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University of Sussex

Hypnosis: Cold Control

Rebecca Semmens Wheeler
University of Sussex, March 2011


Higher Order Tho ght /1111111Momm Theory David Rosenthal V.179

(1986,2005) 410 Ildt , A conscious mental state is a mental state of which we are conscious We are conscious of things, states, etc by thinking or perceiving thatthey exist A mental state is conscious when we think we are in that state. I.e., when we have a HOT.

Today!s tal" #ill $over:

yths about hypnosis Higher or!er thoughts an! col! control "re!ictions an! tests of col! control theory Implementing col! control Why hypnosis#col! control exists

Being hypnotised will make you dance like a chicken Highly hypnotisable people are weak-minded You
can get stuck in a hypnotic

trance You won't remember anything Hypnosis is like being asleep

C rrent Theories o% Hypnosis

Dissociation theories Executive functions dissociated from contention scheduling system Neurophysiological heories Hypnotic responding results from exhaustion of frontal lobe functions !ocio-cognitive theories "esponse expectancy# imagination# context# social desirability# motivation# absorption# fantasy-proneness Cold control theory

la womlwasmwm...111.-

Similarly for intentions....

First order mental state

second order mental


third order mental state


"Lift the arm!" Unconscious mental state

"I am intending to lift my arm" Conscious mental state

"I think I am

intending to lift my arm"

Conscious of... r aware of...

Consciously aware of

Intros!ecti"ely aware of ...

Note: $%xecutive control$ &e.g. overcoming habit' can be unconscious on HOT theory (ecause we coul! have an intention pro!ucing the control in principle without having an HOT about having that, intention. &huh)' This contra!icts the common assumption in the literature &an! our intuition *we feel that we have free will'

redi!tions of !old !ontrol I" #nyt$in% t$&t !&n 'e done outside of $y(nosis !&n 'e done &s & $y(noti! su%%estion e.g. executive tasks+ contrast theories that imply a special state of hypnotic hypofrontalityi II" )ne !&nnot do &nyt$in% &s & $y(noti! su%%estion one !&nnot do ot$er*ise &the !ifference is ,ust in whether it felt involuntary'

+old +ontrol ,$eory

Dienes and 'ose% (errier )*++7,

%xecutive control without awareness Hypnosis re-uires inaccurate or absent HOTs i.e. .reate an intention to lift the arm, but unaware of intention

$ y arm must be rising by itself/$

redi!tions of !old !ontrol I" #nyt$in% t$&t !&n 'e done outside of $y(nosis !&n 'e done &s & $y(noti! su%%estion e.g. executive tasks+ contrast theories that imply a special state of hypnotic hypofrontalityi II" )ne !&nnot do &nyt$in% &s & $y(noti! su%%estion one !&nnot do ot$er*ise &the !ifference is ,ust in whether it felt involuntary'


+&n $y(noti! su%%estions involve exe!utive fun!tion t&s-s (ex!lusion).

a# Suggestion to forget the nu mber "four"$ % o"ercoming habit but !erson claims ignorance of what has been e&cluded '( no second order th o ught . b# S!anos et al )*+,-#$ highs suggested to forget certain words )e.g. cat. boat# !roduced those words at a below baseline le"el in a word association test. /0&ec uti"e con trol becau se e&i sting associations must be e&cluded.

II One cannot do anything as a hypnotic suggestion one cannot do otherwise

$rima fade counter-example% $eople can &see& colours with hypnotic hallucination they cannot see with imagination '(osslyn et al# )***+

! asked to drain or add changes in left and right hypnotic suggestion but

colour, $E showed fusiform after

not after instructions to .ust imagine 'right side only+

/irs!$ et &l0s follo*1u( (2008)

"Research has also shown that !eo!le can res!ond to suggestions for !erce!tual alterations whether or not they ha"e been hy!notised. 1he !ur!ose of this study is to assess your ability % both in and out of hy!nosis % to e&!erience coloured stimuli as if they were grey and grey stimuli as if they were

B/ ,,, 0or hypnotic suggestion sub.ects asked

"to alter their perception of the stimuli"

1nd in the imagination condition

"to remember and visualise"

,,,so sub.ects would &not slip into hypnosis& 2lear demand characteristics indicating which condition should have stronger effect

Sub2ects rated how much colour they saw on 34l335 scale 6nd rated how hy!notised they were$ )*# normal state )-# rela&ed )# hy!noti7ed )/# dee!ly hy!noti7ed No participant reported slipping into trance during the no-hypnosis part of the study (M= 1, o! and all but one reported being hypnoti"ed during

Highs can perform the most diffi!ult suggestions with or without hypnotic in!uction/
1005 905 805 ! 5 605 605 or 505 405 705 -

2r&in !olour #dd !olour q Not $y(noti3ed )4y(noti3edi

205 105 05

4o* is !old !ontrol i8(le8ented.

