Noise during hypnosis

Postby PollyannaX » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:26 pm

Hello all

I have been toying with the idea of hypnosis for quite some time. so last week I finally decided to arrange an appointment.

I followed all the pre-session instructions and was really looking forward to it. What happened on the day however left me very confused. When the hypnosis started I could hear people outside of the room walking up and down the stairs, intercom ringing - just a general commotion. I tried really hard to tune it out, but it totally interfered with the process. I could not relax and whenever I was getting closer to the desired relaxation state, the noise outside pulled me back. The therapist continued with the session, but I felt that I was completely present.

After the session she told me that my noise sensivity makes me stressed and normally people would be able to ignore the outside environment... I find it a bit difficult to agree, but as I do not have any friends that have experienced hypnotherapy, I wanted to check if any of you agree with her? I basically feel that I wasted £200 because the room was not quiet enough for me to relax, but perhaps I do really have a problem and most of people would be able to continue with the session regardless?

I would be extremely grateful if you could help please!

Thanks

P
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#1

Postby jimmyh » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:37 pm

It depends on the person and the situation. Sometimes people get distracted, sometimes people don't. It's pretty much common knowledge among skilled hypnotists that the way to deal with this is to "utilize" this by suggesting that each noise brings you deeper into trance. Not that this will *always* work so trivially, but it often can and either way if it's in the way it needs to be addressed.

I don't know whether I'd say the money was "wasted", since sometimes things don't pan out even though they were good decisions given what we knew at the time. Now though, you know more. Even if you are abnormally hard to hypnotize (and I'm not convinced that this is the case), the bottom line is that you payed her to hypnotize you to some end, and not only did she not succeed, but she didn't even seem to be on top of addressing the relevant concerns. I'd consider that a compelling reason to not go back to her or recommend her, and a decent reason to screen harder for competence, to the degree that you can.

Another couple things worth keeping in mind:
1) Relaxation, while often coupled with hypnosis, is not a key element of hypnosis. Relaxation is not necessary whatsoever, and so if "difficulty relaxing" becomes a barrier, it might be wise to just sidestep that obstacle altogether.
2) In general (though not always) people are well aware of what is happening when hypnotized, and are very "present". Getting powerful and permanent results can happen without even "losing consciousness" or even "feeling like I was hypnotized". Partly because it's not always obvious what hypnosis "feels" like (and a lot of that feeling is the result of implicit suggestions of what hypnosis is supposed to feel like), and partly because it's not even necessary to experience much hypnosis to get results in the first place. Different issues with different people call for different methods. I'd focus more on "am I getting the results I came for?" than "does this experience fit what I expect 'hypnosis' to be like?".

Either way though, if this is relevant to getting success with the approach they're taking, a competent hypnotist will explain this to you and make sure you're responding as intended. After all, that's literally what you're paying them to do.
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:47 am

PollyannaX wrote: When the hypnosis started I could hear people outside of the room walking up and down the stairs, intercom ringing - just a general commotion. I tried really hard to tune it out, but it totally interfered with the process.

After the session she told me that my noise sensivity makes me stressed...I basically feel that I wasted £200 because the room was not quiet enough for me to relax,


You are correct. She is absolutely wrong. It doesn’t take much to sound proof a room. I mean for @3&k sake she should be embarrassed and give you a refund. A rate of £200 per session and you can’t even make sure the room is quiet? She is the typical hypnosis hack that probably spent £50 to get a certificate online. Very unprofessional.

jimmyh wrote: It's pretty much common knowledge among skilled hypnotists that the way to deal with this is to "utilize" this by suggesting that each noise brings you deeper into trance.


Each noise...WTH. This is a crock. Even IF the client told the hypnotist they were hearing outside noises, the hypnotist can’t read the clients mind. The hypnotist can’t predict and say, “Listen to the people walking up the stairs, now the intercom, let the intercom sink into your mind, now the traffic outside, focus on the traffic, now the intercom again, now the door that you must have just heard open, because I just heard it open.”

