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date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explains the primary phenomenology of hypnosis with two new accounts of how hypnosis happens. First, it discusses in more detail the phenomena to be explained and the questions that have been addressed. Then, it briefly and selectively reviews previous generations of cognitive theories that have influenced and informed the answers to those questions. This article introduces two new accounts: Dienes and Perner's (2007) cold control theory of hypnosis and Barnier and Mitchell's (2005) discrepancy-attribution theory of hypnotic illusions. Both these accounts have been presented together as they share a number of features, especially their roots in contemporary cognitive psychology. Both of the theoretical accounts that have been presented in this chapter reconsider the role of expectations in hypnosis. And the article argues at least for one of the accounts that hypnotic responses feel like they do, not because they meet expectations, but because they violate them.

Keywords: hypnotic delusion, hypnotic illusion, hypnotic responding, cold control theory, discrepancy-attribution theory

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