Often intentions, at least those maintained over several minutes, tri er !OT" of intendin . Consider #e ner$s white %ear task &1'()*+ ",o not think of the -on-e.t of a white %ear for 2 minutes/"

#hite %ear task+ Form intention$ "Do not produce representations of white bears!" If intentions tend to trigger 8 1s. one has$ "I am intending not to produce representations of white bears!" 9a:ing the conce!t of white bears !art of a conscious mental state. 1o not thin: about the conce!t of white bears consciously. one needs to be able to a"oid second


Disr pting HOTs

-emmens./heeler0 Dienes and H tton
Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/HO !ox
'3au and $assingham# )co4+

,isru.t the $!OT %o0$ with rTM"


"hould %e harder

t o c re a t e a c c u r at e 8 1 s

El herefore should be easier to form intentions without knowing one has

...easier to e&!erience hy!notic suggestions;;

aybe highs are goo! at avoi!ing accurate HOTs about intentions) (owers an! Woo!y &0112'+ &after hypnosis' highs coul! 3OT think of their favourite car for 4 minutes more effectively than lows


1 1

1 6 4

45 e!iums &56 7 on Waterloo'

8ive minutes 6H9 rT : to+ ;a' 9eft ;orsolateral prefrontal cortex b' <ertex

In counterbalance! or!er Hypnotist blin! to site stimulate!

- ggestions
agnetic han!s &easy motor' Arm levitation &har! motor' =igi! arm :weet #sour taste easurements+ 8r :ub,ective experience &>6?' @3 Ob,ective response &experimenter rate!+ o 0>>A' %xpectancy &last 12 sub,ects' &challenge' &cognitive'

* *

<o effect on ob2ecti"e ratings Sub2ecti"e ratings increased in the frontal. com!ared to the control condition 0 0&!ectancy is a strong !redictor of hy!notic res!onse but effect of res!onse site not mediated by e&!ectancy

Does al$ohol ma"e people more hypnoti$ally s s$epti1le2

The 3%%e$ts o% al$ohol on ilo hypnosis

#l!o$ol in$i'its front&l lo'e fun!tion We got 02 people !runk, gave another 02 people a placebo an! then hypnotise! them. (efore each suggestion, we aske! them how much they expecte! to respon! to it, an! how much they f e l t t $ e y h a ! experience! each on e &ft er* &rds"


The 3%%e$ts o% al$ohol on hypnosis


) *

9runk Not drunk


3etter f


8 uency difference

Expectancy !ub.ective response

4l$ohol in$reases hypnoti$

0rontal lobe performance was impaired# according to the results of the letter fluency task Expectancy is a strong predictor of hypnotic response but effect of alcohol was not mediated by expectancy $eople who had alcohol experienced the hypnotic suggestions more strongly than people in the placebo condition,

Meditation and Hypnosis

9editation and hy!nosis 4 fre=uently regarded as in"ol"ing similar !rocesses and s:ills. *0 9editation$ culti"ates attention in the form of mindfulness of the en"ironment and of inner mental states. I> 8y!nosis in"ol"es$ increased attentional functioning... or ... a lac: of awareness of mental states . s!ecifically of intentions;

Cold Control Theory

12Cold -ontrol theory summarises the latter !osition by claiming the essence of hy!notic res!onding is indeed intending to !erform )motorically or cogniti"ely# without being aware of those intentions. %l 8y!nosis in"ol"es inaccurate hi her order thou hts )*4*31s# about first order intentions. 9editation. and mindfulness in !articular. in"ol"es culti"ating accurate !OTs

8ighs may be less aware of their mental states and less mindful of the en"ironment and thus be able to !erform intentional acts without being aware of their intention to do so )hy!notic res!onding#. 8ighs may ha"e "ery good attentional control of their mental states. allowing them to focus on one s!ecific as!ect of the internal or e&ternal world and ignore others.

