Posts Tagged ‘stereotype’

Why the Media Almost Never Gets Hypnosis Right”

Stereotypes about hypnosis abound in the media: for example, how, under hypnosis, you can be made to do whatever the hypnotist directs; how the hypnotized subject has no free will or ability to resist the hypnotist; how people can be hypnotized without their knowledge and against their will. The stereotypical mental images, too, abound, both about the hypnotist and the subject: the irresistible hypnotist, whose eyes people avoid because they don’t want to look into them and be instantly hypnotized1; the sinister criminal (usually male) hypnotist who manipulates their subjects for criminal purposes2; the sensual hypnotist (usually female) who manipulates their subjects for sexual purposes3; the incompetent hypnotist who gives the wrong suggestions at the wrong time4; the unsuspecting subject5; the weak-willed subject who can’t resist the hypnotist6; the ditzy subject who can’t follow any suggestions correctly7; the mistakenly-hypnotized subject who complies with a post-hypnotic suggestion at the most inappropriate time8. Even the stereotypical visual images abound: swirling spirals, especially in the eyes of the entranced subject; swinging watches or sparkling crystals; blank, staring eyes (especially in animé where the eyes become completely flat disks) and even blanker voices; people sleepwalking with their arms outstretched.

Any practicing hypnotist or even someone just acquainted with the subject will say that these are exactly what they’re described to be: stereotypes, no more real than any other stereotype. So then, why do they keep appearing, over and over in the media? Hasn’t the hypnosis community been trying to change these stereotypes for at least sixty years, if not longer? What is causing these stereotypes to remain among the public consciousness?

⇒ Continue reading “Why the Media Almost Never Gets Hypnosis Right””

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