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hynosis - any way to explain scientifically?

Posted on 2011-03-05
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how would you explain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1tx0PxJeO4

thanks
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Question by:anushahanna
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TommySzalapski earned 375 total points
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Hypnosis is just psychology. The person being hypnotized has to believe it will work or it will not. Some people are basically immune to hypnosis, others are quite easy to hypnotize.
http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/a/hypnosis.htm
The people who are easy to hypnotize are usually very affected by placebo. If you think something is happening to your mind or body, and you really believe it, it actually makes it somewhat true.
There's a lot of psychology studying such things. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo
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by:Neil Russell
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"How would you explain....."

Well one explination could be that you are watching a stage show....  Some people believe that wrestling is live and real! That they really DO fight and try to beat the other guy to death!

I fit into the Sceptic branch of science.
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by:TommySzalapski
TommySzalapski earned 375 total points
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Even as a scientist and skeptic, you no doubt accept the well documented fact that placebo medications are often incredibly effective. This is a strong demonstration that what the mind believes (in some cases) become true in the body. Placebo doesn't work well on broken bones, but it apparently works well against Irritable Bowel Syndrome even when the patients know it's fake (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20026483-10391704.html).
Here's another good discussion on placebo
https://www.socialtext.net/wired-mag/index.cgi?why_do_placebos_work
So, clearly, the mental affects the physical. Another good discussion here, specifically mentions real physical results
http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5585
This placebo affect is why hypnotism can actually work.
Now, again, some people (especially skeptics like Neilsr and I) are practically immune to hypnosis because of the very fact that you must believe it will work or it will not. Also, many stage hypnotists flagrantly cheat by having people secretly on their staff pretend to be hypnotized.
Perhaps the most important skill for an aspiring hypnotist is to be able to separate the skeptics from those who can be hypnotized easily so you know who to pull up on stage.
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by:anushahanna
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OK- so you feel it is 100% placebo or staged?

has hypnosis ever been 'exposed', especially that it was pre-planned and staged?
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by:TommySzalapski
TommySzalapski earned 375 total points
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OK- so you feel it is 100% placebo or staged?
Yes. But keep in mind that 'placebo' does not mean 'fake.' It means that what the mind believes to be true actually becomes true in the body. So people really do get hypnotized, but whether or not it can happen to you is up to your mind.

has hypnosis ever been 'exposed', especially that it was pre-planned and staged?
This link is long but good.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_hypnosis
Many stage hypnotists have been proven to be cheating. Most of the time when something is done on stage, the performer takes certain measures to guarantee that it won't get messed up. So hypnotism does work, but on stage it's often faked. Also, when you know you're on stage and everyone wants to see you do something, you do it (or at least many people do. I'm the type of person that would try my best to mess it up. That's why the hypnotist has to know who to pick). Again, that may be the most important skill - being able to pick out who will cooperate.
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by:anushahanna
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thanks a lot Tom.
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