Social cognitive theories of hypnosis

Steven Jay Lynn, Irving Kirsch, Michael N. Hallquist

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Beginning with an overview of the social cognitive perspective, this article reviews the social cognitive theories of hypnosis. Hypnosis theories are often dichotomized into state and nonstate theories, with social cognitive theories being the most prominent exemplars of nonstate theories. However, neither state nor nonstate theories of hypnosis are monolithic as there are a number of differently nuanced social cognitive theories of hypnosis. Although this article does not deny the possibility that reliable physiological markers of an altered state of hypnosis may one day be found, and underscore the importance of identifying the psychophysiological substrates of hypnosis, it argues that the claim that neurophysiological data resolve the altered state issue is not warranted by the available evidence. Furthermore it explains how social cognitive theorists have studied and conceptualized hypnotic phenomena that traditionally have been attributed to an altered state of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, and Practice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743733
ISBN (Print)9780198570097
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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