Covert pain in hypnotic analgesia: Its reality as tested by the real-simulator design

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Abstract

Simulation of covert pain, as reported by the hidden observer method, proved very successful for 12 simulator Ss known to be unable to reduce overtly reported pain through hypnotic analgesia procedures, as compared with 12 highly hypnotizable Ss whose pain had been shown to be reduced by at least one third through hypnotic analgesia suggestions. Preliminary practice in dissociation (and in simulated dissociation) through amnesia for a word list and through attempted automatic writing also demonstrated successful simulation. However, in an honesty inquiry by a staff member not participating as a hypnotist-experimenter, no simulator claimed to have been amnesic, to have performed automatic writing, or to have reduced pain beyond the reduction that could be achieved through waking suggestion. The methods by which the successful simulation was achieved were explored in subsequent interviews. In contrast with the simulators, no highly hypnotizable S modified any earlier report on the basis of the honesty inquiry. Results confirm the importance of postexperimental honesty interrogation when the real-simulator design is used. Results also lend support to the reality of the covert experience of pain in the absence of its overt experience in hypnotic analgesia. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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