Fifty highly hypnotizable subjects were assigned to four treatment groups or a no-treatment control group and then underwent two pain stimulation trials. Half the treated subjects were administered hypnotic analgesia, half waking analgesia. Within hypnotic and nonhypnotic treatments, half the subjects were given actively worded analgesia instructions, half passively worded instructions. Subjects in the four treated groups reported equivalent pain reduction and equivalent use of coping imagery, although hypnotic subjects rated themselves as more deeply hypnotized than did nonhypnotic subjects. Both hypnotic and nonhypnotic subjects given passive instructions rated their pain reduction as occurring involuntarily, whereas those given active instructions reported that their pain was reduced through their active use of coping strategies. These findings support sociocognitive formulations of hypnotic responding that view ratings of involuntariness as reflecting contextually guided interpretations of behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science