Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Investigative uses of Hypnosis

Investigative uses of Hypnosis

Book Title

Handbook of Behavioral Criminology


Document Type

Book Chapter


Discussions and definitions of hypnosis can be seen from earliest writings through current times. For example, the Roman Historian Plutarch Pyrrhus of Epicus described curing cases of colic with forms of suggestion (Wolfe & Rosenthal, 1948), while Bernheim (1947) discussed ancient Egyptians using “magnetic stones” to cure ailments such as gout, hysteria, toothache and head pain. More recently, the Executive Committee (2014) of the Society for Psychological Hypnosis, in an attempt to simplify communications about hypnosis, offered its official definition of hypnosis as “A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.” The Division leadership went on to clarify that “While there are substantial variations in theoretical understanding of these phenomena, the above definitions were created with an interest in simplifying communication regarding hypnotic phenomena and procedures within and between fields of research and practice, and so are intentionally largely atheoretical.” The reader can draw their own conclusions regarding the success this group has had in simplify definitions of hypnosis.



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Investigative uses of Hypnosis
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