Research Dissertation. Bunny Besley BSc (Hons) Clinical Hypnosis 

 

 

 

St. Mary’s University College and the BST Foundation

 

 

Clinical Hypnosis

Research Project Report

 

The Effect of Relaxed and Alert Hypnosis

Techniques upon Memory of Scripts.

 

Bunny Besley

101602

 

Supervisor: Dr Tig Calvert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project is submitted in partial fulfilment of the

Bachelor of Sciences degree in Clinical Hypnosis

May 2012

 

 

 

Dedication page

 

This work is dedicated to my family.

To my mother and father; I finally stopped talking long enough to achieve my full potential.

To my children who are my inspiration.

To Andy for his unconditional love.

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

LIST OF TABLES…………………………………………………………………………………….. v

 

LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………………….. vi

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………………………. vii

 

ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………… viii

 

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION/THEORETICAL BACKGROUND…………….. 1

The Inconsistency in Hypnosis and Memory Research…………………………. 1

The Complexity of Memory ………………………………………………….. 1

Effect of Hypnotisability……………………………………………………….. 1

Stimuli Used………………………………………………………………………… 1

False Memories…………………………………………………………………….. 1

The Biology of Memory Encoding…………………………………………………….. 1

In Relaxed Parasympathetic Hypnosis…………………………………….. 1

In Alert Sympathetic Hypnosis………………………………………………. 2

State Dependent Memory…………………………………………………………………. 2

Purpose of Study…………………………………………………………………………….. 2

Outline of Experiment……………………………………………………………………… 3

Research Hypothesis………………………………………………………………………… 3

 

CHAPTER II RESEARCH METHODS/METHODOLOGY…………………………. 3

Design……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

Participants…………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Apparatus……………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Cross Trainer………………………………………………………………………… 3

Learning Scripts……………………………………………………………………. 4

Hypnosis Scripts…………………………………………………………………… 4

Post Hypnosis Questionnaire………………………………………………….. 4

Procedure……………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

Overview…………………………………………………………………………….. 4

Relaxed Hypnosis Induction………………………………………………….. 4

Learning Procedure……………………………………………………………….. 5

Post Hypnosis Questionnaire………………………………………………….. 5

Recall Procedure…………………………………………………………………… 5

Alert Hypnosis Induction………………………………………………………. 5

Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

 

CHAPTER III RESULTS…………………………………………………………………………… 6

Overview……………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Mean of Words Recalled………………………………………………………………….. 6

During Hypnosis…………………………………………………………………… 6

Immediately after Hypnosis…………………………………………………… 6

One Day after Hypnosis………………………………………………………… 6

Comparison between Alert and Relaxed Hypnosis………………………………. 7

Words Accurately Recalled……………………………………………………. 7

During Hypnosis………………………………………………………… 7

Immediately after Hypnosis………………………………………… 7

One Day after Hypnosis……………………………………………… 7

Semantically Similar Words Recalled after one Day………………….. 7

Learning Time………………………………………………………………………. 7

Missing Words after one Day…………………………………………………. 7

 

CHAPTER IV DISCUSSION…………………………………………………………………….. 7

Overview……………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

Alert Hypnosis ……………………………………………………………………………….. 7

Anxiety Response………………………………………………………………….. 8

Hypnotisability……………………………………………………………………………….. 8

Effect of Age………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

Participant Bias……………………………………………………………………………….. 9

Hypnotic Amnesia…………………………………………………………………………. 10

Hypnotic Suggestion……………………………………………………………………… 10

Retrieval Cues……………………………………………………………………………….. 10

Brain Functioning in Hypnosis………………………………………………………… 11

Learning time………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Trance Limitations…………………………………………………………………………. 13

Stimuli………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14

Summation……………………………………………………………………………………. 15

 

REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16

 

APPENDICES………………………………………………………………………………………… 22

Appendix A: Consent Form 1…………………………………………………………. 22

Appendix B: Consent Form 2………………………………………………………….. 23

Appendix C: Medical Questionnaire………………………………………………… 25

Appendix D: Participant Randomisation Control………………………………. 27

Appendix E: Learning Script 1………………………………………………………… 28

Appendix F: Learning Script 2………………………………………………………… 29

Appendix G: Relaxation Hypnosis Script…………………………………………. 30

Appendix H: Alert Hypnosis Script…………………………………………………. 34

Appendix  I: Post Hypnosis Questionnaire 1…………………………………….. 39

Appendix  J: Post Hypnosis Questionnaire 2…………………………………….. 40

Appendix  J: SPSS Raw Data…………………………………………………………. 41

 

 

LIST OF TABLES

  1. Means and Significance tests on learning and recall tasks between

alert and relaxed hypnosis……………………………………………………………. 16

 

 

LIST OF FIGURES

1.1                   Comparison of Means for Words Recalled during, immediately after and . 13

one Day after Alert and Relaxed Hypnosis.

1.2…….. Comparison between Age and Words Recalled after one Day………………… 16

1.3         Comparison of Words Learnt after one Day between Alert and Relaxed…. 18

Hypnosis.

1.4…….. Comparison of Learning Time between Alert and Relaxed Hypnosis……..19

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to acknowledge and thank all the staff at St Mary’s University and The BST for all their hard work and dedication in providing Hypnotherapists with a recognizable qualification.

 

Special appreciation is conveyed to Dr. Tig Calvert and Dr. Robert Dupe for finding the perfect balance between serious scientific studying, interest and fun.
The Effect of Relaxed and Alert Hypnosis Techniques upon Memory of Scripts.

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

The study examined the effect of participant’s ability to learn a script during the application of a relaxed induction hypnosis method or an alert induction method and their subsequent ability to recall the words. It was hypothesized that alert hypnosis methods would augment learning potential due to increases in sympathetic hormones associated with stronger memory encoding (Bechara, Tranel, Damasio, H., Adolphs, Rockland, & Damasio, A., 1995; Buchel & Dolan, 2000; Eich, 1980; LeDoux, 1998). 17 participants (mean age 44) learnt a script in each condition and the number of words recalled accurately and with semantic similarity was recorded. The results were analysed using paired t-tests and no significant differences were found for learning accuracy between conditions during or immediately after hypnosis. A further recall test taken after one day showed significantly more accurate and similar words recalled following the alert method. It was concluded that alert hypnosis may improve encoding from working memory to long term memory over time, when compared to relaxed hypnosis methods.

 

 

Introduction

The effects of hypnosis upon memory have been widely researched (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Garry & Polaschek, 2000; Halsband, 2006; Hyman & Pentland, 1996; Kihlstrom, 1997; Scoboria, Mazzini, Kirsch, & Milling, 2002) giving rise to a considerable amount of conflicting results. These inconsistencies can be attributed to the complexity of memory, intake, encoding and retrieval systems, which not only vary according to the individual, but are also influenced by emotional states, past experiences, time, age, self belief, individual differences in cognitive strategies and mental imagery, hypnotisability level, attention, motivation, type of stimuli used and the variety of research methods used.

