Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Anne Perkins

Second Advisor

John Downs

Third Advisor

Ann Bertagnolli

Abstract

In research and applied settings, the use of hypnosis to reduce the intensity of pain has been well-documented. This experiment was performed to determine the effect of hypnotic induction on the perception of pain and to establish whether or not the researcher could learn to effectively hypnotize subjects. Nineteen college students volunteered to be hypnotized or to participate as a control subject. In the experimental situation, subjects were exposed to hypnotic techniques and then pricked with an acupuncture needle. The control subjects were exposed to a reading on hypnosis and then pricked with an acupuncture needle. All subjects indicated their perception of pain on a pain perception rating scale. Data were classified into pain, no pain categories. Chi-square analysis (df=3, x2=9.6) indicated that hypnotized subjects experienced pain less frequently (p<.05) than non-hypnotized subjects.

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