Need for cognition, need for affect and their relationship to hypnotic susceptibility
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Previous research on hypnosis has revealed that imaginative involvements, absorption, and fantasy proneness predicted hypnotic susceptibility. Attempts at examining personality correlates of hypnotic susceptibility have not only fallen short they have come to a halt. Because hypnosis is a tool that can aid and assist individuals in a myriad of areas, delineating the personality traits and characteristics associated with susceptibility will provide practicing hypnotists, clinicians, and psychologists with an even greater understanding of who is most receptive to it. One area that might shed light on this may be research examining how individuals differ in their susceptibility to persuasion. Because the marketing and advertising process attempts to focus an individual’s attention on a product, and then delivers a persuasive message; the persuasion process has been likened to hypnosis. Personality characteristics linked to persuasibility may also be linked to hypnotizability. Two characteristics related to persuasibility are need for cognition and need for affect. The present study examined if there is a relationship between need for cognition and or need for affect and being susceptible to hypnosis. Sixty-nine subjects were administered the need for cognition scale of Cacioppo, Petty, and Kao (1982) and the 26-item need for affect scale of Maio and Esses (2001) to assess these personality characteristics. Following the administration of these two scales, hypnotic susceptibility was measured using the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS) (Shor & Orne, 1962). The results showed no significant correlations between need for cognition or a need for affect and being susceptible to hypnosis. Consistent with previous findings personality does not predict hypnotizability and susceptibility to hypnosis is likely to be an aptitude that some individuals possess more than others.
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