hypnosis

Discussions and related news items
CatHerder
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1261
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:57 pm

hypnosis

Post by CatHerder » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:21 am

Can one hypnotist hypnotize another? :?
Dev
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: hypnosis

Post by Dev » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:38 am

Apparently you can hypnotize yourself i.e. you are both the hypnotist and hypnotized. I would extend some plausibility to the notion but then I know very little about hypnotism.

Has anyone here been hypnotized? Not the Ray definition which seems to include churches with rhythmic music and a relaxing atmosphere.
bipedalhumanoid
Posts: 2675
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Re: hypnosis

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:00 pm

Dev wrote:Apparently you can hypnotize yourself i.e. you are both the hypnotist and hypnotized..
Otherwise known as self hypnosis or... meditation.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: hypnosis

Post by Ygern » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:58 pm

I'm still a bit dubious about what hypnotism really is. From what I've read it depends very much on the subject's willingness to be hypnotised - and if that is all it takes and hypnotism is "real" then assuming the two hypnotists are willing to co-operate I can't see why it wouldn't work.

But I'm still not really sure what it is in real terms, I'd be fascinated to hear someone like Derren Brown explain how he understands it. Medically there seems to be very little data to support that there really is an "altered" state of mind during a co-called hypnotic trance.

There's an interesting article by Dr Steve Novella here: http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=35
He's a neuroscientist and as a result can give a better analysis than most on what actually is or might be happening.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
dugges
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:34 pm
Location: Baile átha Cliath

Re: hypnosis

Post by dugges » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:20 pm

Ygern wrote:But I'm still not really sure what it is in real terms, I'd be fascinated to hear someone like Derren Brown explain how he understands it. Medically there seems to be very little data to support that there really is an "altered" state of mind during a co-called hypnotic trance.
You might want to read Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind, it was the book that introduced me to atheism and skeptism.
I lent it to someone and they moved house, so it's in one of the boxes in their attic :(
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Douglas Adams
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: hypnosis

Post by Ygern » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:17 am

I would find it fascinating, I'll try & get hold of a copy.

The thing about people like Derren Brown, Randi and Penn & Teller is that they have to preserve the tricks of their trade. They are upfront & honest in saying that what they do is skillful tricks and highly insightful & astute observation of human nature, but they are not going to reveal how their best acts are done. That's fair enough, I wouldn't really expect them to.

As a result, although they often tell you how a certain effect could be achieved, they are usually not telling you that that is how they themselves achieve it.

There is obviously a technique to suggesting certain things to people as well as lulling them into a relaxed, off-guard condition. I have no doubt that a skilled person such as Brown can manipulate people in ways that they aren't necessarily aware of to the point where they are highly receptive and responsive to his suggestions.

It still doesn't really explain what the hypnotised state is exactly.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
bipedalhumanoid
Posts: 2675
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Re: hypnosis

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:44 am

People who are hypnotised are definitely experiencing a different brain state. Myth Busters explored it. They were able to tell when someone was in a hypnotic state by monitoring brain activity.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: hypnosis

Post by Ygern » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:47 pm

That's interesting, because the studies that Dr Novella links to show the exact opposite:
In this study, for example, it was found that those under hypnosis (a suggestive term that is probably misleading) could not be distinguished from those in a relaxed but fully conscious state.
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=35
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
Dev
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: hypnosis

Post by Dev » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:35 pm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... of-2001-07

SA tries to make an attempt at defining what hypnosis is and isn't. I didn't really feel a whole lot more informed other than it saying that there is a spectrum of susceptibility to the phenomenon and that it doesn't really change over a lifetime. Mind I only skimmed the first two pages and had a glance for a definite conclusion.

I inclined to put this phenomenon in with the placebo effect. A complex psychological effect with parallels to optical illusions albeit far less explained. Something thats not really there but like negative space in logo design it appears such a way; due to our minds having imperfections and altering our perception of things.
inedifix
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:57 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: hypnosis

Post by inedifix » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:21 pm

Ygern wrote:The thing about people like Derren Brown, Randi and Penn & Teller is that they have to preserve the tricks of their trade. They are upfront & honest in saying that what they do is skillful tricks and highly insightful & astute observation of human nature, but they are not going to reveal how their best acts are done.
Dugges is right, you simply have to pick up a copy of Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind. He is actually very candid about what he does and how he does it, and even tells you how to try it yourself. He admits that he's not 100% sure about the mechanics of hypnosis, but believes that a combination of suggestibility, compliance and self-deception are at play. Some people are very highly suggestible to those who are good manipulators (like Derren Brown) and can be convinced of almost anything, many people comply (fake it and play along) out of a fear of looking foolish in front of an audience/others if they don't (a sort of Emperor's new clothes effect), and many people are capable of extreme levels of self-deception too. Combine all three in the right subject and the net effect is hypnosis, or what looks like it.

As such, it's probably hard for one hypnotist to hypnotise another, but easy enough to make it look like that's what's happened.

He's also brilliant on the whole cold reading trick. At one point in the book he recounts a televised session where he had a dozen students in a room. He tells them he's going to give them a personal "reading" and asks them for a personal item each, their name and birthdate. Later, he gives each of them their "analyses" in an envelope. They read these, then give him marks on how close he is to their actual personality and life. 9 out of 10 are totally blown away by how he "got them" while one thinks it's pretty good. He gets the same result with subjects in several different countries. The trick though, is that every single subject has a photocopy of exactly the same 'reading'. He even reproduces the 'reading' in the book.

In the meantime, before getting the book, try watching his classic TV programme "Messiah" on You Tube, where he goes to America and successfully passes himself off as a "genuine" psychic and medium among total flakes who think they're 'gifted'. Bear in mind the guy is very full of himself, but that's part of how he works with people.

http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Derren ... CB0QqwQwAA
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
Post Reply