Hypnotic age regression and the occurrence of transitional object relationships

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Object relations theory and subsequent empirical investigations have established the characteristic ways in which children aged 2–6 yrs utilize transitional objects (e.g., teddy bears or blankets). Three of these characteristics–spontaneity, specificity, and intensity–were used as the primary criteria to investigate the genuineness of hypnotic age regression when Ss were regressed to age 3 and placed in emotional situations typical of those reported clinically. Two groups of college students (16 highly susceptible, as “reals,” and 15 low susceptible, as simulators; Ss were administered the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility and a version of the Stanford Profile Scales of Hypnotic Susceptibility) behaved differentially on all 3 measures, with reals behaving in a generally more childlike manner, thus suggesting an effect attributable to the hypnotic condition. Further, the behavior of these Ss was compared to that of 77 children aged 1–6 yrs; reals and children were statistically indistinguishable on the 2 criteria on which they were compared, but simulators differed significantly from both groups. This pattern of results, along with real-simulator differences, suggests a more complete reproduction of an earlier affective process as a function of meaningful hypnotic age regression. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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