Skilled hypnotist, pfff. A skilled hypnotist makes sure the room is quiet, because a skilled hypnotist realizes that even if a client says that outside noises are distracting them that it is impossible to “utilize” this outside noises unless there is some rhythm to a specific and repetitive noise. A hypnotist is not a mind reader and the client can’t keep relaying what all distractions they keep hearing.
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#3

Postby quietvoice » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:59 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
jimmyh wrote: . . . "utilize" this by suggesting that each noise brings you deeper into trance.

A hypnotist is not a mind reader and the client can’t keep relaying what all distractions they keep hearing.

The suggestion subsumes all noises that the subject hears. There's no need to point out each noise as it is suggested that every noise heard is a trigger for even more "deep sleep."
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:57 pm

quietvoice wrote:The suggestion subsumes all noises that the subject hears. There's no need to point out each noise as it is suggested that every noise heard is a trigger for even more "deep sleep."


Interesting. Post the research studies that shows the effectiveness of subsuming multiple random noises under a single suggestion.

Client: “All the random noise outside of your office is distracting.”

Hypnohack: “Noise is making you sleepy. Listen to the noises, focus on my voice, err I mean focus on the noise, and any noise you hear, regardless of intensity or duration is making your eyelids heavy.”

Come on, that’s bs. If the office isn’t quiet you can play the subsume game all you like, but when a car alarm goes off, then a door slams, then you hear a baby cry, then a jackhammer, the suggestion will fail miserably and it won’t be the fault of the client. That is what happened here. A person charged £200 and then BLAMES THE CLIENT!?!? Such utter crap.

In other words, a skilled hypnotist doesn’t try to bs a client with subsuming all noise under a single suggestion, because a skilled hypnotist wouldn’t have an office next to a freeway, train tracks, airport, etc. A skilled hypnotist wouldn’t blame a client for being too sensitive to outside noise, because a skilled hypnotist wouldn’t find themselves in conditions that require they then make such a lame excuse.
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#5

Postby jimmyh » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:35 pm

Richard, when you make definitive claims like that without qualifying them with statements like "I'm just speculating", or "I'm not a hypnotist, but it seems to me that..", it can come off like you're speaking from a position as an authority with the relevance experience and expertise.

Since you have zero experience as either a hypnotist or as a subject (correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think that's right), taking definitive stances on what skilled hypnotists would do and what the challenges are is highly misleading. In the future, please make it clear when you're speaking from a position of knowledge and experience and when you're speculating on things you are not experienced with.
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:18 am

The argument jimmyh fails to make above is that you, the reader, should dismiss statements if they do not come from a hypnotist. It is a common form of ad hominem attack that attempts to derail or distract from the validity of a given argument by instead attacking the credentials of the person instead of addressing the substance.

It goes something like this, “You are not a trained, experienced pilot, therefore any claims you make about how an airplane flies can be dismissed.”

Simply put, it is a sad attempt to reduce credibility by attacking credentials.

You do not have to be a certified pilot to make a truthful statement about how an airplane flies. Maybe you studied engineering, physics, or math. There are numerous domains of knowledge you might offer to be evaluated for truth, but jimmyh wants claim that unless you are a pilot, the same as him, then you cannot possibly be correct in whatever statement you make.

I don’t play the credential game. I won’t point out jimmyh’s utter lack of credentials in the field of psychology, because his lack of credentials are not relevant to whatever argument he may wish to make.

Instead, I evaluate the truth of an argument based on empirical evidence. In this case, cognitive load theory and research on selective attention demonstrates that attempting to “utilize” irrelevant sounds will not work unless these sounds have a rhythmic pattern at a low enough intensity as to be dismissed. An intercom periodically making an announcement doesn’t qualify. The hypnotist cannot predict the client hearing a gunshot or fire alarm. Subsuming all noise under a suggestion is a crock of horse manure. I can make this claim of truth, not because of my credentials in the field of psychology, but rather I can make this claim because I can read.

https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/90/18/8722.full.pdf

Selective attention improves the perception of high-priority stimuli in the environment at the expense of other, less relevant, stimuli. In the auditory modality, for example, a person can attend selectively to a particular speaker's voice while tuning out other, simultaneous, conversations (the so-called"cocktailparty"phenomenon). Despite extensive research(1-3),many gaps remain in our understanding of the neural and psychological mechanisms that underlie auditory selective attention.

