Hypnosis and belief: A review of hypnotic delusions

Michael H. Connors*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Hypnosis can create temporary, but highly compelling alterations in belief. As such, it can be used to model many aspects of clinical delusions in the laboratory. This approach allows researchers to recreate features of delusions on demand and examine underlying processes with a high level of experimental control. This paper reviews studies that have used hypnosis to model delusions in this way. First, the paper reviews studies that have focused on reproducing the surface features of delusions, such as their high levels of subjective conviction and strong resistance to counter-evidence. Second, the paper reviews studies that have focused on modelling underlying processes of delusions, including anomalous experiences or cognitive deficits that underpin specific delusional beliefs. Finally, the paper evaluates this body of research as a whole. The paper discusses advantages and limitations of using hypnotic models to study delusions and suggests some directions for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-43
    Number of pages17
    JournalConsciousness and cognition
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


    • Belief
    • Belief formation
    • Delusion
    • Hypnosis
    • Hypnotic analogue
    • Hypnotic suggestion
    • Instrumental hypnosis
    • Review


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