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The effect of posthypnotic suggestion and task difficulty on adherence to health-related requests

Carvalho, Cláudia; Mazzoni, Giuliana; Kirsch, Irving


Cláudia Carvalho

Giuliana Mazzoni

Irving Kirsch


The effects of posthypnotic suggestion on health-related behavior, using a behavioral measure of adherence were investigated. Three hundred twenty three students covering the full range of hypnotic suggestibility were prescribed an easy (mood rating) or a difficult (physical activity) task. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a) hypnosis with posthypnotic suggestions to facilitate performance of the assigned task or b) a social request to perform the assigned task. There were significant effects for type of task and hypnosis, revealing that participants adhered significantly more to the easy task and that hypnosis decreased task adherence. Hypnotic suggestibility did not predict adherence, and its interaction with posthypnotic suggestion was not significant. These results suggest that posthypnotic suggestion may decrease adherence rates regardless of participants’ suggestibility level.


Carvalho, C., Mazzoni, G., & Kirsch, I. (2014). The effect of posthypnotic suggestion and task difficulty on adherence to health-related requests. Psychology of consciousness theory, research, and practice, 1(1), 92-102.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2014-03
Deposit Date Apr 30, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 30, 2015
Journal Psychology of consciousness: theory, research, and practice
Print ISSN 2326-5523
Electronic ISSN 2326-5531
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 92-102
Keywords Hypnosis; Posthypnotic suggestion; Adherence; Treatment compliance; Health behaviour
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


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Copyright Statement
©2014 American Psychological Association

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