Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hypnosis: The Key To Unlocking The Delusional Mind?

Date:
April 29, 2008
Source:
Macquarie University
Summary:
Researchers have developed an original new approach to the study of delusions, using hypnosis to temporarily create typical delusional beliefs in otherwise non-delusional people. A group of psychologists have been investigating the effectiveness of using hypnosis as a technique for studying the delusion known as mirrored-self misidentification, and a range of other delusions also.

Researchers at Macquarie University have developed an original new approach to the study of delusions, using hypnosis to temporarily create typical delusional beliefs in otherwise non-delusional people.

Related Articles


With backing from the Australian Research Council and Macquarie University, a group of psychologists from the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS) have been investigating the effectiveness of using hypnosis as a technique for studying the delusion known as mirrored-self misidentification, and a range of other delusions also.

People suffering from mirrored-self misidentification believe that the person they see when they look in the mirror is not them, but some stranger who looks similar to them.

According to the researchers, one of the roadblocks to studying delusions is having access to research participants, as these delusions are not very common, and many who suffer from them are unwilling to participate in research.

Thinking outside the box, the Macquarie group - which includes Professor Max Coltheart, Associate Professor Amanda Barnier and Dr Robyn Langdon - teamed up with researchers from Leeds University, University College London and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, to trial hypnosis as a technique for creating transient delusions that are resistant to challenge in non-delusional subjects.

"In psychology and medicine, there is a long tradition of using hypnosis to study clinical conditions that are otherwise difficult to bring into the laboratory," they explain. "It makes sense to use hypnosis to study delusions because they share many characteristics. Both involve distortions of reality, and in both, these distortions are believed with absolute conviction, are maintained regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and are resistant to rational counter arguments. We were confident therefore that hypnosis could help us to better understand the processes underlying clinical delusions."

Participants in the study received one of three hypnotic suggestions which were used to explore the different forms of initial thoughts that might ‘seed' the delusion. The results indicated that the hypnotic suggestion created a credible, compelling delusion with features strikingly similar to clinical cases of mirrored-self misidentification. For instance, one participant who received the hypnotic suggestion to see a stranger in the mirror, not himself, opened his eyes to look in the mirror and immediately asked "Who's that?" as he looked around the room to find the person he believed was in the mirror.

"This study has laid the groundwork for future experiments which will examine the features and parameters of hypnotic delusions, the impact of challenging the delusions, and whether role-playing participants display the same behaviour as genuinely hypnotised participants," they explain. "Using hypnosis we expect to get a real sense of how to investigate, understand and confront delusional beliefs in a more effective way."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Macquarie University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Macquarie University. "Hypnosis: The Key To Unlocking The Delusional Mind?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428160113.htm>.
Macquarie University. (2008, April 29). Hypnosis: The Key To Unlocking The Delusional Mind?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428160113.htm
Macquarie University. "Hypnosis: The Key To Unlocking The Delusional Mind?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428160113.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins