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Berkowitz, B. (1971). Hypnosis: A Scientific Approach. Theodore Xenophon Barber. New York: Van Nostrand, Reinhold, 1970. iv+282 pp. (Paperback). Psychoanal. Rev., 58(3):489-490.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Review, 58(3):489-490

Hypnosis: A Scientific Approach. Theodore Xenophon Barber. New York: Van Nostrand, Reinhold, 1970. iv+282 pp. (Paperback)

Review by:
Bernard Berkowitz

Beginning with his doctoral thesis (1955), Theodore Barber has summarized and integrated over sixty previously published papers of his own and his collaborators. Those acquainted with Barber's work will therefore find here little that differs from the theoretical position he has taken on hypnosis through the years.

For Barber, hypnosis is of no utility as an operational construct. In a series of controlled experiments, Barber demonstrates that people respond about as well to alternative procedures as to standardized hypnotic inductions. “Hypnotic behaviors” are shown to be related to eight classes of antecedent variables: Attitude toward the… situation; Expectations…; Wording and tone of… suggestions; Task motivation (You can do it, others have); Definition of the situation; Relaxation-sleep suggestions; Wording and tone of the (post-hypnotic) inquiry; Role of the experimenter.

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