Do you read scholarly articles on hypnosis?

Well, I just spent the last couple of hours downloading some scholarly articles on hypnosis and consciousness; this is what prompted this question. Part of the reason I looked up and downloaded these articles is inspiration. One of the themes I want to explore in my stories is the variations between consciousness and hypnosis and letting the hypnotic state merge with the currnt consciousness of characters and that is something some of the articles deal with. I myself lean into cognitive science as I read both philosophical and cognitive scientific discussions of memory for my dissertation. But it all helps to inform my vision. It also helps to build the language for my future writing. Knowing how cognitive scientists discuss hypnosis and the mental state of hypnosis can help me create a language for the stories. But that’s me. So am I an outlier looking at this scientific knowledge or do others take a look at serious work on hypnosis?

I’ve looked at scientific literature around hypnosis before, but usually come away with more questions than when I started. There seems to be a lot of debate over what it actually is and how much you can do with it, so I’m never sure what to think.

Yeah, much of cognitive science is speculative; no one really has a good understanding of how the mind works so there’s a lot of educated guessing. But that’s an equally good basis for making a story around or an explanation for what’s happening to a character.

I was just persuing the articles before I went to bed and found an interesting piece of info; hypnosis actually refers to posthypnotic amnesia. Really, it’s only the amnesia that indicates that your mental state was altered.

I remember reading a while back that they believed hypnotic amnesia was mostly induced by the hypnotist’s suggestions (sometimes unintentional), and that it only rarely occurred naturally. I have no idea where I read that, but I have the impression that it was preliminary research. I have no idea if they followed up on that and were able to prove it or not.

Having gone through a few articles has been interesting. Basically, the conception of hypnosis I get so far is something akin to Inception, something created in the mind of the subject. It is useful to think about hypnosis in these terms if you’re like me and trying to bring the conscious, everyday world and the hypnosis-based world together.

I do, also on consciousness. Frankly, I think if you are going to write a story involving hypnosis, it pays to do a little background study into what contemporary science is saying about it. Much like an actor preparing for a role. Now, you don’t have to use what you find, that’s why it is called fiction, but it often helps keep things grounded and most importantly, believable.

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Glad to hear that. It has been interesting going through the articles; some focus on the social dimension of hypnosis, exploring the dynamics between the hypnotist and the subject, and pointing out that much of what occurs in hypnosis happens in the subject’s head. Reading that has made me look at that dimension of the stories posted here in a deeper light.

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Indeed. So much nonsense out there about hypnosis. There is no spirituality, no magic, no “complete mind control”, etc… If there were, hypnosis would rule the world. There is a reason that it is called “suggestion”.

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Maybe it does and we’ve all been programmed to ignore it. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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