems remains debatable (Brown, 2007). People in hypnosis-based treatment programs rarely achieve dramatic results unless they are already motivated to change. Hypnosis is most effective when combined with psychotherapy.
A long history of research and practice has clearly demonstrated that hypnosis can reduce the experience of pain (Jensen & Patterson, 2014; Syrjala & others, 2014). A fascinating study examined the pain perceptions of hypnotized individuals, with the goal of changing their pain threshold. In this study, the brain of each participant was monitored while each received painful electrical shocks (rated 8 or higher on a 1 to 10 pain scale) (Schulz-Stübner & others, 2004). Those who were hypnotized to find the shocks less painful did rate them as lower in pain (giving them a 3 or less). Furthermore, the brain-scanning results were most interesting: The subcortical brain areas (the brainstem and midbrain) of the hypnotized patients responded the same as those of the patients who were not hypnotized, a finding suggesting that these brain structures recognized the painful stimulation. However, the sensory cortex was not activated in the hypnotized patients, an indication that although they sensed pain on some level, they were never conscious of it. In essence, the “ouch” signal never made it to awareness. If a patient is allergic to anesthesia or it is ill advised for other reasons (the patient has a history of addiction), hypnosis may be a viable alternative. Research shows that it can be effective in pain management for a variety of contexts (Aravena & others, 2020; Garcia & others, 2020; Montenegro & others, 2017).
In summary, although the nature of hypnosis remains a mystery, evidence is increasing that hypnosis can play a role in a variety of health contexts, and it can influence the brain in fascinating ways. For psychologists, part of the ambiguity about the definition of hypnosis arises from the fact that it has been studied in specific social contexts, involving a hypnotist. It is also possible, however, to experience altered states of consciousness without these special circumstances, as we next consider.
The type of brain waves that hypnotized people display include
The divided consciousness theory of hypnosis receives support from evidence that
hypnosis can block sensory input.
hypnosis can affect voluntary, but not involuntary, behaviors.
hypnotized people often seem to play the role of “good hypnotic subjects.”
hypnotized people can be aware of pain sensation without experiencing emotional distress.
Hypnosis treatments tend to work best when they are accompanied by
APPLY IT! 4. Ryan and his friends attend a show by the Great Chorizo, a hypnotist. Chorizo asks for volunteers to be hypnotized, and he picks the first five people who raise their hands. He puts the five people into a trance, and within minutes he has them lying on stage sizzling like slices of bacon in a frying pan. When it is all over, one of Ryan’s friends remarks that Chorizo must have amazing powers: “That guy could make a person do anything!” Ryan, who has been working on his critical thinking and the psychology of hypnosis, wisely notes which of the following about Chorizo’s act?
As long as Chorizo followed the steps of hypnosis described in this text, he probably does have amazing powers of suggestion.
Ryan would need to see Chorizo’s training and qualifications prior to rendering judgment.
Chorizo selected the first five volunteers, and these individuals might have been especially motivated, suggestible, and likely to believe in the effects of hypnosis. There is no way to gauge whether Chorizo could have influence over anyone else.
Hypnotizability is similar for all people, so if Chorizo was able to get five people to act like frying bacon, he could probably do just about anything.
Hypnosis involves a powerful social context, but harnessing the power of consciousness is also possible without the aid of a hypnotist—through meditation. Meditation involves attaining a peaceful state of mind in which thoughts are not occupied by worry; the meditator is mindfully present to their thoughts and feelings but is not consumed by them. Let’s look at how meditation can enhance well-being and examine more closely what it is.
meditation The attainment of a peaceful state of mind in which thoughts are not occupied by worry; the meditator is mindfully present to their thoughts and feelings but is not consumed by them.
There are many types of meditative practice (Newcombe & O’Brien-Kop, 2020). They share at least two characteristics: focused attention and open monitoring. Focused attention means bringing one’s awareness to one’s inner life and attending to one’s thoughts. It means being psychologically present as one thinks. Open monitoring refers to the capacity to observe one’s thoughts as they happen without getting preoccupied by them; that is, through open monitoring, the person is able to reflect without becoming attached to a particular thought or idea. Research shows that experienced meditators show a pattern of brain activity that is different from both effortful engagement in thought and sleep or drowsiness (Hinterberger & others, 2014). Meditation (or contemplative practice) is related to developing cognitive skills such as attentional control and executive function (Cásedas & others, 2020; Izzetoglu & others, 2020).
Melissa Munroe, a Canadian woman diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma (a cancer of the immune system), was tormented by excruciating pain. Seeking ways to cope with the agony, Munroe enrolled in a meditation program. She was skeptical at first. “What I didn’t realize,” she said, “is that if people have ever found themselves taking a walk in the countryside or in the forest or on a nice pleasant autumn day … and find themselves in a contemplative state, that’s a form of meditation.” Munroe worked hard to use meditation to control her pain. Interestingly, the way she harnessed the power of her mind to overcome pain was by concentrating her thoughts on the pain—not trying to avoid it.
Among those practicing meditation are Zen monks who explore the Buddha-nature at the center of their being.
Erin Koran/McGraw Hill
Using mindfulness meditation, a technique practiced by yoga enthusiasts and Buddhist monks, Munroe focused on her pain. By doing so, she was able to isolate the pain from her emotional response to it and to her cancer diagnosis. She grew to see her physical discomfort as bearable. Munroe’s success shows that contrary to what a nonmeditator might think, meditation is not about avoiding one’s thoughts. Indeed, the effort involved in avoidance steers the person away from the contemplative state. Munroe described her thoughts as like people striding by her on the street, walking in the other direction; she explained, “They come closer and closer, then they pass you by.” Her sentiment reflects the open monitoring that is common to many forms of meditation.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (2006, 2009) pioneered using meditation techniques in medical settings. Research by Kabat-Zinn and colleagues has demonstrated the beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation for a variety of conditions, including depression, panic attacks, and anxiety (Miller & others, 1995), chronic pain (Kabat-Zinn & others, 1985), and stress and the skin condition psoriasis (Kabat-Zinn & others, 1998). Many of these effects have also been shown to be long-lasting (Crane & others, 2017).
Richard Davidson and colleagues (including Kabat-Zinn) have studied the brain and immune system changes that might underlie the health and wellness effects of meditation (Davidson & others, 2003; Ferrarelli & others, 2013; Kabat-Zinn & Davidson, 2012). They performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the brains of individuals who were in a standard eight-week meditation-training program. After the training program and as compared to a control group, those in the meditation program reported reduced anxiety and fewer negative emotions. Furthermore, brain scans revealed that these individuals showed increased activation in the left hemisphere. Such activation is associated with happiness. In addition, the meditators had a better immune system response to a flu vaccine (Davidson & others, 2003). These results suggest that our conscious minds may have a role to play in enhancing our psychological and physical health (Kabat-Zinn, 2019).
Another form of meditation is called lovingkindness meditation. The goal of this meditative practice is the development of loving acceptance of oneself and others. In lovingkindness meditation, the meditator begins by developing warm, accepting feelings toward oneself. Then, the person moves to meditate about a very close other, such as a family member the person loves and respects. Over time, lovingkindness meditation widens to include an ever-broadening circle of people. Lovingkindness fosters feelings of warmth, friendliness, compassion, and appreciative joy. At its highest level, the person experiences a sense of equanimity, or a feeling of calm acceptance, an openness to their thoughts and feelings without becoming preoccupied with them (Kok & others, 2013; Koopmann-Holm & others, 2020).
Lovingkindness meditation leads to heightened feelings of social connection, positive emotions (Fredrickson & others, 2008), better coping with stress (Fredrickson & others, 2003), greater optimism (Koopmann-Holm & others, 2020), and slower biological aging (Le Nguyen & others, 2019). Given its focus on compassion toward others, might this type of contemplative practice also possess payoffs for the social world? Some research suggests that this form of meditation may help to combat prejudice. Research has begun to support the idea that mindfulness practices can help reduce prejudice (Kang & others, 2014; Price-Blackshear & others, 2017).
The Meditative State of Mind
What actually is the meditative state of mind? As a physiological state, meditation shows qualities of sleep and wakefulness yet is distinct from both. You may have experienced a state called hypnagogic reverie—an overwhelming feeling of wellness right before you fall asleep, the sense that everything is going to work out. Meditation has been compared to this relaxed sense that all is well (Friedman & others, 1998).
In a study of Zen meditators, researchers examined what happens when people switch from their normal waking state to a meditative state (Ritskes & others, 2003). Using functional MRI (fMRI), the experimenters got images of the brain before and after the participants entered the meditative state. They found that the switch to meditation involved initial increases in activation in the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex (the now familiar area that is often activated during consciousness). However, and interestingly, they also found that these initial activations led to decreases in the anterior cingulate, a brain area that is thought to be associated with acts of will. These results provide a picture of the physical events of the brain that are connected with the somewhat paradoxical state of meditation—controlling one’s thoughts in order to let go of the need to control.
We are a professional custom writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework.
Yes. We have posted over our previous orders to display our experience. Since we have done this question before, we can also do it for you. To make sure we do it perfectly, please fill our Order Form. Filling the order form correctly will assist our team in referencing, specifications and future communication.
2. Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER INFORMATION" section and click “PRICE CALCULATION” at the bottom to calculate your order price.
3. Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
4. Click “FINAL STEP” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
5. From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.
Need this assignment or any other paper?
Click here and claim 25% off
Discount code SAVE25