Intensity of Amnesia during Hypnosis is Positively Correlated with Estimated Prevalence of Sexual Abuse and Alien Abductions: Implications for the False Memory Syndrome

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Abstract

20 normal young women listened to an ambiguous story concerning a young boy who experienced fear, odd smells, and a smothering sensation during the night and skin lesions the next morning. After the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) had been established, they were asked to estimate either the percentage prevalence of childhood sexual abuse or alien abduction in the general population. There were moderate (0.50) positive correlations between the subjects' estimates of prevalence and the amount of amnesia (“lost time”) and indices of right-hemispheric anomalies (history of sensed presence and left-ear suppressions during a dichotic-listening task). Relevance of observations to formation of the False Memory Syndrome and to the development of nonpsychotic delusions is discussed.

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