Research so far ((Bowers & Bowers, 1979; Crawford & Allen, 1996; Halsband, 2006;  Sheehan & Perry, 1976) supports the hypothesis that people who score highly on scales of hypnotic susceptibility, such as the Harvard Scale of Suggestibility, are more likely to show both positive and negative effects of their ability to learn and recall using hypnosis, than in the waking state or in comparison to people who score low on these scales. The type of stimuli used was also found to have an effect, with recall of nonsense or meaningless material showing no improvement (Crawford & Allen, 1996) in contrast to matched words and pictures or prose (Stalnaker & Riddle, 1940; White, Fox, & Harris, 1932) where recall was enhanced by hypnosis. Research shows that memories recalled under hypnosis are not necessarily accurate but also compounded by an increased belief in erroneous information reported, know as false memory syndrome, (Scoboria, Mazzini, Kirsch, & Milling, 2002) and while some studies support the improvement for recall using hypnosis (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Halsband, 2006), others have shown no improvement over the waking state (Erdelyi, 1984; Kihlstrom & Barnhardt, 1993). Such variances in the research results reflect the variety of methods used and further studies are necessary which not only build upon this existing research but encorporates our current understanding of how memories are learnt and stored.

Learning occurs when certain conditions are applied (Toates, 2007). The brain is considered to have a plasticity which allows changes to happen, in response to stimuli which activate neurons, creating new connections within the brain resulting in learning and subsequent memories (Toates, 2007). The strength of these connections can be enhanced by hormones, specifically those associated with sympathetic nervous system such as ACHT, adrenaline, vasopressin, encephalin and endorphin, as well as stimulation of the amygdala (Rossi, 1993). These memories are reactivated when triggers associated with the learning are fired and the strength of the recall is influenced by the chemical encoding (Bechara, Tranel, Damasio, H., Adolphs, Rockland, & Damasio, A., 1995; Buchel & Dolan, 2000; Eich, 1980; LeDoux, 1998). However, too high a level focuses the mind towards a single point learning and is not considered to be beneficial for a broader learning experience.  Anxiety encoded  learning is also considered to be responsible for suppressed memories, where reaction to a memory is kept but it’s content is ‘forgotten’ (Heap & Aravind, 2002).

Hypnosis techniques that have been applied during studies into the effect of hypnosis upon learning have been those favouring a traditional induction process of relaxation (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Dinges, Whitehouse, Orne, E., Powell, Orne, M., &  Erdelyi, 1992; Halsband, 2006). When the body is relaxed and a hypnotic state is accessed, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated and the brain waves decrease to a pattern similar to that of REM sleep. This dreamlike quality of the hypnotic experience is often attributed to hypnotic amnesia and the parasympathetic state reduces those hormones associate with increased learning.

Several studies examining the possibility for hypnotic states occurring through a physically dynamic induction process (Banyai & Hilgard, 1976; Cardefia, 1996; Ludwig & Lyle, 1964) have shown that similar levels of state are achieved, using the Harvard Scale of Susceptibility as a measure of degree. These studies ranged from extreme physical activity (Ludwig & Lyle, 1964), where participants felt so stressed that many opted not to continue in the study, to a more subtle method using hand movement coupled with suggestions for an alert state (Cardena, Alarcoón, Capafons, & Bayot, 1998). During alert hypnosis the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and therefore chemicals associated with stronger chemical memory encoding are released into the body.

Additionally, the state in which a person is in when memory is encoded can affect the recall of the information (Miles & Hardman, 1988), known as state dependent memory. When a person enters a similar environmental, emotional or physical state in which the initial learning occurred the memory is accessed with greater ease and clarity (Eich, 1980; Eich, Macaulay, & Ryan, 1994; Godden & Baddeley, 1975; Goodwin, Powell, Bremer, Hoine, & Stern, 1969; Miles & Hardman, 1998).

Considering all the aforementioned research it would appear that there is a gap as to the effects on learning and recall in hypnosis using an active trance method, which by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, may provide more consistent positive results. The present study therefore sets out to compare relaxed and alert trance procedures, incorporating the findings of previous research in order to refine the outcome of the result to the method, rather than the hypnotisability of the subject or stimuli used. Participants who had previous experience of hypnosis underwent two hypnotic procedures, during which a short script was learnt. A measure of accuracy of the learning was taken during, immediately after and one day after the test. Due to the alert process enhancing the sympathetic hormones and the increased potential for state dependent encoding, it was expected that it would produce a more accurate recall.

Method

Design

The experiment had two independent variables: alert hypnosis and relaxed hypnosis. The design used was repeated measures, with all participants performing in both conditions and the dependent variable was the amount of accurately learnt words which was measured during hypnosis, immediately after hypnosis and one day after hypnosis. Additional measures were also taken for semantically similar words, missed words and time spent learning.

Participants

There were 17 participants who were volunteers from a hypnotherapy meeting group. All participants had previous experience of hypnosis, self reported to be hypnotisable and were fit enough to undergo light physical exercise. All participants received two consent forms (see Appendix A and B)  and a medical form (see Appendix C).  The age range was between 19-58 (M 44, SD 9.2), 10 were males and 7 were females. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either the relaxed hypnosis first (n = 9) or the active hypnosis first (n = 8). Each group was further divided to receive either script one or script two first on a random basis (see Appendix D).

Apparatus

Participants were required to use a Kettler Axos Cross P Elliptical Trainer machine in order to create a sympathetic nervous reaction. A Sony voice recorder was used to record the learning session and all subsequent recalls, which were then transferred to a computer and transcribed in order to gain complete accuracy of words remembered. Two scripts were used for learning, with each script having 12 lines of two way dialogue; 85 words to be memorized in script one (see Appendix E), 89 words to be memorized in script two (see Appendix F). The scripts were taken from domestic situations; script one regarding gardening, script two regarding decorating. Both scripts were considered similar in emotional content. Hypnosis was administered by means of either a progressive relaxation script developed from an induction and deepening technique by D. Croydon Hammond (1990), (see Appendix G), or an alert hypnosis script developed from research studies by Cardena, Alarcoón, Capafons, and Bayot, (1998) and Banyai and Hilgard, (1976) (see Appendix H). A post hypnosis questionnaire was given after each hypnosis session, prior to recall (see Appendix I and J). Skype was used by both experimenter and participant to video call for the recall one day after each session.

Procedure

The experiment involved two individual hypnosis sessions and two recall sessions, each recall session being one day after the hypnosis. Each session consisted of an explanation of the learning procedure, followed by either a relaxed hypnosis induction (H1) or an alert induction (H2). During the session the participant learnt either script one or script two, which was allocated counterbalanced between session one and session two and also between hypnosis type (see Appendix D). The learning was recorded and a measurement of accuracy of learning was taken when the participant had achieved two consistent recalls without hesitation. After each session a questionnaire was given in order to measure the participants subjective experience and also as a means of distracting them from the learning and hypnotic experience. A further recall test was recorded one day after each session using a video call via Skype.

