Is hypnosis real or is it just a fictional concept?


Seen the concept of hypnotising your oponents in movies and shows and using them at your own will .But is it real scientifically real tho? And if it is,then how does it work?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ooh, an ELI5 about something I know a little about. Many years ago I did my senior thesis on hypnosis. It is essentially just being really, really relaxed. How well someone can be hypnotized is (or was when I was studying it) measured on a scale of 1-12.

A lot of it is just visualization. For example, our professor had the whole class close our eyes and hold out our arms. He said to imagine our left hand tied to a bunch of helium balloons lifting it up and our right hand was holding a bowling ball. When we opened our eyes, most of us found that our left arm had raised up and our right arm had lowered.

TV and movie hypnosis is total fiction. No one can be hypnotized to be a slave or against their will. My professor used to say that if you don’t want to be hypnotized then I couldn’t hypnotize you with a sledgehammer.

Stage hypnosis is a little trickier, where they get people to do all sorts of wacky things like pretend to be a chicken. I actually saw one kid in my class be made to forget the number 7. He’d be ask to count to ten and would skip 7. There is some susceptibility with hypnosis, like the balloon/bowling ball example. So the theory was that, combined with the subjects desire to perform is what is happening. You’re called up in front of a studio audience (or class) and told this is what is going to happen, so you do it, thinking that is what is supposed to happen.

Hypnosis is most often used in some sort of clinical setting. Because it is mostly just relaxation, it is sometimes used for stress related ailments. That was the subject of my thesis, how it’s used to treat psychosomatic illnesses. For some people, hypnosis was useful in pain reduction so some doctors and dentists try it with patients who, for whatever reason, they can’t use anesthesia on.

So it is scientific but because it is based on how susceptible you are it is very subjective. Some people it works great, others not at all. On top of that, because of tv and movies and stage hypnotists, a lot of people think it’s nonsense. One thing most people agree on is hypnosis is not good for things like memory recall. For a time, hypnotists were used for victims of crime or victims of child abuse to try and recall details, but the results were questionable. It’s believed that it is too easy for the hypnotist to influence the subject and create false memories, especially for events years or decades earlier.

[Here]( is a review of the book by my professor, Roy Udolf. And [here]( is the wikipedia article on hypnosis which goes into more detail.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Derren brown’s 2006 book explains it really well. Hightened suggestibility used to…well heighten suggestibility further.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Hypnosis is something people actually participate in. It does not have the power ascribed to it in fiction. It works because the subject cooperates with the instructions; you can’t make someone do anything unwillingly.