Definitions of Hypnosis and Hypnotizability and their Relation to Suggestion and Suggesitibility: A Consensus Statement:Kirsch et al 2011 defintion of terms
Irving Kirsch1 University of Hull, Etzel Cardeña University of Lund, Stuart Derbyshire University of Birmingham, Zoltan Dienes University of Sussex, Michael Heap University of Sheffield, Sakari Kalli University of Skövde, Giuliana Mazzoni University of Hull, Peter Naish Open University, David Oakley, University College London, Catherine Potter Salford Primary Care Trust University of Manchester, Val Walters University College London, Matthew Whalley University College London
Hypnosis, Hypnotizability, Suggestion and Suggestibility: This paper exposes the need to clarify what we really mean when we use these terms, so that future studies can be compared and contrasted within the same parameters of understanding. Interesting paper of an academic nature which presents the problem that “current operational definitions of ‘hypnosis’ and ‘hypnotizability’ are inconsistent”. The problem is explained and solutions are considered.
Extracts: “In 1973, Ernest R. Hilgard wrote his influential article entitled “The Domain of Hypnosis,” in which he also referred to the broader “domain of suggestion.” Hypnosis is part of that broader domain, but it is not identical to it…The importance of these four domains (hypnosis, placebo, memory, and sensory suggestibility), combined with the fact that suggestion is central to each of them, makes it clear that suggestion itself should be studied as a domain composed of different sub-domains…
…Since the beginning of systematic research in the field (Hull, 1933), hypnosis has been defined operationally by the administration of a hypnotic induction.2 In contrast, hypnotizability has been operationally defined as responsiveness to suggestion following a hypnotic induction.3 The problem is that the induction of hypnosis has little impact on responsiveness to suggestion. Therefore, ‘hypnotizability’ scales mostly measure the effects of suggestion, not the effects of hypnosis (Weitzenhoffer, 1980)…
However, hypnosis can also be defined more broadly as the administration (or self-administration) and experience of imaginative suggestions, regardless of whether a trance induction has been administered (Kirsch, 1997). Thus defined, it would include ‘waking hypnosis’ (i.e., responding to suggestions without a trance induction; Wells, 1924)
The change in suggestibility may be mediated by a hypnotic state and/or they may be a function of various social and cognitive variables (e.g., expectancy, motivation, etc.) that are activated by the induction procedure…”