Time distortion and hypnotic ability: Underestimating the duration of hypnosis

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Abstract

In a replication of previous research, 3 different samples of Ss (109 Ss) underestimated the length of time they were hypnotized. However, as in a previous investigation, there was no significant relation between Ss' hypnotizability and the amount of temporal foreshortening of the hypnotic interval. A small subset of Ss (13–23%) in each of 3 separate samples overestimated instead of underestimated the length of time they had been hypnotized. When this small group of overestimators is set aside, the correlations between hypnotic ability and temporal estimates become significant for each of the 3 (sub)samples of underestimators–ranging from -.41 to -.53. It is demonstrated that these correlations could not be accounted for by R. F. Ornstein's (1969) storage-size hypothesis, but were probably due to Ss of varying hypnotizability becoming differentially absorbed in the hypnotic proceedings. This understanding is consistent with work in time perception showing that imaginative absorption leads to a foreshortening of time. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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