Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Hypnotizability and Dissociation as Predictors of Performance in a Precognition Task: A Pilot study/Hipnotizabilidad Y Disociacion Como Predictores De Desempeno En Una Prueba De Precognicion: Un Estudio piloto/Hypnotisabilite et Dissociation Comme Predicteurs De Performances Dans Une Tache De Precognition: Une Etude Pilote

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Hypnotizability and Dissociation as Predictors of Performance in a Precognition Task: A Pilot study/Hipnotizabilidad Y Disociacion Como Predictores De Desempeno En Una Prueba De Precognicion: Un Estudio piloto/Hypnotisabilite et Dissociation Comme Predicteurs De Performances Dans Une Tache De Precognition: Une Etude Pilote

Article excerpt

Honorton and Ferrari (1989) conducted a meta-analysis of precognitive experiments published between 1935 and 1987 and concluded that there is experimental support for precognition and that it could not likely be explained by real-time psi phenomena. A later series of six experiments by Steinkamp (2003), however, reported inconsistent support for a precognitive effect. Particularly relevant to this study are the recent findings of Bem (2008a), who created the precognition program and procedure we used in this study (Bem, 2008b). He reported (Experiment 3; Bem, 2008a) significant results in support of precognition, especially among participants scoring high in a measure of novelty seeking. In this study we evaluated whether hypnotizability, dissociation, and belief in psi affect performance on the precognition test. We decided to use Bem's program to try to replicate his previous studies and evaluate its usefulness in our sample.

PSI AND HYPNOTIZABILITY

Hypnotizability is a construct that refers to the extent to which individuals follow and experience specific suggestions after a hypnotic induction. It has been related to abilities such as imagery (Kogon et al., 1998), fantasy-proneness (Lynn & Ruhe, 1986), absorption (Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974), and experiential mental boundaries (Cardena & Terhune, 2008). Considering the nature of these correlates, the paucity of even moderate correlations between hypnotizability and the "big five" personality traits, and the finding that hypnotizability is related to the character trait of self-transcendence, Cardena and Terhune (2008) proposed that the propensity to have experiences that suggest personal unboundariedness may be the latent trait underlying all of these correlations.

Kumar and Pekala (2001) reviewed studies that evaluated the relationship between hypnotizability and anomalous experiences and beliefs (including psi). Across 5 studies they found 11 correlations between hypnotizability and paranormal belief, of which 9 were significant (median r = .20). They found stronger results for hypnotizability and paranormal experiences; 23 correlations, of which 20 were significant, were reported across 11 studies (median r = .31). They also found 3 significant correlations across 2 studies for the relation between imagery and psi experiences, (median r = .28) and 9 significant correlations across 3 studies between absorption and anomalous experiences as well as 8 significant correlations between fantasy-proneness and paranormal experiences (median r = .36). As for the relationship between these constructs and psi belief, they found that 3 correlations in as many studies were significant (median r= .16).

Following an earlier meta-analysis by Schechter (1984), Stanford and Stein (1994) reviewed the literature on the topic of hypnosis and performance on controlled psi tests. The main question was whether psi performance is better following a hypnotic induction than during a control condition. The answer was positive, but no firm conclusions about the cause of the effect could be drawn, as it was not clear whether the induction per se or the difference in hypnotic abilities or even an experimenter effect might have caused the differences in performance. In an abstract, May, Banyai, Vassy, and Faith (2000) reported no evidence between hypnotizability and psi performance in a remote viewing experiment. However, Tressoldi and Del Prete (2007), replicating the results of an earlier experiment, found significant psi scoring in the first of two hypnotic sessions and significant small to moderate correlations between successful psi performance and the personality traits of absorption and transliminality, which have been related to anomalous experiences and perhaps significant psi scoring.

Psi, DISSOCIATION, AND TRAUMA

Also of particular relevance is the trait of dissociation, which refers to the propensity to have alterations of consciousness characterized by detachment from self or others, or failures in the integration of psychological processes that should ordinarily be integrated (Cardena, 1994). …

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