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Hypnosis and interrogative suggestibility

Hypnosis and interrogative suggestibility

Personality & Individual Differences 9(3): 549-558

An attempt was made to induce memory errors through the use of misleading questioning in hypnosis. Subjects heard a short newslike story and gave initial free recall for the story details, then 4 days later were given three free recall trials: prior to hypnosis, following hypnotic induction and suggestion for enhanced memory, and after hypnosis was terminated. During hypnosis subjects were also twice interrogated with either misleading or objective questions for the story details. Accurate memory increased over the three free recall trials for all subjects regardless of hypnotizability. In recognition testing, subjects given misleading questions during the interrogation gave fewer correct responses, had more errors-in-fact as well as forgetting, and showed an increase in yielding to interrogative suggestibility over trials than subjects given objective questions. All subjects subsequently confabulated more information on the final awake free recall trial as a result of errors introduced during hypnotic interrogation process. These results help to clarify the inherent dangers in relying on hypnosis to enhance memory.

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Accession: 005604794

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1016/0191-8869(88)90152-3

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