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Correlates of Hypnotic Susceptibility

Dermen, Diran
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Hypnosis, Personality Traits


An attempt was made to relate hypnotic susceptibility to: an inventory of subjective nonhypnotic personal experiences; attitudes and opinions toward, and interest in hypnosis; environmental and social perceptions; five Guilford-Martin personality scales; and measures of response styles. The questionnaires were administered to 203 male and 233 female college students. The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A was later administered to 80 male and 97 female volunteers from the above sample. Those few variables correlating significantly with hypnotizability in either or both samples, were: (a) Rhathymia; (b) previous hypnotic experience; (c) the number of different hypnotic situations for which S expressed willingness to volunteer; and (d) self-predictions of susceptibility. Results in the present study, considered with the results of other studies, lead to the conclusion that hypnotic susceptibility is not related to available personality inventories of measures of "social and environmental perceptions," and probably not related to measures of subjective nonhypnotic personal experiences. A S's previous hypnotic experience, attitude toward hypnosis, and expectations regarding his or her own hypnotizability do appear to be related to his or her susceptibility. A fresh approach to the area is needed. One such approach would be the determination of the dimensions of hypnotic depth and susceptibility, and the relationships between these factors and outside variables.

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