Orne, M. T., & Evans, F. J. Inadvertent termination of hypnosis with hypnotized and simulating subjects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1966, 14, 61-78

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 1966, Vol. XIV, No. 1, 61-78



Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital and University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: 12 Ss--6 highly hypnotizable, and 6 unhypnotizable but with instructions to simulate hypnosis--were given hypnotic instructions by means of a tape-recording. All Ss had participated in at least 2 previous tape-recorded sessions which took place in the same room, equipped with a one-way screen. The E did not know which Ss were hypnotizable and which had instructions to simulate hypnosis. Continuous measures of subjective hypnotic depth and GSP were recorded to allow E to take the role of technician. After Ss had been hypnotized by the tape-recorder, a light went out, the tape-recorder stopped, and E rushed from the room--apparently in search of a fuse box. The Ss were observed for 30 minutes through the one-way screen after which the current was turned on, and 2 1/2 minutes later E returned. During this time the hypnotic suggestions appeared to lose their effectiveness, and the hypnotized Ss gradually awoke. However, 5 of 6 simulating Ss behaved as though they were in hypnosis throughout. On inquiry, it was determined that 5 of 6 deeply hypnotized Ss assumed that the fuse really had blown, whereas 5 of 6 simulating Ss perceived the "accident" to be part of the experiment. Because of the behavior of simulating Ss, the theoretical implications of the study are limited. It was concluded that it is necessary to construct a situation in which not only deeply hypnotized Ss, but also simulating Ss, perceive the power failure to be genuine.

The present study examines the effect on the hypnotic condition or process of the accidental termination of the hypnotic-experimental situation by means of a simulated power failure during the hypnosis session.

There is a longstanding belief in the literature that hypnosis is

Manuscript submitted August 24, 1965.

1 This study was supported in part by contract number Nonr 3952(00) from the Office of Naval Research. The junior author was under the tenure of a Fulbright Travel Award, Research Category. The study was conducted at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Harvard Medical School.

2 We wish to thank Jeremy Cobb who acted as the "blind" E in the real-simulator experimental design, and Del Schmeidler who was a technical assistant. We also wish to thank Julio Dittborn, Ulric Neisser, Donald N. O'Connell, Emily C. Orne, Peter W. Sheehan, Ronald E. Shor, and Richard I. Thackray for their helpful comments during the preparation of the manuscript.




difficult to terminate except by the action of the hypnotist. An early statement of this view was made by Townshend: "As with the mesmeriser his sleep begin, so, it appears, by the mesmeriser alone can it end" (cited by Hall, 1845, p. 235). According to Bernheim (1889) "The majority of subjects left to themselves sleep on for several minutes, for half an hour, or even for one or more hours" (p. 17). Similarly, Bramwell (1903) stated: "The hypnotic state tends to terminate spontaneously. In slight hypnosis this usually happens as soon as the operator leaves the patient; in more profound stages it may not occur until after the lapse of several hours" (p. 53). Similar statements appear in the more recent clinical literature. Wolberg (1948) has commented that "escape from conflict is sought in sleep.... If exhortations fail to arouse the patient, there is no need for alarm, since the person will always awaken spontaneously following a nap" (p. 148). Wolfe and Rosenthal (1948) have stated that "subjects who are left to themselves will usually awaken spontaneously from the trance" (p.76).

The clinical problem of arousing a patient who does not wish to awaken has been discussed elsewhere (Orne, 1965b; Wolberg, 1948; Wolfe & Rosenthal, 1948). The question raised in this paper concerns the fate of S if hypnosis is inadvertently interrupted. The problem is sometimes raised by students or anxious patients when they ask: "Would I wake up if the hypnotist suddenly left?" "What would happen if the hypnotist had a heart attack while I am deeply hypnotized?" The issue is not how long a hypnotized S might sleep given suggestions to do so, or after being told that he would be left alone, nor the consequences of explicit or implicit suggestions of this kind. Rather, the question centers on the unexpected interruption of hypnosis: to what extent does the established hypnotic condition or relationship depend upon the continued presence and support of the hypnotist for its continuation? This question is important for a theoretical understanding of hypnosis.