http://www.bryanburnham.net/wp-content/ ... review.pdf

The studies reviewed here illustrate the importance of considering the level and type of load involved in the task performed to determine interference by task-irrelevant distractors. Simply instructing people to focus attention on a certain task is not sufficient to prevent distractor interference.


http://psych.cf.ac.uk/home2/jones_dylan ... action.pdf

Irrelevant sound tends to break through selective attention and impair cognitive performance. This observation has been brought under systematic scrutiny by laboratory studies...

I welcome any peer reviewed, replicated studies jimmyh or anyone else would like to offer up, regardless of your credentials, that demonstrates using a suggestion to “utilize” the noise will maintain the selective attention of a client in the face of random irrelevant and unpredictable stimuli of varying intensities (as described by the OP).
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#7

Postby jimmyh » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:05 am

Arguments are equally valid regardless of who offers them. Opinions are not.

If you want to make an actual argument about why hypnosis cannot possibly work in this way, or present evidence that it does not, that is fine. If, for example, you wanted to say "here are some papers that seem relevant to me, and here is the connection I draw", then there would be no problem with that.

The problem comes when you make factual claims devoid of empirical data or logical structure while posing as an authority you are not. Since your original comment was little but "I find this to be absurd!", it becomes relevant that you have no experience with or understanding of the topic, since "non hypnotist finds hypnotists' claim about hypnosis absurd and hard to believe!" isn't even evidence that the claim is false. This is the nature of the beast. Hypnosis wouldn't be called "hypnosis" if it didn't do anything counter to intuition.

If you want to say "it would seem to me that a skilled hypnotist would do better to eliminate sources of distraction than to try to suggest it away, because it seems absurd to me to think that the latter could even work", that is fine. If you want to back it up by saying "here's some tangentially related paper that I see as relevant", then even better. If you had phrased it that way, the emphasis would be on the argument itself and the points of potential failure would be highlighted (i.e. "it seems to me","I see as relevant"). If you're up front about things, simply offer up arguments and data, and leave the reader to draw their own conclusions about whether it seems the same way to them and how compelling they find it to be that someone of unknown qualifications sees things this way, then there is absolutely no problem with this.

The problem is in misrepresenting your perspective as meaningful in itself to a larger degree than can be supported. If you say "A skilled hypnotist would do x", that implies that you have authoritative knowledge about what a skilled hypnotist would in fact do. That makes it dishonest to leave out the fact that you have never been a hypnotist and are not such an authority.

I only post to clarify that you have no experience on the matter because your posts heavily imply that you do.
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#8

Postby moonlightress » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:06 pm

This also seems pertinent to link to here.

PollyannaX: Post #1 from jimmy is a hypnotist's answer to your question. Speaking as a subject, I'd also have found it difficult to relax and not get distracted if it was my first session. I don't think it's you who has a problem; she should've said something about that.

I'd suggest that if a hypnotist can't, for whatever reason, have an office in a quieter venue, they might pre-emptively address the noise in the pre-talk, in addition to making suggestions during the session itself. From my experience, both the already-mentioned suggestion and this one: "it feels so good not to have to pay attention to any sounds other than the sound of my voice. You can just let them fade into the background; they're not important" work very well. And that's the hypnotist's job, not yours.

---

Richard: I don't recall any mention of "car alarm goes off, then a door slams, then you hear a baby cry, then a jackhammer" in the original post. If you're playing the logical-fallacies-in-arguments game, can you name that one? Also, whenever you trot out "ad hominum" to justify your participation in an area you know nothing about, my mind somehow wanders along to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Since psychology's your field; care to comment on that, when you have the odd spare moment in your teaching schedule?
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#9

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:49 pm

jimmyh wrote:If, for example, you wanted to say "here are some papers that seem relevant to me, and here is the connection I draw", then there would be no problem with that.

