An evaluation of Woodard's theory of Perceptually Oriented Hypnosis

Steven Jay Lynn, Joshua Knox, Oliver Fassler, Michael Hallquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article evaluates Woodard's theory of Perceptually Oriented Hypnosis, a welcome addition to theories of hypnosis that emphasize the centrality of subjective experiences in understanding and studying hypnosis. With a focus on subjective experience, Woodard's account of perceptually oriented hypnosis is based on elements of humanistic, client-centered, and perceptual psychology. However, we contend that improvements in the operational clarity and coverage of the theory are necessary to optimize its utility and heuristic value. We also argue that it is important for Perceptually Oriented Hypnosis to address hypnotic phenomena, e.g., individual differences in suggestibility, involuntary responding to suggestions, stability of responding over time, widely recognized as essential to understanding hypnotic experience and responding. With these refinements, we believe that Woodard's theory would have a greater potential to enrich our understanding of both the unique experiences of individuals who undergo hypnosis and of hypnosis in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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