Moving Research Forward

Jensen, M. P., Jamieson, G. A., et al (2017). New directions in hypnosis research: strategies for advancing the cognitive and clinical neuroscience of hypnosis. Neuroscience of Consciousness, Volume 2017, Issue 1, nix004. DOI: 10.1093/nc/nix004

Five key recommendations for moving the field of hypnosis research forward were identified … First, there was consensus that while the assessment of hypnotic suggestibility may not be needed in clinical settings, and perhaps when conducting some clinical research, laboratory researchers should strongly consider the assessment of hypnotic suggestibility in their studies, to help ensure that they are indeed studying hypnotic phenomenon.

Researchers should strongly consider including participants who score in the middle range of hypnotic suggestibility in their studies, given evidence that these individuals may differ in important qualitative ways from both highs and lows.

Hypnosis researchers should also give thought to expanding their designs, when indicated and appropriate, to more properly dissociate the roles of inductions and specific suggestions.

Finally, two specific suggestions for helping to move the field forward include (i) the use of data sharing, and (ii) redirecting resources away from contrasting state and non-state positions toward research examining the neurophysiological underpinnings of hypnotic phenomena.