Response Expectancies and Interpretations as Determinants of Hypnotic Responding

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Abstract

Ss rated the extent to which they expected to respond to each of the suggestions on a hypnotizability scale both before and after the administration of the preliminary hypnotic induction procedure. After the induction, Ss also rated the extent to which they planned to respond actively and passively to each suggestion. Contrary to strong versions of response-expectancy theory, the extent to which Ss planned to adopt an active interpretation predicted behavioral and subjective indexes of hypnotizability even after controlling for the effects of postinduction expectations. In addition, an active interpretation significantly predicted response to suggestion for which Ss held weak and uncertain expectations. The relationship between expectation and hypnotizability was found to be fan-shaped rather than linear. Implications are discussed.

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