Modeling erotomania delusion in the laboratory with hypnosis

Jillian E. Attewell, Rochelle E. Cox*, Amanda J. Barnier, Robyn Langdon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Erotomania is the delusional belief that one is loved from afar by another person (the target). This study used hypnosis as a novel cognitive neuropsychological research tool to model erotomania. The authors developed 2 versions of a hypnotic erotomania suggestion and tested their impact by asking subjects to recall and interpret a story featuring ambiguous scenarios. They also challenged the delusion by asking subjects to justify their beliefs. The hypnotic erotomania suggestions successfully recreated the features of the clinical delusion for many high hypnotizable subjects. They believed that the target loved them, interpreted ambiguous information consistent with this belief and confabulated evidence in service of their delusion. Some also resisted all challenges to their delusion. These features are strikingly similar to clinical cases and highlight the value of using hypnosis to model clinical delusions. The authors also discuss some limitations of this approach.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-30
    Number of pages30
    JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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