Theory of Hypnosis

Mentifex mentifex at
Mon Sep 18 01:59:24 EST 2000

In article <8q46pd$i0i$1 at>,
  "Todd I. Stark" <ToddStark at AOL.COM> wrote:
> Some interesting speculations, though I don't follow it all.
> I'm wondering, what testable hypotheses does it generate
> for human beings ?
Testable hypotheses?  None that I can offer.  It's a way of
looking at hypnosis from the bailiwick of designing an
artificial mind, and of trying to mimic as much human
mental machinery as possible in the AI:

> How do you distinguish the essential variances in
> hypnotic phenomena; degrees of trait-hypnotizability
ATM:  What is trait-hypnotizability?

> and degrees of organismic involvement ?
> What lines of evidence link the simulation to actual
> human behavior in hypnosis ?
The credence that the subject grants to the hypnotist,
actually overruling sensory perceptions, and believing
what the hypnotist suggests rather than what reality is,
are the main "human behaviors" that engender the speculation.

> Most importantly, how does one know when they have
> successfully simulated phenomena that are effectively
> subjective perceptions such as the perception
> of involuntariness in tests of imaginative suggestibility ?
> The papers don't seem to have too much specifically on these
> topics, unless I missed something in skimming them ?
The paper on hypnosis is extremely brief, but if you follow
the link to the "dreams" paper above, you will see a diagrammatic
portrayal of how an AI mind could experience a dream.
If a theory of mind is going to be comprehensive, it
ought to at least make a stab at explaining hypnosis.

However, since I mentioned this thread to an acquaintance
with a background in psychometric testing, he has told me
that my original post on hypnosis says nothing new.
I thought that by posting an explanation of robot dreams
a week ago in news:bionet.neuroscience and by then expanding
the theory/speculation to address hypnosis, I was presenting
a tight little idea-bundle of hypnosis being a dream state
expanded to include external reality as mediated by the
overriding suggestive authority of the hypnotist, but,
once again, if such ideas are nothing new, I stand corrected.

Arthur T. Murray    mentifex at    author of Mind.Forth
> kind regards,
> Todd
> Mentifex <mentifex at> wrote in message
> news:8pv87p$1oo$1 at
> > A theory of hypnosis is a by-product of a project in robot AI at
> > (q.v.):

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