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Hypnotic analogues of delusions: the role of delusion proneness and schizotypy

By Michael H. Connors, Peter Halligan, Amanda J. Barnier, Robyn Langdon, Rochelle E. Cox, Jocelyn Elliott, Vince Polito and Max Coltheart


There is compelling evidence that hypnotic suggestions can be used to model clinical delusions in the laboratory. In two studies, we investigated the role that personality factors, delusion proneness and schizotypy, played in shaping such hypnotic models. In the first study, 398 participants were screened on measures of hypnotisability, delusion proneness, and schizotypy. Hypnotisability correlated with both delusion proneness and the cognitive–perceptual subscale of schizotypy. In the second study, 22 high and 20 low hypnotisable participants were given suggestions to model two content specific delusions: Frégoli (the belief that strangers are actually known people in disguise) and mirrored-self misidentification (the belief that one’s reflection in the mirror is a stranger). Whereas high delusion proneness predicted which high hypnotisable participants responded to the suggestion for Frégoli delusion, hypnotisability scores predicted which high hypnotisable participants responded to the suggestion for mirrored-self misidentification. No lows responded to either suggestion. We discuss the implications of these findings for hypnotic models of delusions

Topics: BF, RC0321
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:
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