If you want to say "it would seem to me that a skilled hypnotist would do better to eliminate sources of distraction than to try to suggest it away,


So again jimmyh avoids posting anything to refute the actual substance of what was stated. Instead, he again tries to deflect by offering up his personal opinion of how something should be stated.

I only post to clarify that you have no experience on the matter because your posts heavily imply that you do.


Wrong. I have plenty of experience on the matter. But again, the credentials I possess that you lack is not a good reason to discount whatever substance you wish to present. If you want to demonstrate that your claim of “utilizing” random irrelevant auditory distractors is effectively handled by suggestion, then put up something of substance that actually supports that claim. Or, you can choose to continue to focus on ad hominem or comments on the tone of what I have written.

And while I’m here, why not include some additional useful material related to the matter that demonstrates the “utilize” the noise claim is hogwash.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 5516304373
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#10

Postby jimmyh » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:59 pm

So again jimmyh avoids posting anything to refute the actual substance of what was stated.


That's right. As I said explicitly, you can post actual substance and I likely won't refute it.

I don't refute that it seems absurd to you, which is the "substance" of that part of the claim. I only refute the implication that how it seems to you has any bearing on whether it works or not, given that you're not in a position to know one way or the other. I don't refute that it seems to you like it would be a good idea to eliminate distractions themselves rather than suggesting around them. To the extent that this is easy to do, this is (obviously?) a good idea. I also don't refute any of the things those papers say, but since you haven't drawn any connection between {these papers which don't mention hypnosis} and {the issues of handling distractions in hypnosis}, I'm not even sure what you'd expect me to take issue with there.



Instead, he again tries to deflect by offering up his personal opinion of how something should be stated.


Again, there are differences between arguments and personal opinion. I laid out my argument based on premises that I expect to be uncontroversial, and in no way does the validity these things on rely on accepting my personal opinion as truth.

By laying out basic premises and argument, I *am* implicitly claiming that I am knowledgeable enough about reasoning that I can be expected to produce arguments worth addressing on their own. This is true, and can be supported, however I expect that this is also an uncontroversial statement. If you disagree and think my arguments aren't even worth considering, feel free to start the discussion there.
Wrong. I have plenty of experience on the matter


"The matter" we're talking about, as I see it, is "hypnotizing someone in the presence of possible distractions", and in particular "what a skilled hypnotist would do in this situation". Given that to date you have neither shown nor claimed any experience with hypnosis, I can't see how this can possibly be true. What do you see as the topic under discussion and what relevant experience do you have that leads you to believe you can accurately predict the behavior of skilled hypnotists?


Or, you can choose to continue to focus on ad hominem


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Non-fallacious_reasoning (you doofus :P)

or comments on the tone of what I have written.

I don't care about the tone. You can be as emotional as you want with whichever tone you please, and I will not bring it up unless it becomes relevant. If you want to say "I'm not a hypnotist, but it seems self evident to me that any hypnotist who thinks what Jimmy is talking about is a good idea is a f***ing loon, and ought to be hanged for his atrocities!", then that's completely fine. If you were to feel that way, and you were to feel that this is the *appropriate* way to feel, I would encourage your self expression.

Again, the *only* issue here is that you are dishonestly portraying yourself as an expert on subjects you know nothing about. Solve that, and your contributions will be welcomed here.
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#11

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:38 am

jimmyh wrote: If you disagree and think my arguments aren't even worth considering, feel free to start the discussion there.


What is great about a public discussion is the value it can provide to a broader community. It offers up alternatives for people to consider.

I consider your arguments to be weak. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth considering, just that they have low value.

Bob is not a gun owner or a member of a gun club, nor has Bob ever fired a gun or been shot by a gun. Your argument is that this means whatever Bob might offer to a discussion about guns lacks authority and therefore should be summarily dismissed. It is an ad hominem, weak argument.

Truth is not determined by qualifications or experience.

My hope is that some readers that might be considering hypnosis will read this thread and see how peer reviewed evidence that addresses the central point is dismissed in favor of weaker arguments, such as ad hominem, and attacking the tone of what is said. It is unfortunate that the OP did not come across this forum sooner, as it may have saved them £200.

