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Peer Review Article of “Are expectancies about hypnosis predictive of responsiveness and phenomenology?”

Article Review

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Article Review

This paper is a review of the article titled “Are expectancies about hypnosis predictive of responsiveness and phenomenology?” by Maria Ludeña, Carlos Pires, and Catarina Pires (2016). The selection process of the article entailed a series of in-depth Internet searches and analyses of various studies, primarily in the field of psychology. Employing tools like Google Scholar and educational websites databases such as ResearchGate, I was able to choose the article for consideration. The decision was made after the analysis of the scope of relatable literature on hypnosis, which was found during the selection process.   

According to the article, hypnotic experiences are manifested whenever an individual’s expectations about being put in a trance activate a set of response behaviors (Ludeña, Pires, & Pires, 2016). The authors of this article employ the findings of other social cognitive studies to emphasize that patients’ expectancies play a vital role in triggering hypnotic response and are considered to be the only proximal definers of hypnotizability. However, taking into consideration the results of other reports that indicate a lesser role of a person’s anticipations in inducing hypnotic responses, this article acknowledges the contentions the above assertion presented. This is because reactions to hypnosis are highly complex processes that cannot be predicted easily through a single variable like convalescent expectations (Ludeña et al., 2016). Since individuals’ past experiences largely shape their anticipation, it is not surprising that pre-established expectations about undergoing hypnosis can effectively be employed as predictors of a patient’s hypnotic tendencies.

As a consequence, expectancies cannot be measured prior to induction because such researchers applying such approaches often end up failing to identify strong links between convalescents participation in hypnosis procedures and their responsiveness, thereby overemphasizing the part played by expectations in the overall hypnotic response cycle (Ludeña et al., 2016). Nonetheless, the article illustrates that several researchers have concrete evidence that question the expectancy theory by indicating the practicability of successful hypnoses being conducted on individuals without the latter having prior expectations on the same. Relatedly, employing the “hypnosis” label often provokes the onset of specific lay beliefs within patients that end up significantly modifying an individual’s overall behaviors and experiences (Ludeña et al., 2016). Similarly, the article’s authors also indicate the low frequency with which the subjective effects of being hypnotized are inculcated in the hypnosis process through phenomenology. Consequently, this report aims to evaluate the effects of expectancies about hypnosis on individuals’ phenomenology and their subsequent responsiveness to induced trances. It is based on the hypothesis that expectancies rarely influence a person’s hypnotic responses.

One hundred ten respondents were unsystematically assigned to the hypnosis intervention. There were created mixed groups with each category consisting of 44, 36, and 30 participants (Ludeña et al., 2016). The respondents were psychology undergraduate students without prior histories of being hypnotized and who were 18 years and above studying at Portuguese-based University of Coimbra. Furthermore, all the participants of the study were informed about the kind of interventions that will be availed to them; after that, they submitted the written consent to partake in the research. This survey was conducted in two phases; the first stage involved 140 participants who were required to complete several questionnaires that were intended at gauging their anxiety and depression levels, as well as attitudes towards hypnosis. During the first phase of the research, 30 respondents were eliminated from the study owing to the fact they had been previously exposed to hypnosis. During the second phase of the study, participants were assigned to three groups. Additionally, the researchers used various statistical analysis techniques such as ANOVA and Pearson correlation in order to compare every variable in the research effectively. For post-hoc test, they employed the Bonferroni correction due to its conservativeness and higher control over Type 1 errors (Ludeña et al., 2016).

In the conclusion part, authors indicate a significantly low impact of individuals’ anticipations on hypnotic reactions and phenomenology. These results contradict the expectancy theory, validating the survey hypothesis that individuals’ expectancies rarely influence hypnotic responses. This aspect, in turn, indicates that the lack of knowledge about a potential hypnosis procedure can substantively and positively alter a person’s overall hypnotic experience. In general, the report was coherent, substantive, evidence-based, and topic-oriented. It is also written in a simple language because the authors avoided the use of complex terms. Whenever acronyms are employed, the researchers provided all the explanations. The information obtained from this research will help me to elaborate my survey in the future, taking into consideration some of the methodological concerns that the study raises.

References

Ludeña, M.A., Pires, C.L., & Pires, C.T. (2016). Are expectancies about hypnosis predictive of responsiveness and phenomenology? International Journal of Psychology and Neuroscience, 2(2), 22-43.

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