Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC

The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC, is located at 675 Route 72 E, Manahawkin, NJ 08050,
Telephone (609)709-2043 and (609) 494-0009.

Driving directions: Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72 E After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Mill Creek Commons.Then, immedately turn right again and go past the Lyceum II Gym. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building,which will be the only building on your right. We are the last office at the end.

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Suggestibility: Exploding the Myth

Suppose you are standing by a newspaper rack one morning, when your eye is caught by the following headlines:
A bolt of fear shoots through you, as you stand rooted to the spot -- until you hear the sound of loud laughter behind you and, turning, you see a friend who works in a print shop. You realize that you have been made the object of a practical joke. Your friend (who may soon become your former friend!) obviously printed up a fake newspaper, and placed it in the rack when he saw you coming.
A practical joke such as this would be based upon suggestion --i.e., presenting an idea in such a way that it is likely to be accepted as literally true, and therefore "real," at least for the moment. In the hypothetical example just mentioned, notice that when such a suggestion is accepted, you respond not merely with your voluntary abilities, such as thinking about whether or not there might still be a place to hide, but with your involuntary abilities as well, such as feeling frightened and all that goes with it. In other words, the "power of suggestion" is rooted in our beliefs and perceptions about reality itself!

It is often said that the two organisms most frequently experimented upon are the laboratory rat and the college sophomore, because of their ready accessibility to researchers. When experiments designed to measure individual differences in responsiveness are designed and carried out in a standardized group setting such as a classroom, suggestibility appears to be a trait of personality. In a typical administration of The Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Suggestibility, perhaps the most widely-used of these measures, in a class of about thirty people, there are there are from one to three high responders who obtain a perfect score of twelve on the test, one or two people who are just sitting there with their eyes open, looking around the room with a mixture of curiosity and boredom, and the rest manifesting varying degrees of responsiveness in between.

Print References
Hull, C. (1933). Hypnosis and Suggestibility. New York: Appleton-Century.

Shor, R, E., & Orne, E. C. (1962). Harvard group scale of hypnotic susceptibility, Form A/  Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (2006). Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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