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Hypnotic suggestibility, cognitive inhibition, and dissociation

Wright, Daniel B.; Hutton, Sam; Brown, Elizabeth; Dienes, Zoltán; Kirsch, Irving; Mazzoni, Giuliana


Daniel B. Wright

Sam Hutton

Elizabeth Brown

Zoltán Dienes

Irving Kirsch

Giuliana Mazzoni


We examined two potential correlates of hypnotic suggestibility: dissociation and cognitive inhibition. Dissociation is the foundation of two of the major theories of hypnosis and other theories commonly postulate that hypnotic responding is a result of attentional abilities (including inhibition). Participants were administered the Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C. Under the guise of an unrelated study, 180 of these participants also completed: a version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale that is normally distributed in non-clinical populations; a latent inhibition task, a spatial negative priming task, and a memory task designed to measure negative priming. The data ruled out even moderate correlations between hypnotic suggestibility and all the measures of dissociation and cognitive inhibition overall, though they also indicated gender differences. The results are a challenge for existing theories of hypnosis. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Wright, D. B., Hutton, S., Brown, E., Dienes, Z., Kirsch, I., & Mazzoni, G. (2009). Hypnotic suggestibility, cognitive inhibition, and dissociation. Consciousness and cognition, 18(4), 837-847.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2009
Publication Date Dec 31, 2009
Print ISSN 1053-8100
Electronic ISSN 1090-2376
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 837-847
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Developmental and Educational Psychology
Public URL