In the relaxed hypnosis session, each participant was administered a progressive relaxation induction routine (adapted from Hammond, 1990) and were given suggestions for hypermedia (adapted from suggestions used by Nogrady, McConkey, & Perry, 1985). The experimenter suggested to the participant that they would be able to concentrate and focus their attention on the learning and that the learning would occur quickly and with ease. Furthermore, participants were told that the learning could be easily stored and recalled by linking the script to their characters name. The characters name was repeated three times to the participant at each stage of the learning procedure and a post hypnotic suggestion was given that repeating the name after the session would automatically and easily access the script for recall. The participant was instructed that learning would occur more effectively when they could imagine the scene and get into character. The script commenced with the experimenter reading the setting. The participant was then instructed to open their eyes and read through the script twice. Each line was learnt one at a time, with the experimenter reading person one and the participant person two. When the participant repeated each line exactly without referring to the script, the next line was learnt until the whole script had been remembered. They were then instructed to close their eyes and to relax, with suggestions given to return to their relaxed hypnotic state, allowing the learning to develop. The characters name was repeated again and the participant recommenced learning the script two lines at a time until the whole script had been remembered. Again they were returned to the relaxed state and the process repeated running through the whole of the script until it had been repeated twice through without hesitation. Their level of accuracy was then recorded and hypnosis was exited with post hypnotic suggestions for enhanced storage and accurate recall of the script in the future. A post hypnotic questionnaire was given upon exit, after which the participant was instructed to reconnect with their character and a second recall was recorded. The participant was instructed not to try and recall the script and a third test was recorded via video call using Skype the next day.

In the alert hypnosis session participants were instructed to uses a cross training machine while focusing their attention on the physical state. Suggestions were given for increases in the sympathetic reactions and for a heightened state of mental and physical alertness (see Appendix H). They were instructed that this state reaches a peak and that this was dependent on their personal level of fitness; when they felt that this had been achieved, exercise was stopped and they were seated. An alert induction routine was administered (adapted from Cardena, Alarcoón, Capafons, & Bayot, 1998) followed by suggestions for hypermnesia as per the relaxed method. The learning process was identical in each session but with the participant being instructed to return to a hyper-alert state after each section of learning. Tests of recall were taken at the same times as for the relaxed method and a post hypnosis questionnaire was given upon exiting hypnosis.

All recalls for each participant were transcribed into a word document and the amount of accurately recalled words (AW), words with similar meanings (SW) were counted and converted into a percentage, which was entered into a spread sheet. The amount of time spent learning (measured from the recording), confidence in accuracy of learning, depth of trance in each state and preference of trance (taken from the post hypnosis questionnaire) was also recorded in the spread sheet.

Results

Since the hypothesis states that alert hypnosis will increase the recall of words learnt in a script, the number of words learnt in the alert state was compared to the relaxed state at each stage of recall. Figure 1.1 shows the mean percentage for words recalled in each hypnosis condition and at each stage of recall (R1, recall during hypnosis; R2, recall immediately after hypnosis; R3 recall one day after), for AW and SW. An additional measure of accurate words plus similar words recalled was included (AS). Inspection of Figure 1 suggests a decrease in the amount of words recalled in the relaxed hypnosis after one day in comparison to the alert state, although it appears that initial learning and recall is similar in both conditions.

Figure 1.1

Dependant t-tests were conducted to compare alert (H2) and relaxed hypnosis (H1) at each stage of recall, see Table 1.  The amount of words accurately recalled during hypnosis (R1) showed no significant difference between H2 (M = 84.06, SD = 11.09) and H1 (M = 85.47, SD = 10.68), t(16)= -0.59, p>.05 or immediately after (R2),  H2 (M=80.53, SD=10.96) and H1 (M=79.76, SD=10.94), t(16) = 0.42, p>.05. Both conditions dropped in accurate recall after one day (R3) and although there was a decrease in words recalled in H1, this remained non significant H2 (M=70.06, SD=12.63), H1 (M=62.94, SD=18.64), t(16) = 1.48, p>.05. The amount of words accurately recalled was added to the similar words recalled (AS) since although the accuracy of the words may have decreased, the meaning of the passage remained the same. In  R3 the difference was significant H2 (M=83.18, SD=8.38) and H1 (M=73.41, SD=19.82), t(16) = 2.00, p=.031, r =.45 which shows support for the hypothesis, when recall is for a more generalised content after a lapse of one day. The time spent learning the script was slightly reduced in H1 but not significantly, H2 (M=18.24, SD=7.59), H1 (M=16.47, SD=4.88), t(16) = 0.975, p>.05, and the participants confidence level in their learning accuracy, taken for the questionnaire immediately after hypnosis was conversely significantly greater for H1 (M=7.65, SD=1.06) than H2 (M=6.76, SD=2.11), t(16) = -1.92, p=.04. Over time it was found that the script was condensed while retaining its overall meaning. At R3 missing words for H2 (M=16.53, SD=8.78) were significantly less that H1 (M=26.94, SD=19.54), t(16) = -2.15, p=.047.

  Alert H2 Relaxed H1 t (16)
  Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Accurate words R1  84.06 (11.09) 85.47 (10.68) -0.59
Accurate words R2  80.53 (10.96) 79.76 (10.94)  0.42
Accurate + similar words R3 83.18  (8.38) 73.41 (19.82)  2.00 *
Learning Time  18.24  (7.59) 16.47  (4.88)  0.98
Confidence    6.76  (2.11)   7.65  (1.06) -1.92 *

*p<0.05

Table 1. Means and Significance tests on learning and recall tasks between alert and relaxed hypnosis.

Discussion

The aim of the study was to compare the accuracy of words learnt from a script in two hypnotic conditions, alert and relaxed, and it was hypothesized that there would be an increase in the words recalled when learning had occurred in the alert state. The results of the study show no significant difference between alert and relaxed hypnosis for accurate learning of scripts during hypnosis or for accurate recall immediately after. Although the difference in recall one day after learning was still not of statistical significance, there was a general trend towards increased recall in the alert state and when words of similar meaning were included with words accurately remembered, the difference between alert hypnosis and relaxed hypnosis was significant and in support of  the hypothesis.

Previous research has shown evidence that a hypnotic suggestibility state can be obtained using an alert method (Banyai & Hilgard, 1976; Cardefia, 1996; Cardena, Alarcoón, Capafons, & Bayot, 1998; Ludwig & Lyle, 1964) which seeks to engage the sympathetic nervous system in contrast to a relaxed method which would activate the parasympathetic system. Scientific research indicates that a heighten state of awareness and stimulation of the amygdala can create stronger memories (Bechara, Tranel, Damasio, H., Adolphs, Rockland, & Damasio, A., 1995; Buchel & Dolan, 2000; Eich, 1980; LeDoux, 1998) which leads to the consideration that learning in the alert trance would improve learning over the relaxed state. The study showed no significant difference during initial learning and immediate recall for either condition but there was support for an increase for recall in the alert method after one day, particularly when a general meaning for the script was measured. It is not possible to conclude that this difference was down to an increase for the alert method or due to the potential for amnesia following relaxed hypnosis (Kihlstrom, 1997). A control group for the waking state may have given a useful measure between the two conditions.

In certain participants it was observed that the active state increased their physical agitation and anxiety levels and in two cases the participant’s sympathetic nervous reaction went beyond that of a heightened state for learning, into a state where they reported to be highly frustrated and felt that their mind had “gone blank”. It is considered that this reaction is in response to the freeze and flight protection mechanism (Rossi, 1993). Up to a certain level adrenal hormones increase the periphery awareness and absorption as the mind is put on high alert for the potential of danger, when these levels go over a certain point, which can vary between the individual, the mind is reported to shut out periphery thoughts and vision changes to a concentrated focus point (Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson, 2009; Toates, 2007). This reaction works against the hypothesis, and over a larger sample may counter balance the potential negative effects of amnesia in the relaxed condition.

The effects upon memory when influenced by hypnosis has been widely researched (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Dinges, Whitehouse, Orne, E., Powell, Orne, M., & Erdelyi, 1992; Garry & Polaschek, 2000; Hyman & Pentland, 1996; Kihlstrom, 1997) and so far have produced no consistent support for whether hypnosis can improve learning and recall over the waking state. This has been attributed to the complexity and individuality of the human memory system and this study aimed to build upon the existing research where hypnosis had shown evidence of memory improvement over the waking state. Participants were selected who had previous experience of hypnosis and self reported to by hypnotisable. For further studies a more precise measure of this level would be preferable using a scale such as The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & Orne, 1962) since this would give a scientific rather than a subjective level. Previous studies indicate that, where an increase in memory performance has been noted, hypnotisable participants showed improvement over non hypnotisable participants (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Halsband, 2006).  The participants were recruited from a hypnosis support group, the youngest being 19 and the eldest 58. Age was considered a factor in recruitment since there is evidence that episodic memory performance declines more rapidly in adults over 60 (Flynn, 1987; Ronnlund, Nyberg, Backman, & Nilsson, 2005). The most accurate recall was given by the participant with the lowest age (19) in H2, but since the mean age of participants was 44 the differences were balanced across the sample, and no significant difference was found, see Figure 1.2.

 

 

Figure 1.2.

 

 

All participants had previous experience of the relaxed trance method, but none had received the alert trance method prior to the trial. This may have given rise to participant bias with a majority of participants, 65% stating a preference for relaxation and achieving an average subjective depth of trance of 8.29 out of 10 for relaxation and 6.64 out of 10 for alert. This preference was not reflected in an increase of words recalled in the tests and it is unclear as to whether the subjective depth of trance reported for the alert trance was due to the participants not being as familiar with a trance state being an increased state of awareness or whether they were in less of a hypnotic state and therefore simply less hypnotised.

The study showed a much greater standard deviation for the amount of words recalled after one day in the relaxed group (SD=19.82) than the alert group (SD=8.38). Previous research has shown evidence of amnesia when utilising a parasympathetic induction methods coupled with suggestions for forgetting (Kihlstrom, 1997). The induction method for each condition in the experiment either stimulated the parasympathetic nervous system (H1) or the sympathetic nervous system (H2) and both methods were followed by suggestions for increases in attention, learning ability and for the script to be stored by the participant for easy and accurate recall. It was suggested that the memory be stored with a retrieval cue (Baddeley, et al., 2009) of the characters name and that after learning and the first recall had been taken in hypnosis, suggestions were given that no conscious effort need be given to the encoding process and that learning would occur naturally. After exiting hypnosis the participant was given a short questionnaire about their subjective experience in order to redirect their attention after which a second recall was taken. Participants were not informed in advance that this recall would be made, in order to reduce the possibility of them trying to retain the information, in a conscious effort to increase their performance. After completing each session they were also requested not to make any conscious effort to recall the script until they were given instructions to remember it the following day. The participants expectation was for an increased capacity for recall but in the relaxed condition they were more prone to forgetting, see Figure 1.3 after one day.

 

Figure 1.3.

This would suggest that hypnotic amnesia may have less to do with suggestion and more with the functioning of the brain during relaxed hypnosis.  Tests using electroencephalograph (EEG) conducted on hypnotic subjects show a change from waking state beta brain waves, to alpha and theta brain patterns in highly hypnotizable subjects (Crawford & Gruzelier, 1992; Kissin, 1986; Vogel, Broverman, & Klaiber, 1968). Hypnosis has also been shown to increase activity in the right frontal cortex (Fingelkurts, Fingelkurts, Kallio, & Revonsuo, 2007) whereas semantic learning is considered to be a predominately left hemisphere function (Corballis 2007). In the research it was found that these slower brain waves continue for some time after hypnosis had been exited. These findings may be contributing factors in the variations between the two states in recall after one day since beta brain waves associated with stronger emotional experiences and more powerful encoding may enhance the alert process and inhibit the relaxed (Toates, 2007).

The learning time for each participant was measured and was taken from the point at which the participant had been handed the script to learn, to the point at which they had completed two consecutive fluent memorisations. The learning process for each participant was standardised with three stages. In the first stage each line was learnt one at a time with the participant receiving the prompt line from the experimenter. After each line had been accurately memorised, the next line was learnt until the whole script had been memorised. In stage two the same process occurred but with two lines at a time being memorised accurately. Stage three the script was run through with the experimenter providing prompts until two consecutive repetitions had been completed. The length of this process varied between each participant, within each condition and this extended exposure may have affected the encoding process since it is considered that the more repetitions that are made during learning and the more time you spend, the more you will remember (Ebbinghaus, 1913). Previous research attributed learning improvements in hypnosis to be due to repetition as opposed to any hypnotic effect (Erdelyi, 1984; Kihlstrom & Barnhardt, 1993)  In this experiment this was not found to be the case and in fact the opposite effect occurred, see Figure 1.3 and Figure 1.4. It is of interest to note that the peaks in time spent learning correspond to the fall in words recalled in both conditions.

 

Figure 1.4.

 

In the alert condition, some participants experienced anxiety, such as feeling they were being tested, frustration that they weren’t able to memorise, an increase in mental distraction and physical agitation. These participants took much longer to complete the learning but the extended exposure to the script did not result in a more accurate recall. Of the five participants who performed better in the relaxed condition after one day, four of these spent less time learning than in the alert condition and of the 12 participants who performed better in the alert condition after one day, the group was equally divided. It would appear that the individual’s reaction to sympathetic stimulation had more effect on the learning process than time exposure. For consistency of the experiment, the same approach was applied to each participant without taking into account any underlying anxiety which may exist. An approach more tailored to the individual, taking into account their preexisting stressors, may improve the alert learning procedure.

In the relaxed condition, some participants appeared very confused when they opened their eyes to begin learning. Although the participants were requested to stay deeply relaxed and after each stage of learning they were instructed to close their eyes and reconnect with their relaxed state,  in the subjective questionnaire participants commented that in order to learn the script the depth of trance reduced and they felt themselves becoming more aware. For future experiments it would be useful to measure brain waves using an EEG or functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to accurately determine changes in the levels of activity, specifically the brain returning from alpha and theta waves, associated with hypnosis, to beta waves connected with the waking state.

Many different stimuli have been used in previous research studies and there is consistency in finding no benefit for using hypnosis when stimuli are unrelated or nonsensical (Crawford & Allen, 1996; Dhanens & Lundy, 1975; Halsband, 2006; Salzburg & DePiano, 1980). Where research had shown evidence for memory enhancement through hypnosis, it has been for matched words or pictures (Crawford & Allen, 1996) or prose and poetry (Stalnaker & Riddle, 1940; White, Fox, & Harris, 1932). The present study used acting scripts as a stimuli to extend the previous research and applying state dependent retrieval cues as an additional enhancement. It had been recognised that using sentences or prose as stimuli can result in semantic errors where the general meaning of the words are recalled rather than their exact structure (Bransford & Franks, 1971; Brewer, 1977; Johnson, Bransford, & Solomon, 1973). Only two participants achieve 100% accuracy in their initial recall and both occurred under relaxed hypnosis. In line with previous research overall meaning was maintained and accuracy was reduced by participants missing out words, substitution of semantically similar words or transposing lines. This condensing occurred significantly more in relaxed hypnosis recall after one day. A more precise recall for the alert state may be linked to the state in which the encoding occurred being similar to that in which it was recalled. Although it was not suggested to the participant that recall was a test, an instinctive desire to either do well or not to fail may have increased sympathetic stimulation and reactivation of this state could create a more powerful link back to the learning (Baddeley et al., 2009). The learning was specifically attached to the characters name and it was suggested that repeating it back, retrieval of the script would occur more readily. Since this suggestion was given in both states there is no measure of whether it had any effect, but further research in this area may assist actors when method acting.

In summary, this study compared alert trance to relaxed trance and hypothesised that alert hypnosis would increase the amount of words recalled in a script. Although it failed to show significant differences for exact recall between trances, the recall for accuracy and meaning was significantly higher in the alert state. There are clearly differences between alert and relaxed trance and that by enhancing the sympathetic nervous reactions through a focused alert hypnotic induction, processes such as learning and memory show potential for improvement over the traditional relaxation which promotes parasympathetic reactions, contraindicated for explicit learning. Although some participants experienced blanking due to excessive sympathetic stimulation, overall the alert method showed more consistency with lower standard deviations and further studies comparing alert hypnosis to the waking state may help to improve the reliability of hypnosis in this area.

 

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Appendix A

 

NAME OF PARTICIPANT: _________________________________________

 

Title of the project:  A comparative study between alert and relaxed hypnosis and their effects on  learning and memorizing scripts.

 

Main investigator and contact details:   Bunny Besley. bunny@bunnybesley.com 07748 647 489, supervisor:  Ms. Clarabella Gray (BSc) clarabella@bstfoundation.co.uk.

 

Members of the research team:

 

  1. I agree to take part in the above research.  I have read the Participant Information Sheet which is attached to this     form.  I understand what my role will be in this research, and all questions have been answered to my satisfaction.
  2. I understand that I am free to withdraw from the research at any time, for any reason and              without prejudice.
  3. I have been informed that the confidentiality of the information I provide will be safeguarded.
  4. I am free to ask any questions at any time before and during the study.
  5. I have been provided with a copy of this form and the Participant Information Sheet.

 

Data Protection:  I agree to the University College processing personal data which I have supplied.  I agree to the processing of such data for any purposes connected with the Research Project as outlined to me.

 

Name of participant (print)………………………….Signed………………..….Date………………

 

 

Name of witness (print)……………………………..Signed………………..….Date………………

 

————————————————————————————————————————–

 

If you wish to withdraw from the research, please complete the form below and return to the main investigator named above.

 

Title of Project: ______________________________________________________________

 

I WISH TO WITHDRAW FROM THIS STUDY

 

Name:   _________________________________________

 

Signed: __________________________________

 

 

 

Appendix B

 

Informed Consent Form

Bunny Besley 101602

BSc Clinical Hypnosis

St Mary’s University College

Twickenham

 

Supervisor: Ms. Clarabella Gray (BSc) clarabella@bstfoundation.co.uk

 

Thank you for considering to take part in my research project, which aims to test two types of hypnosis and whether either can have an effect on learning and memory. In order to participate in this research study, it is necessary that you give your informed consent. By signing this informed consent statement you are indicating that you understand the nature of the research study and your role in that research and that you agree to participate in the research.  Please consider the following points before signing:

Details of the Study:

The project will require you to take part in 4 sessions, involving 2 sessions of hypnosis at my practice in Verwood and 2 recall sessions which can be either at my premises or at a location to suit you. The hypnosis sessions will take approximately 1.5 hours and the recall sessions about 15 minutes. The recall sessions need to be 1 day after each hypnosis session and the last session will include a debrief when the research can be explained in more detail and you will be able to ask any questions you may have had about the procedure.

The active hypnosis induction will require you to use a cross training machine for a brief period of time. This is designed to increase the hormones levels involved in activity and will not be above a very mild level, at which you feel comfortable. The time spent on the machine is controlled by you and is not a test of your physical fitness or stamina. Please wear comfortable clothes and trainers.

Whilst in hypnosis you will be asked to learn and memorise a short two way dialogue.

 

 

Appendix B, Pg 2.

 

 

Data Collection:

The accuracy of the words recalled out of hypnosis will be measured and used as data for the research.

The sessions will be taped in order to collect data and to maintain consistency of each trial.

Confidentiality:

Details of all research participants will remain confidential and the data collected will be identified with a number and stored in a locked cabinet. All recordings of the sessions will be deleted at the end of the project.

Your Right to Withdraw: You have the right to withdraw at anytime, for any reason. Please inform of your wish to withdraw by telephone 07748 647 489, email bunny@bunnybesley.com or returning the withdrawal slip.

By signing this form I am stating that I am over 18 years of age, and that I understand the above information and consent to participate in this study being conducted by Bunny Besley. I confirm that I have no existing medical conditions or injuries which could be affected by the exercise involved in the trial.

 

 

Signature: _________________________________________________         Today’s Date: ________________

(of  participant)

 

Print your First Name:  ____________________________   Print your Last Name: _______________________

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix C

 

Medical Questionnaire

Research Project

Bunny Besley 101602

St Mary’s University

Twickenham

Supervisor:  Ms. Clarabella Gray (BSc) clarabella@bstfoundation.co.uk

NAME                   :

DATE OF BIRTH:

ADDRESS             :

 

TELEPHONE        :

EMAIL                   :

Are you currently taking any medication and if so which?

Do you suffer from any of the following?

Heart disease

Lung disease

Asthma

High blood pressure

Stroke

 

Appendix C, Pg 2.

 

Have you received any surgery in the last two years?

 

Do you have any muscular injuries?

 

Do you have any skeletal injuries?

 

Are you able to perform light exercise?

 

Signed:                                                                                                 Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix D

Participant Randomisation Chart

Participant Session 1 Session 2
1 RE01 H1 S1 H2 S2
2 CJ02 H1 S2 H2 S1
3 AG03 H2 S2 H1 S1
4 MG04 H2 S1 H1 S2
5 MG05 H1 S1 H2 S2
6 MM06 H1 S2 H2 S1
7 JH07 H2 S2 H1 S1
8 JI08 H2 S1 H1 S2
9 MM09 H1 S1 H2 S2
10 AH10 H1 S2 H2 S1
11 ED11 H2 S2 H1 S1
12 HJ12 H2 S1 H1 S2
13 JW13 H1 S1 H2 S2
14 RR14 H1 S2 H2 S1
15 JML15 H2 S2 H1 S1
16 DP16 H2 S1 H1 S2
17 EB17 H1 S1 H2 S2

 

H1 Relaxed Hypnosis

H2 Alert Hypnosis

S1 Script 1

S2 Script 2

 

 

Appendix E.

 

Script 1

It’s a bright sunny spring morning a couple are sat at the kitchen table. The sun is streaming in through a large patio window as they eat a breakfast of coffee and warm croissants.

