3. Definitions

The word hypnosis has, for a long time, been used uncritically to characterize both the methods utilized by the hypnotizer as well as the effectiveness of these methods experienced in the subject. Due to this obvious ambiguity, the definition of hypnosis must, by today’s standards, be divided into two parts: (1) hypnosis-as-procedure, and (2) hypnosis-as-product [Nash and Barnier (2008)].

Hypnosis-as-procedure encompasses the framework that the methods of hypnosis are employed within. In other words, hypnosis-as-procedure defines the techniques employed by the hypnotizer to make it likely that the subject will experience hypnosis-as-product, as well as separating hypnosis-as-procedure from other intrapersonal and interpersonal interactions.

According to the Division 30 of the American Psychological Association, or “APA Division 30”, hypnosis-as-procedure is defined as: “One person (the subject) is guided by another (the hypnotist) to respond to suggestions for changes in subjective experience, and alterations in perception, sensation, emotion, thought or behavior” [Green et al. (2005)].

Furthermore, the APA Division 30 states that, in order for this process to be called hypnosis, the guidance mentioned above needs to be preceded by 2 events: (1) an introduction, and (2) an induction.

3.1.1. Introduction
The introduction is an informative appeal from the hypnotizer to the subject, acquainting the subject with the event he or she is about to take part in, and that this event will involve hypnotic suggestions for imaginative experiences. In effect, this introduction to hypnosis is the defining difference between hypnosis-as-procedure, and non-hypnotic suggestibility such as social manipulation and placebo.

3.1.2. Induction
Once the introduction has taken place, the induction is the first actual hypnotic suggestion from the hypnotizer to the subject in which the hypnotizer invites the subject to use his or her imagination. Ideally, this induction of hypnosis should have been the first suggestion that the subject would respond to regardless of the number of suggestions preceding it. However, due to the variability of responses to hypnosis-as-procedure, the induction may only be defined as the first prolonged suggestion independent of result – and, thus, hypnosis-as-product also needs to be defined.

Hypnosis-as-product encompasses the subjective experiences in the subject in response to hypnosis-as-procedure. In other words, hypnosis-as-product defines the thoughts and perceptions of the subject if hypnosis-as-procedure proves successful.

In the classic case, these subjective experiences are associated with a degree of subjective conviction bordering delusion, and an experienced involuntariness bordering compulsion. [Kihlstrom (2008)].

For the subject to experience hypnosis-as-product, the subject needs to exhibit two prerequisite characteristics: (1) aptitude, and (2) attitude [Barnier and McConkey (2004)].

3.2.1. Aptitude
Aptitude, or “hypnotizability”, is the innate ability of the subject to attain hypnosis-as-product. Due to aptitude being innate, it is stable across time, and independent of the wordings of the procedure, the length of the procedure, the experience level of hypnotist and the perceived prestige of the hypnotist [Piccione et al. (1989)].

3.2.2. Attitude
Attitude is the thoughts the subject has regarding hypnosis-as-product, as well as the adaptive approach her or she takes towards attaining this experience. A subject with a positive attitude towards hypnosis has a bigger chance of attaining hypnosis-as-product than a subject with a negative attitude [Spanos (1991)]. Due to attitude being adaptive, subjects can be conditioned to develop a more positive attitude towards hypnosis, and, thus, a bigger chance of experiencing hypnosis-as-product [Gorassini and Spanos (1999)].

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