Hypnosis Research on Changing Deeply Held Beliefs

Hypnotic Suggestions Can Induce Rapid Change in Implicit Attitudes

We sometimes evaluate our environment (e.g., persons, objects, situations) in an automatic fashion. These automatic or implicit evaluations are often considered to be based on qualitatively distinct mental processes compared with more controlled or explicit evaluations. Important evidence for this claim comes from studies showing that implicit evaluations do not change as the result of counterattitudinal information, in contrast to their explicit counterparts. We examined the impact of counterattitudinal information on implicit evaluations in two experiments (N = 60, N = 72) that included an innovative manipulation: hypnotic suggestions to participants that they would strongly process upcoming counterattitudinal information. Both experiments indicated that hypnotic suggestions facilitated effects of counterattitudinal information on implicit evaluations. These findings extend recent evidence for rapid revision of implicit evaluations on the basis of counterattitudinal information and support the controversial idea that belief-based processes underlie not only explicit but also implicit evaluations.

Psychological Science:  Volume: 30 issue: 9, page(s): 1362-1370 September 1, 2019
Pieter Van Dessel and Jan De Houwer.

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