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"Memories" of Anomalous and Traumatic Autobiographical Experiences: Validation and Consolidation of Fantasy Through Hypnosis

NCJ Number
Psychological Inquiry Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: 1996 Pages: 168-172
Date Published
5 pages

This paper discusses issues raised about the risk of pseudomemory creation through the use of hypnosis.


This paper is a response to research that addresses the risk of pseudomemory creation through the use of hypnosis. The authors begin with a discussion on the use of hypnosis for treating a wide variety of conditions, including acute and chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and many psychosomatic conditions. The discussion focuses on research that has determined the degree to which individuals are susceptible to the effects of hypnosis. A summary of research results indicates that "the capacity for hypnotic techniques to access, modify, and create memory material is not limited to individuals with demonstrable behavioral responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions;" in other words, the research indicates that low hypnotizables are just as susceptible to the effects of hypnosis as medium hypnotizables. The authors next present their theory of why hypnotic procedures on memory processes are able to influence low hypnotizables, suggesting that both the patient's and therapist's own beliefs play a critical role in the development of hidden or repressed memories brought forth through hypnosis. References

Date Published: January 1, 1996