They have recently moved into the property and there are still boxes on the floor waiting to be unpacked. Their names are Luke and Claire.

Person 1 gazes thoughtfully out of the window.

Person 1:             It looks like this garden hasn’t seen a spade since the dark ages!

Person 2:             I know, I wouldn’t be surprised if we found a long lost tribe living there.

Person 1:             What do you think we should do with it?

Person 2:             What? The tribe or the garden?

(they both laugh)

Person 1:             well, we could get someone in to clear it. We both work full time and it looks like a lot of hard work to me.

Person 2:             I’m not sure we could afford that right now. There’s so much to do internally; I think we should concentrate on that first.

Person 1:             maybe, but the longer it’s left, the harder it will be with the spring coming. If it’s cut back now it might stop it getting any worse.

Person 2:             Mmm I guess so. How long do you think it would take if we both put our backs into it?

Person 1:             If we could hire some tools from the hire shop it would make it easier

Person 2:             It might well be easier but it would mean more money spent

Person 1:             but time is money and it would motivate us to work harder knowing the tools were only available for a limited time

Person 2:             OK, if it’s less than £100, book it.

 

 

 

Appendix F.

 

Script 2

A couple have just returned home after a trip to the local DIY store where they have gathered paint and wall paper samples to try out in the living room in their newly bought home. The room is light and airy, with high ceilings and detailed cornices and covings. The house was built in the late 1800s and the room has a wonderful cast iron fireplace on one wall. Their names are Peter and Amy.

Armed with all the newly acquired samples, the couple enter the room. Each one opens a sample pot of paint and paints a square on the wall.

Person 1:             so, what do you think!

Person 2:             red! Are you completely mad? It would be so dark in here.

Person 1:             not really, with the natural light being so bright, I think it would work well.

Person 2:             I think it’s gaudy and garish and not at all relaxing.

Person 1:             well what have you chosen then? Beige!

Person 2:             well, its ‘Sahara dune’ if you must know and I think it would be very peaceful and calming.

Person 1:             and what if I don’t want peace and calm? What if I want fire and passion!

Person 2:             well I guess we could always set fire to the curtains!

(both laugh)

Person 1:             What do you think about having the two colours in the room? The chimney breast in red and the other walls in Sahara dune?

Person 2:             yes, that could work well, we could have a cream sofa and red curtains.

Person 1:             sounds good. What about a wooden floor with a large, neutral rug in between the fire place and the sofa.

Person 2:             Ah, I can picture that now; warm cosy nights in front of the fire, with a mug of cocoa and a good film.

 

 

 

Appendix G.

 

Relaxation Script

Participant is seated in a chair.

And I would like you keep your head still and to look upwards to a point on the ceiling which is just about as far as you can look and notice a stop on the ceiling, right there and focus all your attention on that point.

That’s good, noticing the colour and detail of that point on the ceiling, there, while you sit in the chair, in this room, here, listening to the sound of my voice. And as you listen to my voice, can you pay attention to your breathing now. Concentrating all your thoughts and your attention on your breath, and feel your breath easily and gently going deeper and deeper down now. Noting that a deeper breath is not necessarily a bigger breath or a larger breath, it is simply a breath that goes deeper and deeper down, a breath that relaxes you more and more and more.

And as you consider your breath, you may begin to notice how tired and heavy your eye lids have become as you continue to focus on the point there on the ceiling, as you breathe deeply, beginning to feel heavy and tired. And in a moment, as soon as you feel ready to relax more now, as you exhale, I would like you to allow your eyelids to close, while your eye continues to look up at that point, as you continue to see that point on the ceiling. (Wait for participant to close eyes).

That’s good, and when you are ready to relax even further, as you breath out, allow your eyes to relax and drop down as you feel yourself letting go, relaxing, deepening.

And notice quite how wonderfully still your body is feeling, become aware of the sensations in your arms and legs, the weight of your head maybe. Notice just how relaxed your body is feeling and being, and especially notice this deep, heavy relaxation is already in your eyelids, maybe you can imagine this deep, heavy relaxation as a beautiful crystal blue colour, or a wonderful azure green,, maybe as a golden, glowing colour. Feel it, visualize, or just experience this wonderful, relaxing feeling spreading easily and gently and naturally from your eyelids out over your eyebrows to your temples and forehead, relaxing, releasing, letting go progressively more and more and more.

 

And you can allow that feeling to spread around your ears and over the top of your head, down the back of your head, so that you can feel your head, resting there on the chair and that maybe you can find the back of your head just settles a little deeper into the cushion. A comfortable, gentle, easy feeling of letting go more and more and more. And this beautiful colour, this deep, heavy relaxation is spreading into your nose, your jaw and your lips, even into the muscles that allow the lower jaw to remain in place, you may find that as these muscles relax even more now that your jaw, your lower jaw just hangs a little lower than usual as you are relaxing progressively more and more.

And this beautiful, deep relaxation is moving into your shoulders, releasing, relieving, massaging, letting go of any lingering tension or stress, so comfortable, so calm, so relaxed and so at ease. And this relaxation is relaxing each and every part of your body, your entire physical being, it is relaxing the muscles and the tissues, the fibers, every part of you, every organ in your body now are all benefiting from this experience. Each and every cell, each and every molecule and each and every atom is benefiting from this deep, deep relaxation. Comfortable, calm, so wonderfully peaceful and tranquil.

And this natural, deep relaxation is spreading from your shoulders all the way down to your elbows and from your elbows to your forearms, and from your forearms to the backs and the palms of your hands, a wonderful, deep, easy, gentle relaxation, an easy letting go, all the way to the very tips of the fingers now, and you may notice that as this deep relaxation arrives at the very tips of your fingers, you may notice a gentle tingling sensation in the tips of your fingers, a comfortable, calm, momentary experience of letting go even more. Or maybe you notice a feeling of warmth or cool, or maybe you may notice stillness, no sensations at all, as you allow your experience to deepen further and further.

And this relaxation is spreading easily, gently and deeply all the way along and down your back, around your sides, over and around your chest and your tummy. Bringing with it naturally, a better balance throughout each and every part of your body, each and every cell, each and every molecule, each and every atom is benefiting from this experience.

And this relaxation is spreading along and around your hips and your middle to the tops of your legs, and all the way down to your knees, then all the way along to your ankles, heels and across the soles and tops of your feet, all the way along to the very tips of your toes, so that there is flowing through your body, like a wonderful stream of pure, clean, clear water, a wonderful, gentle wave of pure deep hypnotic sleep now.

And as you allow your body to drift and continue to relax and let go, so you can allow your mind to relax, further. And there is a place in your mind we call the mind’s eye, maybe somewhere in the centre of your forehead or wherever you can locate that place now, and in the same way as you have eyelids on your external eyes, so you have an eyelid on this inner eye and as you allow yourself to place your attention on this eye, so you can begin to feel this eyelid closing and as you feel this eye lid slowly closing so your mind begins to drift deeper and deeper, relaxing, letting go.

And so, in a moment, I am going to help you develop and deepen this state of hypnotic trance further, as you allow yourself to imagine, sense or feel in whichever way is right for you now, that you are standing at the top of a staircase with ten steps downwards and as I count you down with each step so you can allow this wonderful state to deepen as you drift further and further down.

