Eli5, Is hypnosis real? How does it work? Is Darren Brown all real or fake?


Eli5, Is hypnosis real? How does it work? Is Darren Brown all real or fake?

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You should watch the documentary “crazy, not insane” it is about Psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who fought for the diagnoses of dissociative identity disorder and hypnotism can be used to help these patients! They use it to “bring out” the other personalities and try to confront them to help people with this disorder! Hypnotism doesn’t work on everyone but those with severe mental disorders like this, it has been used to help bring therapy to all the personailties and sometimes it actually works to get rid of the personalities because they only develop as a coping mechanism for the person when they believe a part of them can’t handle the trauma so their mind invents a separate person inside of their brain, who can.

The “trick hypnotists you see on TV aren’t “fake” per se. They choose highly suggestable people and they know what they are doing. It’s just performative theater.

I had a psychology prof in undergrad who was a smart lady and informed, good teacher.

She wouldn’t give details, but said it was real. She had always doubted it and was sure she would not be susceptible until she was hypnotized at a show and did something that was not named.

I’ve heard Derren Brown himself talk about asking people after he hypnotised them. I think it was to not be able to see a chair (but the details don’t really matter). About a third said they were just going along with the show, a third did see the chair but couldn’t help acting like they didn’t, and a third completely couldn’t see the chair.

One interesting thing about stage hypnosis is that what matters is the behaviour: as long as someone acts the way you want them to, the audience is entertained. What they’re actually thinking and feeling doesn’t matter.

But hypnosis does genuinely work – exactly how it works and what it can do is more complicated. There are quite a lot of [past threads on hypnosis](https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/search?q=hypnosis&restrict_sr=on) on this same question.

Way back in high school, I had a psychology teacher that hypnotized the class. He even taught us how to hypnotize ourselves.

He said that hypnosis is real, but the stuff you see on TV/movies where someone is hypnotized to kill another person is all fake. You can’t be hypnotized against your will and you can’t be hypnotized to do something you don’t want to do. For the hypnosis shows where people do crazy things after being hypnotized, the people are either in on the act (if it’s fake) or the hypnotized people enjoy performing and thus open themselves up to doing crazy things.