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October 2021

Hypnosis, context effects, and the recall of early autobiographical memories

Journal/Book: Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 1999; 47: 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. Sage Publications Inc. 284-300.

Abstract: This study found that attempts to recall earliest memories were strongly influenced by the testing context. It showed that a brief 3-minute self-hypnosis experience, coupled with the insinuation that hypnosis improves memory, resulted in earlier autobiographical memory reports (M = 29.5 months) than instructions for relaxation (M = 37.9 months) or counting/visualization (M = 48.9 months). Inquiries about earliest memories across 5 age ranges showed that the hypnotic context resulted in a higher proportion of participants reporting a memory at or before 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age. Nearly 40% of the ''hypnotized'' participants reported a memory for an event that reportedly occurred at or before 12 months of age. A brief discussion of context effects and demand characteristics associated with hypnosis and memory follows.

Note: Article Green JP, Ohio State Univ, Dept Psychol, 4240 Campus Dr, Lima,OH 45804 USA

Keyword(s): CHILDHOOD MEMORIES; ACCURACY; EVENTS


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