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HarryPotterFreak's avatar

Why doesn't hypnosis work?

Asked by HarryPotterFreak (163 points ) July 4th, 2012

I don’t know why, but I think it’s because I think too much, I can’t be hypnotized. It just doesn’t work on me. Does anyone know why I can’t be hypnotized?

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Ask your subconscious. The best subjects (like me) are receptive and eager to cooperate. I set the analytical piece of my brain aside.

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@gailcalled I can’t do that though! You see, males have thought boxes. They have to open one thought, and then close it before thinking another thought, among thier boxes includes a nothing box. Females have thought strands, they jump from one strand to another, to another, to another. Females rarely have nothing boxes. I do not have a nothing box.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it’s your subconscious resistance. I have effectively used Hypnosis to stop smoking and for relaxation, stress reduction, works like a charm for me. You have to be willing to surrender fully, and, not to question your intelligence, but….it has been shown that more intelligent people are the most receptive which may have to do with being more open minded on a subconscious level and believing in the validity of some alternative therapies.

gailcalled's avatar

And the documentation for male thought boxes and female thought strands is where? What odd language.

jerv's avatar

@HarryPotterFreak That assumes that all people are both purely one gender or the other with no blending, and that everybody is neurotypical. When you throw things like gender dysphoria, autism, ADD/ADHD, and such into the mix, generalized statements are inaccurate at best.

Personally, hypnosis doesn’t work for me since my mind is a rapidly moving target, often going in multiple directions at once.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Everybody here has been hypnotized. You know when you get too caught up in a video game or a TV show and you lose track of time? That’s hypnosis. Hypnosis is neither a state of relaxation nor some-weird-mind-control-thing, it is a state of extreme concentration to the point that the person stops paying attention to anything else.

The most widely known form of hypnosis is the kind that is intentional, when there is a “hypnotist”. In this case, in order for the subject to be hypnotized, he must both be willing to be hypnotized and unafraid of hypnosis. People who do not believe in hypnosis are also not able to be hypnotized.

To answer the question, the reason you are not able to be hypnotized may be simply because you are thinking too much about how you are not able to be hypnotized. Another reason is if you are thinking about “what if he makes be do [insert embarrassing stunt]” and are afraid of being hypnotized. The whole way hypnosis works is by having all of your concentration focused on the hypnotist, if you are paying attention to other stuff such as fear, then hypnosis is impossible.

Some other things:
A large percentage of stage hypnosis is just that: staged. Online hypnosis videos are even more likely to be fake. Anything that involves the stereotypical swinging watch is fake, as is anything about instant inductions (real hypnotic inductions take a lot of time).

PhiNotPi's avatar

@HarryPotterFreak That sounds very similar to what is discussed in this comedy skit, so I don’t think it has any sort of scientific validity.

Note: The link was copied from an iDevice version of YouTube video, I’m not sure if it works on home computers.

JLeslie's avatar

I second what @PhiNotPi said. I’ll add another common hypnotic state. When you drive on a regular route and suddenly realize your exit is coming up having passed many exits without really being aware.

gailcalled's avatar

@PhiNotPi: Not a very funny comedy skit but certainly the “scientific” source of @HarryPotterFreak‘s dubious observations. Good catch.

OpryLeigh's avatar

The one time someone tried to hypnotise me (to help with anxiety related issues) they were unsuccesful. They had a go on my brother (and my dad, I think) and it seemed to work so not sure why it didn’t work on me but I was quite cynical about the whole thing so maybe that’s why. My brother seemed to embrace it.

gailcalled's avatar

Oh. Was that the treatise published by the National Institute of Science?

HarryPotterFreak's avatar

@gailcalled I don’t think so….

kimchi's avatar

Has it done by a proffesional? Or your brother??? If it has done by someone who is… let’s see… not trained, then it probably won’t work. If it’s done by a proffesional, sometimes, it doesn’t work on some people, and it’s okay! Why don’t you ask your hypnotist why it doesn’t work. As… well… for me, my relative tried to do it to me, and it did not work at all! So, yeah. I hoped this helped, and good luck!

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