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Психология CAN HYPNOSIS ENHANCE RECALL
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CAN HYPNOSIS FORCE PEOPLE

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TO ACT AGAINST THEIR WILL?

Researchers Martin Orne and Frederick Evans (1965) demonstrated that hypnotized subjects could be induced not only to perform an apparently dangerous act (to briefly dip one hand in fuming acid) but then to throw the “acid” in a research assistant’s face. When interviewed a day later they exhibited no memory of their acts and emphatically denied they would follow orders to commit such actions.

Had hypnosis given the hypnotist a special power to control these people against their will? To find our, Orne and Evans included a control group in their experiment – six subjects who were pretending to have been hypnotized. The laboratory experimenter was unaware of their presence and treated all subjects in the same manner. The result? In this situation, all six of the unhypnotized subjects performed the same acts as the hypnotized ones.

So an authoritative person in a legitimate context can induce people – hypnotized or not – to perform some unusual acts. Hypnosis researcher Nicholas Spanos put it somewhat more succinctly: “The overt behaviors of hypnotic subjects are well within normal limits”.

Similarly, another hypnosis researcher, Eugene Levitt reports that most hypnotized subjects can be induced to cut up an American flag or deface a Bible, but that people asked to simulate hypnosis are no less likely to perform the same acts.

As Orne put it 20 years after his acid experiments, “Hypnosis turns out to be a powerful way to alter experience, but not a powerful way to alter behavior”.

OF FORGOTTEN EVENTS?

Can hypnosis enable people to relive earlier experiences? To recall kindergarten classmates? To retrieve forgotten or suppressed details of a crime? Should testimony obtained under hypnosis be admissible in court?

Most people believe that our past experience is all “in there”, that everything that has happened to us is recorded in our brains and could be recalled of only we could break through our own defenses. Testimonies to this come from age regression demonstrations, in which subjects supposedly relive experiences from their childhood. Age-regressed people act as they believe children would. They may feel childlike and may print much as they know 6-year-old would, but they sometimes do so with perfect spelling and typically without any change in their adult brain waves, reflexes and perception.

On a few occasions, the relaxed, focused state of hypnosis has enabled witnesses to produce leads in criminal investigations. On July 15, 1977, 26 children and their bus driver, Ed Ray, were kidnapped and forced into an abandoned trailer truck buried 6 feet underground. After their rescue, Ray was put under hypnosis and was able to recall all but one digit of the kidnapper’s license plate. With this crucial information, the abductors were tracked down. Although this anecdote is atypical, most hypnosis researchers agree that hypnosis may have value – or at least do little harm – when used as an investigative tool.

Researchers have time and again found that hypnotically refreshed memories tend to combine fact with fiction – findings that have caused a growing list of state courts to curtail testimony derived from hypnosis. Hypnosis typically either fails to boost the recall of memory. When pressed under hypnosis to recall details, perhaps to “zoom in on your visual memory screen,” people will more and more use their imaginations to construct their memories. Thus, previously hypnotized witnesses may end up testifying confidently, and with great conviction, to events they never actually experienced. In short, under hypnosis people recall more – both accurately and inaccurately – and become less able to distinguish the one from the other.


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    Text 6 CAN HYPNOSIS FORCE PEOPLE Text 5 TO ACT AGAINST THEIR WILL? Researchers Martin Orne and Frederick Evans (1965) demonstrated that hypnotized subjects could be induced not only to perform an apparently dangerous act (to briefly dip one hand in fuming acid) but then to throw the “acid” in a research assistant’s face. When interviewed a day later they exhibited no memory of their acts and emphatically denied they would follow orders to commit such actions. Had... [читать подробенее]