Adherents of a "state" theory of hypnosis argue that hypnosis leads to a qualitative change of the organism: hypnosis is, at least in part, due to a special condition which is induced in the individual. The induction process is conceptualized as bringing about the special state, and the process of awakening S, usually initiated by the hypnotist, is its normal termination. Current Russian work follows the view of Pavlov (1927) that irradiating cortical inhibition is responsible for hypnotic phenomena. Kubie and Margolin (1944) considered that hypnosis involves a gradual fading of the ego boundaries, with a subsequent incorporation of the hypnotist-figure within the ego system.



Shor (1959) has formulated the traditional dissociation and concentration of attention theories of hypnosis in terms of a diminution or fading of the generalized reality orientation.

The act of reversing the special state of consciousness by S would require a volitional act to overcome the induced state of awareness or

attention; to reinduce normal ego boundaries or to reinstate the faded reality orientation. If the hypnotist was prevented from initiating the termination of the condition, then its termination should not be immediate, but should take varying degrees of time depending upon the induced depth of hypnosis. It should also require active effort by S.

Adherents of a "motivational" or "role-playing" theory of hypnosis consider that hypnosis is a special kind of social process or interpersonal relationship existing between two people: the hypnotized and the hypnotist. Hypnosis involves a form of role-playing or motivated striving to behave like a hypnotized person and to please the hypnotist. This view was originally proposed by White (1941) as one aspect of hypnosis; was further elaborated by Sarbin (1951); and is currently exemplified by the work of Barber (e.g., 1965).

If hypnosis does not exist beyond this specifically defined relationship, the disappearance of the hypnotist should be sufficient to terminate hypnosis.3 The major difficulty of this formulation involves the problem of defining the hypnotic relationship as ended and yet still being able to test the existence or continuation of the hypnotic effects without reinstating the special relationship.

Fisher (1954) demonstrated that response to posthypnotic suggestion depends on whether S perceives the experiment to be still continuing or whether it has ended. After Ss responded several times to posthypnotic cues, Fisher manipulated the experimental situation to imply that the experiment had concluded. Subsequently, Ss did not respond to the cue. However, if E made it quite clear that the experiment, after all, was still continuing, Ss began to respond again to the cue in an appropriate manner. His results demonstrate that at least some hypnotic phenomena may depend upon the implicit social con-

3 In our attempt to derive a testable hypothesis differentiating the two types of theories of hypnosis, we do not claim that adherents of either theory have even implicitly made these predictions. Thus White considers both "motivational" and "state" aspects of hypnosis. Sarbin (1951) has argued that role involvement may not be at a conscious level. It seems that such a view is no longer distinct from a state theory. However, if the defining relationship is stressed as the means by which role taking is established (Barber, 1965; Sarbin, 1951) then the termination of the relationship should terminate the need to continue the role.



tract existing between S and E. Fisher's study suggests that the effect of any interruption during hypnosis would depend upon S’s perception of the nature of the interruption. If the hypnotic relationship was temporarily or accidentally interrupted, and if S did not perceive this as part of the experiment, then S would cease to be hypnotized immediately.

Hammer (1961) has criticized Fisher's conclusions by pointing out that the presence or absence of the posthypnotic response during the "experiment" and "non-experiment" periods may have been conveyed subtly to S because of E's hypothesis that this would be the outcome, and that the failure to respond was implicitly part of the posthypnotic suggestion. The manipulation of the experimental situation may have confounded the nature of the posthypnotic phenomenon with the artificially-induced expectations and S’s perception of the purpose of the study.

The only directly relevant study was carried out by Dorcus, Brintnall, and Case (1941). The hypnotist was called from the room and was reminded, sufficiently loudly for S to overhear, of an important downtown appointment. The time until Ss got up to leave was recorded from the time the hypnotist departed. Twenty Ss remained hypnotized, defined in terms of the length of time they stayed in the experimental room, for a mean time of approximately 28 minutes. A control group of 25 "relaxing" Ss remained for an insignificantly shorter period of approximately 23 minutes (t = 1.6).

