Posthypnotic amnesia for material learned before hypnosis

Richard A. Bryant*, Amanda J. Barnier, David Mallard, Rachel Tibbits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of a suggestion for posthypnotic amnesia on material learned either before or during hypnosis was investigated across 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, very high, high, and low hypnotizable participants learned a word list either before or immediately after a hypnotic induction. During hypnosis, participants were given a suggestion for posthypnotic amnesia for the word list. After hypnosis, they were tested on recall, word-fragment, and word-recognition tasks. Experiment 2 replicated and extended Experiment 1 through application of the real-simulating paradigm. Across the 2 experiments, there was no difference in the performance of participants who learned the word list either before or during hypnosis. Although amnesia on direct memory measures was associated with high hypnotizability (Experiment 1), an explanation based on demand characteristics could not be excluded (Experiment 2). The implications of these findings for the use of posthypnotic amnesia as a laboratory analog of disorders of autobiographical memory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

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