Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To copy parts of an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To copy a phrase, paragraph, or large section of an article, highlight the text with the mouse and press Ctrl + C. Then to paste it, go to your text editor and press Ctrl + V.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Brakel, L.A. (1994). Cognitive Science: Dissociated Control and the Limits of Hypnotic Responsiveness. Kenneth S. Bowers. Consciousness and Cognition. I, 1992. Pp. 32-39.. Psychoanal Q., 63:174.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Cognitive Science: Dissociated Control and the Limits of Hypnotic Responsiveness. Kenneth S. Bowers. Consciousness and Cognition. I, 1992. Pp. 32-39.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:174

Cognitive Science: Dissociated Control and the Limits of Hypnotic Responsiveness. Kenneth S. Bowers. Consciousness and Cognition. I, 1992. Pp. 32-39.

Linda A. Wimer Brakel

Bowers claims that much in Hilgard's neodissociation model seems to turn on reversible amnesia for post-hypnotically suggested behavior, and also that the model does not need reversible amnesia as a critical factor. "… I do not find the emphasis on reversible amnesia as the dissociative basis for hypnotically suggested responses very convincing—in part because amnesia that is not specifically suggested is even rarer than some of the hypnotically suggested perceptual/cognitive distortions that need explaining." Bowers notes that—unlike hysteria, in which the ideational basis is unconscious (repressed)—the actual hypnotic suggestions themselves are well represented consciously in the subject's experience.

Nonetheless, in hypnosis mental events are indeed made nonconscious but through hypnotic alterations in "cognitive controls." This notion of dissociated control, Bowers claims, is far more in keeping with contemporary views of mental functioning. Thus the hypnotized subject is aware both of the idea suggested (e.g., arm will be paralyzed), and its effect (a paralyzed arm); but what is lost is the subject's willful connection.

Bowers gives a brief illustration of an experiment designed to test whether hypnotic analgesia operates because of amnesia or because of dissociated controls. Given that hypnotic suggestions do diminish the experience of pain, Bowers hypothesizes two alternative mechanisms: 1) the subject effortfully initiates fantasies which mediate pain reduction, but the subject is amnesic for the cognitive effort in producing the fantasies (though not for the fantasies themselves), and 2) pain reduction is activated directly through the suggestion, and the fantasies are concomitants. Bowers asserts that one can test between these alternatives. The first mechanism would require the use of more cognitive resources, both in fantasy production and in effortful forgetting. Thus if this mechanism is operative, subjects with hypnotic analgesia should show less efficient performance when ancillary cognitive tasks are set up, since these will also require cognitive resources. If, on the other hand, the second mechanism obtains, relatively little interference should be seen in the performance of such competing, cognitively demanding tasks. Preliminary findings from Bowers's lab suggest that mechanism two is the more likely.

- 174 -

Article Citation

Brakel, L.A. (1994). Cognitive Science. Psychoanal. Q., 63:174

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.