My argument does not attack your tone, it doesn’t attack your lack of qualifications or experience. My argument presents evidence regarding how auditory distractions are actually processed. This evidence, even though it doesn’t include the irrelevant term “hypnosis”, refutes the central point that random noises of various intensities such as those experiened by the OP can be “utilized” effectively in the suggestive process.

Readers can decide if the peer reviewed evidence presented is strong enough to refute the central point, or they may agree with your argument that experience is what determines truth, that only experienced gun owners can speak intelligently about guns.

Paul Graham's hierarchy of disagreement: paulgraham.com/disagree.html

https://www.zmescience.com/medicine/min ... -argument/
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#12

Postby jimmyh » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:36 pm

0)

Ironically, your statements like "My argument does not attack your tone, it doesn’t attack your lack of qualifications or experience" and "Instead, I evaluate the truth of an argument based on empirical evidence" betray their own point. By claiming that you argue on the object level, you are making the meta level argument about why your object level "arguments" (which are actually empty assertions) ought to be taken seriously. There's nothing actually wrong with using meta level arguments to argue that the object level is what ought to be discussed, in general, but it does become quite humorous when you're using it to posture about being above arguing on the meta-level. Doubly so, given the lack of actual object-level arguments (e.g. Those papers you cite. What's the connection, exactly?)

1)

I made abundantly clear that the issue is about flagrant dishonesty, and that any tone is fine. Instead of responding to this, you continue to presuppose that the issue is about "tone".

2)

You accused me of the ad hominem fallacy, so I linked to the wikipedia page, which unambiguously explains that it is your usage that is fallacious. You clearly opened the link, as Paul Graham's hierarchy of disagreement, which you linked, is featured on the page. I will quote the relevant section:

"When a statement is challenged by making an ad hominem attack on its author, it is important to draw a distinction between whether the statement in question was an argument or a statement of fact (testimony). In the latter case the issues of the credibility of the person making the statement may be crucial.[10]"

As I clearly said, it is important to draw a distinction between whether the statement in question was an argument or a statement of fact. Since you did not actually provide arguments, and instead made simple statements of fact "A skilled hypnotist wouldn't do X, they'd do Y", your lack of credibility is the key issue here, and addressing it is crucial.

For humor, I'll include the next paragraph as well:

"It should also be noted that an ad hominem fallacy occurs when one attacks the character of an interlocutor in an attempt to refute their argument. Insulting someone is not necessarily an instance of an ad hominem fallacy. For example, if one supplies sufficient reasons to reject an interlocutor's argument and adds a slight character attack at the end, this character attack is not necessarily fallacious. Whether it is fallacious depends on whether or not the insult is used as a reason against the interlocutor's argument. An ad hominem occurs when an attack on the interlocutor's character functions as a response to an interlocutor's argument/claim.[11]"

I'm aware that explaining the joke usually ruins it, but in this case I think it's still pretty good. I added "you doofus" to the end because the section I had to link you to explicitly states that I can even go so as far as to add insult to argument without it being the ad hominem fallacy. Do you get it? :P

Your response to this slam-dunk response doesn't even reach "level 0" on Graham's scheme, since you didn't even disagree. You just pretended that it doesn't exist and continued to say "ad hominem" as if you were no more aware of my response than a broken record.

3)

You stated that I was wrong to conclude that you had no relevant experience. I asked what experience you have that is relevant, and what it is relevant to. You didn't respond to this either, and that is highly suspicious given that this is the central point.

4)

You do not find my arguments weak, you find them intimidating. I know this because people that don't find arguments beneath consideration will actually point out flaws when presented with weak arguments, and you did not (and cannot) do so.

It is clear that you cannot find a flaw in my argument, or you would have offered a compelling counter. It is clear that *you know* you have no argument, or you'd have at least tried a non-compelling counterargument. It is clear that you know that everyone can see this and that you're embarrassing yourself, as you have lost your tone of arrogance ("pshh!") and have retreated to your faux-neutral and overly-formal "it is my hope that the reader can see" tone. Again, there no problem with this tone, it just signals your awareness that your position is untenable. Awareness is good.

