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Trance is commonly induced in situations where the subject is motivated a priori to cooperate with the hypnotist, usually to obtain relief from suffering, to contribute to a scientific study, or (as in a stage performance) to become a center of attraction. Experiments in "waking hypnosis" for instructional purposes.
One of my own psychotherapy patients has reported that she went into a trance while watching me demonstrate hypnotic phenomena on television.
This spontaneous hypnosis occurred despite the fact that the patient was in the company of friends and it was therefore a source of embarrassment to her.
Some of these have significantly different implications with respect to the susceptibility of a hypnotized person to purposeful influence.
The view that hypnosis is a state of artifically induced sleep has been widely held since Braid takes a similar position in maintaining that cortical inhibition, sleep, and hypnosis are essentially identical.
This view is now held throughout those parts of the world where Pavlovian theory is accepted as creed, but to the American investigator the experimental evidence against it appears overwhelming.
While the concept of suggestion does provide a bridge between the hypnotic and the normal waking state, it does not explain the peculiarity of the hypnotic process or the causes of the state of trance. Several more recent approaches, which might be called motivational theories of hypnosis, hold that achievement of trance is related to the subject's desire to enter such a state.
The demand characteristics of the situation--those influencing the subject to partake of the experimenter's purposes--may have been such that his prescribed attitude of overt resistance was unable to prevail over the more fundamental attitude of cooperation in an experiment to show that trance can be brought on against a subject's will. But here again we are dealing with a subject in sympathy with the purposes of the hypnotist and one who feels himself to be in a safe situation. It has been noted clinically that persons with negative attitudes about hypnosis are not susceptible to spontaneous trance. In experiments conducted by Wells subjects making an effort to resist trance induction were unable to fight it off. Antisocial compulsions induced under hypnotic trance. No case records are cited to support these statements, however; and they appear, like many others in hypnosis literature, to have been carried over from one textbook to another without critical evaluation. Barber found considerable similarity between subjects' compliance with suggestions given during sleep and their reactions to ordinary hypnotic techniques. Since Barber had asked them for permission to enter their rooms at night and talk to them in their sleep, however, it is reasonable to assume that most if not all of them perceived that trance induction was his purpose. Experimentalists and clinicians who take the motivational view--including the present writer, whose conclusions on the subject of this paper are undoubtedly colored by it--believe that it accounts best for the major portion of the clinical data.