Shifting self, shifting memory: Testing the self-memory system model with hypnotic identity delusions

Rochelle E. Cox*, Amanda J. Barnier

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    According to Conway's self-memory system (SMS) model, autobiographical memories may be facilitated, inhibited, or misremembered to be consistent with current self. In 3 experiments, the authors tested this by hypnotically suggesting an identity delusion and indexing whether this shift in self produced a corresponding shift in autobiographical memory. High hypnotizable participants displayed a compelling identity delusion and elicited specific autobiographical events that they could justify when challenged. These memories were reinterpretations of previous experiences that supported the suggested identity. Importantly, autobiographical memories that were no longer consistent with the hypnotically deluded self were less accessible than other memories. The authors discuss these findings in the context of Conway's SMS model and propose 2 accounts of autobiographical remembering during hypnotic and clinical delusions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)416-462
    Number of pages47
    JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
    Volume61
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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