The best thing for which you hold onto hope, is that people miss the fact that you can feel the pressure of cognitive dissonance and aren't quite as shameless as you try to make believe. This isn't as obvious as the rest. You do an unusually good of playing that part, which I suppose is an odd sort of compliment. But it does show. In other threads more than here, but it does show. You are human, and you feel shame. I know this, as does anyone who has followed closely in the past. Your responses here viewtopic.php?t=104517&start=30 are particularly clear. The double post, with the second one explicitly asking for my approval, are very strong tells. Your improved charity shortly after that is another sign. Again, I must emphasize that this is a very good thing, and I applaud you for that. You sell yourself short by pretending otherwise.

5)

While your less honorable intents have been overshadowing the rest, if you look past that it is also clear that you are sincere under all that. You genuinely desire to be able to have conversations about hypnosis and epistemology, and you genuinely feel that your contributions ought to have merit. I know because we managed to have a very productive and mutually respectful conversation last thread until I was a bit blunt with one of my points to hold you to your own standards of "not needing things sugar coated". It likely came off as if the only reason I was talking to you respectfully was to lure you into exposing your hypocrisy so I could laugh at your expense. I promise that this is not the case. I decided to drive the point home because at the time you had been harassing another member here about standards which you were not meeting yourself, and I saw one of your posts as returning to deliberate intellectual dishonesty. In hindsight I think that was probably genuine effort, and that any residual intellectual dishonesty was probably unintentional, so for that I genuinely apologize. Misinterpreting well-intentioned effort as deliberate misconduct is a serious f***up, and not one that I take lightly. I can't promise that it won't happen again, but I can promise that I am more careful about that now, especially with you. I'm sorry.

I'm aware that you disavow many of the presuppositions in the preceding paragraphs, so feel free to either disavow them or ignore them as you please. If you'd like to get back to the object level discussion of distractions in hypnosis, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on how those papers relate, exactly, and why only "rythmic" disturbances could possibly be utilized.
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#13

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:48 am

jimmyh wrote:I'm aware that you disavow many of the presuppositions in the preceding paragraphs, so feel free to either disavow them or ignore them as you please.


Given the presuppositions are irrelevant, they can be ignored. The presuppositions hold no relevance regarding the OP’s experience of random noises of varying intensities being “utilized” in an effort to focus attention.

If you'd like to get back to the object level discussion of distractions in hypnosis, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on how those papers relate, exactly, and why only "rythmic" disturbances could possibly be utilized.

Those papers you cite. What's the connection, exactly?


Those papers, demonstrate why what the OP experienced cannot be “utilized.” The papers are why the OP should ask for a full refund of their £200. They are why the OP should not accept the hypnotist’s explanation that their level of “noise sensitivity” is the failure, rather than the hypnotist’s failure to understand how cognitive load, selective attention, working memory, and auditory distractions actually work.

A bit off topic, but still interesting as it relates to sensory distractions. Have you ever wondered why people sometimes close their eyes when trying to remember something?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4123724/
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#14

Postby jimmyh » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:57 am

Those papers, demonstrate why what the OP experienced cannot be “utilized.”


How though? If those papers were studying efforts to use hypnotic suggestion as a way to minimize the detrimental effects of distractions in order to increase suggestibility or performance on cognitive tasks, then the connection would be fairly straight forward. Since they don't even mention the word "hypnosis", it's unclear what you see the connection to be. How does what they are saying relate to attempts to induce hypnosis and create useful changes in the presence of auditory distractions? How do you rule out the idea that hypnosis doesn't give people "super powers" that allow them to manage distractions in ways that do not show up in studies that don't test hypnosis?

This study, for example, suggests that this is the case. They found that hypnosis can be used to dissociate from pain without tying up cognitive resources in the same way that dealing with the pain without hypnosis did. That doesn't prove that the same thing will hold in the specific situation we're talking about, but it sure seems to suggest so. The main differences seem to be 1) they used pain instead of sound as the distraction, and 2) they gave their non-hypnotized "control" group instructions on how to manage the pain instead of just leaving them to their own devices. The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis lists several more studies that reached the same conclusion, which I can cite if you're interested.
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