An investigation into the relationship between an individual’s level of hypnotic suggestibility and their ability to engage in ideomotor action

Laura-Jayne Bellerby


The relationship between hypnotic suggestibility and a propensity to engage in ideomotor action was investigated in 36 participants from the city of Plymouth, 24 of whom were psychology undergraduates from the University of Plymouth. Each participant carried out three hypnotic suggestibility tests before carrying out two computer-based ideomotor action tasks: a Brass finger-release task and an action-planning task. It was found that the higher a person’s hypnotic suggestibility, the faster they completed ideomotor tasks such as compatible trials in the Brass task (r = +.37, n = 27, p < .05) and the inverse action planning trials (r = +.35, n = 27, p <.05). This suggests that the reason why some people are more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion than others is because they are able to engage more readily in ideomotor action.

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