Experiencing and testing hypnotic anaesthesia

Kevin M. McConkey*, Gemma L. Gladstone, Amanda J. Barnier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


High- and low-hypnotizable subjects ('Highs' and 'Lows') were given a suggestion for hypnotic anaesthesia in the palm of their left hand. Their responses to the suggestion were investigated through verbal ratings of the impact of stimuli of different strengths (aesthesiometer), through a dial method of obtaining continuous, concurrent ratings of the degree of anaesthesia, and through retrospective verbal ratings of subjects' success of and belief in anaesthesia. The stimulus ratings of subjects indicated that they acknowledged a change in the strength of the aesthesiometer across two tests. However, the dial ratings showed that there was no corresponding shift in their experience of anaesthesia. The retrospective ratings of success and belief showed a complex pattern of association with the stimulus ratings and the dial ratings. The findings are discussed in terms of the theoretical and methodological issues involved in drawing inferences about experiencing and testing hypnotic anaesthesia, in particular, and about external and internal influences on hypnotic phenomena more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Hypnosis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthesia
  • Analgesia
  • Assessment
  • Experience
  • Hypnosis
  • Hypnotizability


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