Dissociations and dissociation theory in hypnosis: comment on Kirsch and Lynn (1998)

Psychol Bull. 1998 Mar;123(2):186-91. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.123.2.186.


I. Kirsch and S. J. Lynn's (1998) critique of the neodissociation theory of divided consciousness fails to consider evidence of dissociations between explicit and implicit memory and perception in hypnosis. Contrary to their conclusions, evidence that the rate of hidden observer response (like other hypnotic responses) varies with the wording of instructions does not contradict neodissociation theory; rather, it underscores the fact that hypnosis entails social interaction as well as alterations in conscious awareness. Neodissociation and sociocognitive theories of hypnosis complement each other. Each draws attention to aspects of the experience of hypnosis that the other neglects.

MeSH terms

  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Dissociative Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Psychological Theory