Count down 10 – 1 with further suggestions of deepening and relaxation.

And now you can find yourself in the deepest state of hypnotic relaxation and in this deeply focused inner experience, you may be curious to know that your mind can begin to expand to a deeper more focused state, a state where your mind can focus and learn to a greater depth than you may have experienced before, that your ability to concentrate and focus, as this experience deepens and progresses continues to grow while you remain deeply in this state of hypnotic trance.

And in a moment, I am going to ask you to open your eyes while you remain in this hypnotic trance and I am going to hand you a short acting script. I will read the first line and you will read the second and we will repeat the script while you learn it until you are able to repeat it without the script, word for word. You will find this process enjoyable and interesting and time will pass quickly as you stay deeply in trance. When you have completed the task, I will let you know and you will then shut your eyes once more and relax, while retaining the learning for future recall out of trance.

In order for you to get into the character and improve learning and recall, I will set the scene for you before opening your eyes and commencing the learning. You will be able to feel as if you are in the moment and this will allow you to learn and memorize the script with more ease and more accuracy.

(Set scene and learn script.)

(Before completing the learning, anchor the state to the characters name) and I would like to suggest to you that you can return to this state and recall these words correctly and with ease, simply by repeating the characters name (X) to yourself 3 times. (Say characters name 3 times) and you will be able to immediately return to this state and perform these words accurately and easily. Good.

And now you have fully learnt and memorized this script you can allow your eyes to close and your mind and body can experience a deep feeling of calm and relaxation and as you continue to relax so this learning can deepen and be placed in that part of your mind where new learnings are stored and deepened and that as you sleep tonight so this memory and experience will be processed so you may be able to recall this script with increased ease and accuracy.

So in a moment I am going to bring you out of this hypnotic experience by counting up from 1 – 10, you will slowly come awake with each number and on my count of eight you will open your eyes and by the count of ten you will be fully wide awake and feeling fine, with a feeling of well being all over, every part of you will be back here with me in the present and you will be fully wide awake at the count of ten, your body feeling back to its correct sense of weight and proportion, all senses returned to their correct and normal levels and you mind will return to a state of full alertness and focus… wide awake.. Count up and exit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix H.

 

Alert Hypnosis Script

Participant to step onto the cross trainer.

Ok, are you quite comfortable to begin? (Consent from participant)

Good. And in a few moments I am going to ask you to begin to step on the machine at a gentle pace to suit you. First I would like you to take a deep breath in… and blow out, and again, really deeply from somewhere just below your tummy button, good, and out, really filling your lungs up with air, so you can now begin to step gently. And as you begin to step, I would like you to pay careful attention to the sensations within your body now; you may wish to close your eyes, or you can simply focus on one point just in front of you, that’s good. As you body starts to move, so the chemicals that help you to become more alert start to flow through you. Your breath, though continuing to breathe deeply now, will become slightly quicker, your heart rate begins to increase slightly, the blood begins to flow to your muscles, away from your skin, and these muscles include your brain. Your whole body begins to feel more alive with these sensations and you brain more alert, focused, ready for action. It is these chemicals that you feel growing and moving in you now that are concerned with increased alertness and increased power to learn. You feel that awareness growing, expanding, a wonderful feeling building within you, and when you feel that you have achieved an optimum state for alertness, awareness and learning, in your own time, I would like you to allow your legs to gradually stop moving while your body maintains this heightened state of being. Wait.

(Participant stops moving) And as your legs stop moving allow yourself to focus on your hand, and I wonder if you can feel the energy in that hand, and as that energy builds up so your hand can gently begin to move up and down, up and down (wait for movement) and this up and down movement can become so natural, so easy and as it moves up and down, so you continue to allow all those sensations of alertness to flow through you, almost as if that hand were pumping all those chemicals through your body in a way that allows your mind to continue to be expanded to its full potential for learning and memory.

And in a moment I’m going to ask you to open your eyes (if closed), step off the machine and walk over to the chair, where you can allow this experience to deepen. When you reach the chair, you will sit down and as your body relaxes into the chair, your eyes will close as your mind continues to be alert and expansive.

(Walk participant to the chair and direct to sit down)

That’s good, and as your hand continues to move comfortably, almost as if it were simply moving on its own, so your mind can become more and more alert. And you may wish to continue to move your hand to enhance this feeling of wonderful awareness, or you may find that there is somewhere more comfortable, such as your finger, or even your foot or your toes that this energy moves to, to deepen and expand ever more and more, whatever feels right for you now. That’s good now.

And you can allow this experience to deepen now, feeling the body chemicals, hormones, flowing through you, continuing and expending, growing and that increased awareness flowing right through your body and through your mind. This focused state that athletes often refer to as being in the zone, focused, aware, at the peak of their performance, maintaining this optimum state for alert attention, feeling alive, flowing and in this state so your brain can learn, process thoughts and ideas more efficiently, more effectively, focusing attention on the moment. This physical and mental state designed to protect you, the adrenal hormones flowing through you allowing you to focus and become more and more, increasingly aware, in a time long ago, a state designed to help you run from danger or fight for your protection, in this state so you learn and remember to your ultimate ability and in today’s society you can learn what is important to you now as this experience expands and deepens.

And as you breathe deeply, focusing your attention, expending your mind and your imagination, I wonder if you can imagine that you are sitting in a comfortable chair, in your home, watching a TV show and you like this program very much you find that you are totally absorbed in it, your mind is completely focused on the TV set. That’s it, very good. . . . Now, imagine the room with the TV set and try to see everything that is around the set, the closest things and those that are farthest away; for instance, imagine any piece of furniture the TV set is on, any chairs, sofa, and lamps. You can see the whole room, you have a complete view. That’s it. You continue to be in the room with the TV set, but now imagine that the roof and everything else over that room has disappeared, so that from above, you can continue seeing the TV set, that room and the rest of your house or flat, . . . Imagine the whole building, if you have a flat, the street where your house or flat is, the whole area, you can see it from the air. . . . Your mind is expanding more and more, and what I am describing to you is easier and easier because your mind is becoming more active. Now place your street in your city, look at all of the streets, any buildings or parks, any cars, lamps, stores, pedestrians. . . . Try to imagine it all from above, as if you were flying over the city. . . . From that perspective, you can see your house or flat over there, at the distance, the rest of the buildings. . . . And, you start to go higher and higher, and you can see the people and the cars becoming smaller. . . . It is becoming easier to control your mind. We will continue imagining. . . . Continue flying over the city as you get higher and higher, so that you will be able to see not only the city but the whole country. Try to imagine it. You can see your city and the whole country at a distance. You can see the country as if it were drawn on a map, very far away so far that you can see its rivers, mountains, and oceans. . . . Your mind expands more and more, to such an extent that you can see the Earth itself. You can see the whole globe and can differentiate high mountains, oceans, everything stretched out in front of you in this vast world. You are controlling your mind, which feels so expansive and activated that you can see the Earth within the Milky Way; you can see the whole space, the stars, the planets, the rest of the Universe. . . . You can see the Earth from the vast space.

