Hypnosis and creativity: The search for the missing link

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Abstract

Considers the nature of a relation between hypnotizability and creativity, using theoretical argument, controlled research, and pilot studies. The results of several previously reported studies suggest that creativity and hypnotizability are related in student populations via their common reliance on nonvolitional fantasy processes cued by a task. The fantasy process is indexed in these studies by the degree of effortless experiencing of responses to tasks requiring imagination. Absorption in nonhypnotic experiences and, perhaps, a preference for right brain-hemisphere functioning are linked in a network of relations that support this hypothesis. The present paper reports pilot work with students and writers that studied the experience of storytelling and writing under hypnosis. The relationship between individual differences in styles of being creative and hypnotizability was explored. The review of these studies and others suggests that allowing the structure of a problem to affect associational processes without the interference of volitional selection strategies contributes to the discovery of creative solutions. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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