Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP)

The Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) was developed by Herbert Spiegal for clinical use. Like any clinical instrument, it is designed to be individually administered. The main advantage claimed for it is its speed of administration. It expresses Hypnotic susceptibility on a 5-point scale and requires only about 5 minutes to administer. Like all of the foregoing instruments, this one is based on the induction of a Hypnotic state, but the induction procedure never uses the word hypnosis, trance or sleep, and in this sense it is an indirect procedure that might be useful with a patient fearful of being hypnotized

Scoring criteria are based on the amount of roll produced in a subject requested to roll his eyes upward and then slowly close his lids, arm levitation, posthypnotic response, amnesia, and subjective reports. Although the test manual does not give either reliability or validity data, or clear scoring instructions, this information is published elsewhere by Spiegal (1977)

While the reliability coefficient reported by Spiegel seems too low to make this instrument a measure of choice in experimental work, it may be adequate of susceptibility is more important than obtaining an accurate or the most sensitive measure possible

Standard hypnotic Arm Levitation Induction and Test  (SHALIT)

Like the HIP, the SHALIT is a brief test designed for clinical usage. It scores the amount coefficient of 0.88, and it correlates 0.63 with a 10-item abbreviation of the SHSS form A. Thus, it is probably a useful scale for clinical work although not sensitive enough for experimental usage because it is limited to a single factor measurement (an ideomotor task)

Barber Suggestibility Scale (BSS)

Unlike any of the foregoing instruments, the Barber Suggestibility Scale does not depend on the induction of a hypnotic state under standardized conditions. It does not purport to be a test of hypnotic susceptibility but of suggestibility, the ability of a subject to produce hypnotic-like behavior whether or not previously subjected to a hypnotic induction procedure. In order to understand the need for this scale and why it was developed, it is necessary to describe BarberÕs theoretical orientation toward hypnosis.

Barber believes that the concept of a hypnotic state is not useful in the study of hypnotic phenomena. He advocates (as did Hull before him) that psychologists should study what precedent conditions (independent variables) are necessary and sufficient to produce responses ( dependent variables), such as catalepsy, analgesia, hallucinations, and so on, that are normally labeled hypnotic behavior. For example, he notes that in most hypnotic induction procedures, at least four specific kinds of independent variables are confounded under the label hypnotic induction:

  1. The situation is defined to the subject as hypnosis
  2. Suggestions of drowsiness, eye closure, and sleep are made
  3. The subject is told that it will be easy to respond to suggestions
  4. The subject is motivated to make the suggested responses

Barber has investigated the effect of each of these factors individually in producing the kinds of behavior commonly labeled as hypnotic. Barber calls instructions including items 3 and 4 only task motivational; he finds that by themselves they are just as effective as hypnotic induction in eliciting hypnotic like behavior on the BSS. Because of his theoretical and methodological orientation, Barber and his students like to put quotes around the terms hypnosis and hypnotic, leading some of his critics to conclude, unjustifiably, that his position denies the existence of hypnotic phenomena. This criticism is inaccurate; his position is not that the phenomena are not real but that the hypnotic state is not a useful explanatory concept to account for them.

Since Barbers theory holds that hypnotic phenomena are produced by some antecedent events that should be isolated, it follows that a test of hypnotic-like behavior-one that does not depend on the prior induction of a hypnotic state-is needed to test these factors. Hence, the BSS can be used to elicit hypnotic-like responses either with or without a prior induction procedure.

As a result of his research, Barber reports that in addition to task-motivational instructions, the tone of the operator’s voice and the subjects attitudes and motives (due to pretest instructions and what the subject is told regarding the purpose of the study) affect results on the test. Variables that do not seem to affect suggestibility measures are whether the subject’s eyes are open or closed, whether instructions are given personally or by tape recording, and the personality of the subject as measured by most standardized test instruments.

The types of items on the BSS are similar to those given on standardized tests of susceptibility; the main difference is that the instructions make no mention of hypnosis. Items tested include the following:

  1. Arm Lowering
  2. Arm Levitation
  3. Hand Lock
  4. Hallucination of thirst
  5. Verbal inhibition
  6. Body immobility
  7. Posthypnotic-like response
  8. Selective amnesia

Following the test and the objective scoring, the subject is asked if he really felt the effect suggested or just went along to please the examiner. The subject is given a subjective score of 1 for each item that he says he really experienced. Thus, subjects get both objectives and subjective scores on this scale, each having a maximum value of 8 (Barber and Wilson, 1978-1979).