3arti-i.ants and 3ro-edure

?/ )*@ male# highs and lows from Susse& Uni"ersity. 3 Screened using the Waterloo4Stanford Arou! Susce!tibility scale )WSAS#. Bartici!ants com!leted a number of =uestionnaires and too: !art in a meditation tas: meant to measure the accuracy of 8 1s )"candle tas:"#.

$elf#"eport Measures
Telle en 4%sor.tion "-ale )16S. 1ellegen and
6t:inson. *+C/#

Mindfulness 4ttention 4wareness "-ale )966S$

Drown and Ryan. -33?#

Internal-e0ternal en-odin style )Lewic:i. -33E# Thou ht su..ression )WDSIF Wegner and
Wen7laff. *++/#

Co nitive 5ailures 6uestionnaire

)Droadbent. *+,-#

Marlowe-Crowne "o-ial ,esira%ility "-ale

Crowne and 9arlowe *+.3

H: coupling ; number of times consciously thinking of candle

on both tasks together

H: control ; number of times consciously thinking of candle during

concentration task minus during ignore task

<editation control ; number of times thinking of candle during

concentration task

8ronic control ; number of times not thinking of candle during ignore

task 'cf =egner+

<eta-awareness ; number of times aware of 6oning ou

!i her Order Thou ht &!OT* -andle meditation task

Bartici!ants were re=uired to either culti"ate )concentration tas:# or a"oid )ignore tas:# awareness of a candle while constantly loo:ing directly at it. 1hey were !robed at random inter"als to re!ort whether they were thin:ing of the candle.

1) 17 10 ( 8 ) 9ow

0 !OT Cou.lin !OT Control Ironi- Control Meditation

5i . 1+ Mean differen-es %etween hi hs and lows on !OT -andle meditation task -ontrollhi for so-ial desira%ility*

/ /

5i . 7+ Mean differen-es %etween hi hs and lows on selfre.ort measures

6fter controlling for social desirability. highs scored significantly lower on a measure of mindfulness than lows (p = .07*.

8ighs scored significantly higher than lows on a measure of cogniti"e failures (p = .0)*. 8ighs also scored higher on measures of absor!tion. thought su!!ression. and internal encoding style. yet these differences were not sign! want.

"i nifi-ant Correlations with Mindfulness


4%sor.tion Internal-20ternal Thou ht su..ression Co nitive 5ailures !OT Cou.lin !OT Control Meditation -.87:: ;7: .)1: .)':

- mmary o% Res lts

Highs+ Bess HOT coupling "oorer meta6awareness

8its with the i!ea that highs have a poorer ten!ency#ability to form accurate HOTs

Con$l sions
8ighly hy!notisable !eo!le are less aware of their mental states and of the en"ironment than lows. 1hat is. they are less mindful. Contrary to a !o!ular belief. meditation and hy!nosis are o!!osites!

D 0 0

+old !ontrol t$eory %ives us & $&ndle on:

How hypnotic responses can be executive tasks How expectations seem to have much larger effects in hypnotic rather than typical non6hypnotic contexts Or!er of !ifficulty of hypnotic suggestions Why impairing frontal lobe function shoul! increase hypnotic response

by does hypnotic behaviour exist?

It is prevalent cross6culturally Bargely associate! with religious rituals an! spirit possession#!ivine influence If you performe! actions, saw images etc that you !i!nEt pro!uce FG spirit must have cause! them

5 0+4111


0' %merge! to support religious beliefs) 3ote the nee! for self !eception * you must cause a behaviour#cognition but not know that you !i! so, so that it can be attribute! to !ivine#spiritual intervention

4' :ociological functions+Hou can perform behaviours for which you are not responsible Bewis &01C0, 4>>I'+ :pirit possession serves important functions in the possesse!.

- mmary o% o r %indings
* Im!airing frontal lobe function with alcohol

or,:S increases hy!notic res!onding

Beo!le who meditate regularly tend to be mor e min dfu l tha n tho se who don Ht. and !eo!le who are more mindful tend to be less hy!notisable

%.g. :ocially marginalise! people can ac-uire the gifts necessary for the spirit to be exorcise! &e.g. wife !eman!ing more resources from husban!'. A person can ac-uire the authority of the spirit an! rise to positions of political power. <ery common cross culturally.

.ol! control woul! be the i!eal way of fulfilling these functions as it ensures the contextual appropriateness of the relevant $involuntary$ behaviours an! experiences.