Saturday, February 14, 2009

Debunking Hypnosis Myths

Anti-Cult Controversies: Debunking Hypnosis Myths
However, instead of looking at current data, Lerma chooses to refer to an outdated 1956 handbook by a science fiction writer, A E Van Vogt that makes all kinds of arbitrary, unsupported assertions, stating them as if they were facts that Lerma appears to uncritically swallow whole. Sounds like someone needs to come up to present time and look at current research. [...]

In fact, what the much more recent actual research (as opposed to the proclamations of a sci fi writer) have shown is that people respond just as well to suggestions outside of hypnosis as they do under hypnosis. Of course, one trick of the pseudoscientists is to expand the definition of hypnosis so it includes just about everything in life, to it can then be invoked any time they want to show someone was under undue influence of hypnosis.

Although I never brought into some of the more extreme versions Lerma appears to buy into, I once bought into the theory that people are put into a "trance" state during Scientology's TR-0 that makes them more suggestible to whatever else goes on. This was before I became aware of the large body of literature on hypnosis that thankfully, one of the researchers on hypnosis cited in the Scientific American Article, Steven Jay Lynn, made me aware of. I had the opportunity to have a chat with Lynn on this topic and I later read, wrote and published a review of his excellent book on the empirical evidence on hypnosis, entitled Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach. I highly recommend people read this book, along with the Scientific American article to get a more accurate picture of what hypnosis can do and not do.

No comments: