MAY 05, 2016 07:08 AM PDT

What's up with hypnotism?

3 10 687

Despite the societal reputation that hypnosis is a form of mind-control, scientists describe hypnotism as a state of consciousness involving highly focused attention, minimizing competing thoughts and allowing an enhanced ability to respond to suggestions. It is similar to the state that your brain takes on when you are reading a book or watching a movie and the rest of the world seems to fall away.

Researchers have shown that hypnosis is capable of shutting down our autonomic responses, such as reading words that are right in front of us. The video gives a short quiz which posts the words of colors on the screen, but the color of the font and the name of the color do not correspond. It is surprisingly difficult to say aloud the color of the font, because one's automatic reaction is to read what the word says. However, in a hypnotism study when people were told that they would read the words as gibberish, it was easy for them to automatically state the color that the word was in. A similar situation would happen to you if, for example, the word was written in a language you didn't know.

There is a bell curve of hypnotizability for people, which explains how some people are more susceptible to being hypnotized than others. Although it is certain that some people fake hypnosis when put under, studies with MRIs have shown that your brain actually does respond differently when you are hypnotized compared to when you are mimicking hypnosis.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 18, 2018
Videos
JUL 18, 2018
What Does it Take to Burst a Stomach?
People often say they feel like they feel like they’re going to burst after consuming a large meal, but is it really possible for your stomach to bur
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
Is it Good to Open Your Windows During a Hurricane?
You might’ve heard the idea that opening your windows during a hurricane can reduce the stress on your home’s roof and walls as it’s bein
AUG 04, 2018
Videos
AUG 04, 2018
A Radical New Approach to Treating Neurodegeneration
The pathways that neural impulses travel can't be retrieved once they're lost... or can they?
AUG 12, 2018
Videos
AUG 12, 2018
How A Therapeutic Gene Circuit Might Work
University of Wyoming researchers demonstrate their research in optogenetics.
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Is Earth Running Out of Helium?
If current global demand continues, we can face a shortage of helium within the next 40 years. Helium is the second most common element after hydrogen
AUG 16, 2018
Videos
AUG 16, 2018
Why won't my ears stop ringing?
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus in some form. Two million of those people suffer from ringing in their ears so severely that they ca
Loading Comments...