Your mind feels so alive, so bright, just as if you could absorb and learn just about anything, anything you want to learn and remember you can do so easily and quickly in this amazingly heightened state of being, every part of you alert, attentive, focused, creative… and I would like to suggest to you that this is just the excited heightened state that an actor (or actress) feels when they are on stage, so alive, so excited, so focused, living that moment of drama, as they take on the role of a different person, acting as if they are in that moment, recreating reality, right there on the stage.

And in a moment, I am going to ask you to open your eyes while you remain in this hypnotic trance and I am going to hand you a short acting script. I will read the first line and you will read the second and we will repeat the script while you learn it until you are able to repeat it without the script, word for word. You will find this process enjoyable and interesting and time will pass quickly as you stay deeply in trance. When you have completed the task, I will let you know and you will then shut your eyes once more and relax, while retaining the learning for future recall out of trance.

You can choose to stand up and move around, or simply sit here in the chair, whatever feels right and appropriate for you to remain deeply attentive and focused on this moment of learning and memory.

In order for you to get into the character and improve learning and recall, I will set the scene for you before opening your eyes and commencing the learning. You will be able to feel as if you are in the moment and this will allow you to learn and memorize the script with more ease and more accuracy.

 

(Set scene and learn script.)

 

(Before completing the learning, anchor the state to the characters name) and I would like to suggest to you that you can return to this state and recall these words correctly and with ease, simply by repeating the characters name (X) to yourself 3 times. (Say characters name 3 times) and you will be able to immediately return to this state and perform these words accurately and easily. Good.

And now you have fully learnt and memorized this script you can allow your eyes to close and your mind and body can experience a deep feeling of calm and relaxation and as you continue to relax so this learning can deepen and be placed in that part of your mind where new learnings are stored and deepened and that as you sleep tonight so this memory and experience will be processed so you may be able to recall this script with increased ease and accuracy.

Now I would like you to concentrate on my voice, and as you do so you find that you can become aware of your breathing now, and that your breathing begins to calm down, relax, that you can become aware of your body and that as you slow your breathing, so all those active chemicals begin to slow, reduce, relax and you feel a wonderful sensation of peace. All you body sensations are returning to a relaxed state and any movement that had been keeping you at that heightened state of awareness can now gently stop and return to normal, everything still and in its calmly relaxed state.. In a moment, I will count to 3. When I reach 3, you will have come out of hypnosis, you will feel calm, your muscles will be relaxed, and you will have an active mind. . . . You will sense the urge to be active, but in a serene and peaceful way. 1. Your muscles are less activated, and your breathing is slowing down 2. You are coming out of hypnosis; your mind is active but less expanded. 3. You are out of hypnosis but remain active and relaxed. That’s it, very well. How are you feeling?

 

Script adapted from:

Etzel Carden~a, Ana Alarcoón, Antonio Capafons & Agustiín Bayot(1998): Effects on suggestibility of a new method of active-alert hypnosis: Alert hand, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46:3, 280-294.

Some exerts have been directly quoted to maintain similarity with the existing, researched method.

 

 

 

Appendix I

 

Post Hypnosis Questionnaire.

Session 1

 

Thank you for participating in this first hypnosis research session. Please would you answer the following questions with regards to your experience?

Participant Number:                                                                Date of Session:

Type of hypnosis used:

 

  1. On a scale of 0 – 10 where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely deep, what was your experience of the hypnotic trance both prior to learning and during learning.

 

 

 

  1. Briefly describe your overall experience:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. On a scale of 0 – 10 where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, how confident do you feel that you have learnt the script:

 

 

 

Appendix J.

 

Post Hypnosis Questionnaire.

Session 2

 

Thank you for participating in this first hypnosis research session. Please would you answer the following questions with regards to your experience.

Participant Number:                                                                Date of Session:

Type of hypnosis used:

 

  1. On a scale of 0 – 10 where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely deep, what was your experience of the hypnotic trance both prior to learning and during learning?

 

 

 

  1. Briefly describe your overall experience and compare to hypnosis session 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. On a scale of 0 – 10 where 0 is not at all and 10 is extremely, how confident do you feel that you have learnt the script:

 

  1. In which type of trance, if either, did you feel you learnt better?

 

  1. Which type of trance, if either, did you prefer?

 

 

 

Appendix K, pg 1.

T test paired samples H2 MW R3 and H1 MW R3

 

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 16.53 17 8.783 2.130
RELAXED HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 26.94 17 19.537 4.738

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 & RELAXED HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 17 .172 .508

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 – RELAXED HYPNOSIS MISSING WORDS RECALL 3 -10.412 19.991 4.848 -20.690 -.133 -2.147 16 .047

 

 

 

Appendix K, pg 2.

T-Test paired samples H2:AW:R1 and H1:AW:R1

 

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 84.06 17 11.088 2.689
RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 85.47 17 10.678 2.590

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 & RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 17 .586 .013

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 – RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 1 -1.412 9.912 2.404 -6.508 3.685 -.587 16 .565

 

 

 

 

Appendix K, pg 3.

T-Test paired samples H2:AW:R2 and H1:AW:R2

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 80.53 17 10.955 2.657
RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 79.76 17 10.935 2.652

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 & RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 17 .767 .000

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 – RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 2 .765 7.471 1.812 -3.077 4.606 .422 16 .679

 

Appendix K, pg 4.

T-Test paired samples H2:AW:R3 and H1:AW:R3

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 70.06 17 12.627 3.062
RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 62.94 17 18.643 4.522

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 & RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 17 .244 .345

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 – RELAXED HYPNOSIS ACCURATE WORDS RECALL 3 7.118 19.802 4.803 -3.063 17.299 1.482 16 .158
Appendix K, pg 5.T-Test paired samples H2:AS:R3 and H1:AS:R3 

Paired Samples Statistics

Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS 83.18 17 8.376 2.031
RELAXED HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS 73.41 17 19.818 4.807

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS & RELAXED HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS 17 .176 .500

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 ALERT HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS – RELAXED HYPNOSIS RECALL 3 ACCURATE PLUS SIMILAR WORDS 9.765 20.114 4.878 -.577 20.106 2.002 16 .063

 

Appendix K, pg 6.

T-Test paired samples H2:AW:R1 and H1:AW:R1

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 LEARNING TIME ALERT HYPNOSIS 18.24 17 7.587 1.840
LEARNING TIME RELAXED HYPNOSIS 16.47 17 4.875 1.182

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 LEARNING TIME ALERT HYPNOSIS & LEARNING TIME RELAXED HYPNOSIS 17 .347 .173

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 LEARNING TIME ALERT HYPNOSIS – LEARNING TIME RELAXED HYPNOSIS 1.765 7.463 1.810 -2.072 5.602 .975 16 .344

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix K, pg 7.

T-Test paired samples confidence in learning H2 and H1

 

 

 

Paired Samples Statistics
Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING ALERT HYPNOSIS 6.76 17 2.107 .511
CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING RELAXED HYPNOSIS 7.65 17 1.057 .256

 

 

Paired Samples Correlations
N Correlation
Pair 1 CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING ALERT HYPNOSIS & CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING RELAXED HYPNOSIS 17 .437 .079

 

 

Paired Samples Test
Paired Differences t df Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
Pair 1 CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING ALERT HYPNOSIS – CONFIDENCE IN LEARNING RELAXED HYPNOSIS -.882 1.900 .461 -1.859 .095 -1.915 16 .074