A componential approach to individual differences in hypnotizability

Amanda J. Barnier*, Devin B. Terhune, Vince Polito, Erik Z. Woody

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    Although responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions (hypnotizability) typically is conceptualized and studied as a singular homogeneous capability, numerous lines of evidence suggest instead that it is a hierarchically structured cognitive capacity comprising a core superordinate ability and ancillary subordinate component abilities. After reviewing current approaches to the measurement of hypnotizability and componential approaches to other cognitive capabilities, we highlight outstanding questions in the field and argue for a componential approach to the study of hypnotizability. Such an approach assumes that hypnotizability is not a unitary construct but is rooted in multiple subabilities that interact to give rise to individual differences that are expressed within specific contexts. We revisit previous componential work on hypnotizability and propose a series of steps by which a componential model can be more rigorously interrogated and integrated with contemporary advances in our understanding of human cognition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)130-140
    Number of pages11
    JournalPsychology of consciousness : theory, research, and practice
    Issue number2
    Early online date29 Nov 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


    • hypnosis
    • hypnotizability
    • componential approach
    • suggestion
    • suggestibility


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