It is difficult to draw definite conclusions from this study. No systematic attempt was made to determine whether Ss perceived E's departure as genuine, or whether they perceived the situation as an experimental manipulation. Any attempt to manipulate in an experimental setting the definition of the progress of the experiment, whether it is in progress, continuing, or ended, must be done with extreme caution.

To obtain meaningful evidence about the different outcomes predicted by the two different theoretical points of view, it is necessary that the situation be eminently plausible, and that the hypnotist's disappearance be maneuvered so that it is perceived by S neither as part of the experiment nor as unprofessional or inappropriate. It is not sufficient to end an experiment by an act of fiat on the part of E. Such a situation would probably be highly anxiety-provoking for some Ss, or it would fail to be deceptive.

Orne (1959; 1962; 1965a) has developed a special quasi-control procedure involving unhypnotized Ss who experience the same experimental treatment and who are exposed to similar demand charac-



teristics as hypnotized Ss. Unhypnotizable Ss are asked to simulate hypnosis while being "hypnotized" by an independent E. It is not possible for the "blind" E to successfully detect whether a given S is hypnotized or simulating without using special techniques (Orne, 1959; 1962; 1965a; Orne & Evans, 1965).

A satisfactory method of conducting an experiment relevant to the issues raised is suggested by the use of a tape-recording to induce hypnosis. Provided S is capable of experiencing deep hypnosis induced by the hypnotist's tape-recorded voice, the special hypnotic relationship or rapport, to the extent that it can be said to exist, is between the voice on the tape-recorder and S. A sudden, artificially created mechanical failure of the tape-recorder provides a plausible and dramatic method of interrupting hypnosis. Hypnosis can be interrupted precipitously in a fashion which will not interfere with S’s relationship to the laboratory. The hypnotist "disappears," as it were, through no fault of his own. The behavior of simulating Ss following an "accidental" power failure during a tape-recorded hypnosis session will make it possible, by inference, to evaluate the plausibility of the accident: whether it is convincing, or whether Ss may have perceived it as part of the experimental procedure. The behavior of truly hypnotized Ss following the "power failure" may be evaluated in terms of the knowledge gained about the plausibility of the situation from the behavior of simulating Ss.



The 12 Ss selected for the hypnosis and simulating groups had participated in previous research in the laboratory; their first experience with hypnosis in the laboratory was in a group session using a tape-recorded version of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (Shor & E. Orne, 1962). All Ss had participated in five additional sessions with the same E in the same room. These sessions were presented as one extensive investigation measuring depth of hypnosis using and interrelating several different methods: standardized scales, objective behavioral tests, subjective impressions of depth of hypnosis (recorded continuously by S on a circular hypnotic depth indicator, HDI), and a physiological index (galvanic skin potential, GSP). Each session lasted from one to two hours, and involved: (a) individually administered Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form C (Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard, 1962); (b) motor and physical performance tasks and learning nonsense syllables dur-



ing hypnosis; (c) and (d) individual intensive evaluation of maximal depth of hypnosis; (e) transcendence during hypnosis of motor performance. Sessions (d) and (e) included extensive use of taperecorded hypnosis procedures, which Ss accepted as a necessary control for the proper evaluation of physiological responses.

The Ss were equally experienced at being hypnotized with E and with E's tape-recorded voice, and found the tape-recording procedure a natural and standard one. The hypnotizable Ss could readily enter deep hypnosis with either procedure.

Instructions to simulate hypnosis with the new "blind" E were presented to the six unhypnotizable Ss during session (e) above. The next session was presented as yet another continuation of the same experiment. The new E, actually required for the real-simulator design, was explained to the hypnotizable Ss as a necessary check on the stability of physiological recordings under different conditions.

Real Hypnosis Subjects. The six deeply hypnotizable Ss could experience all major phenomena of deep hypnosis with marked subjective conviction about the reality of their experiences. All Ss could experience challenge suggestions, positive and negative hallucinations, complete posthypnotic amnesia, and would carry out posthypnotic suggestions compulsively. They did not know that simulating Ss were participating in the study.

Simulating Subjects. Subjects chosen to simulate hypnosis had been completely unresponsive to hypnotic effects in the previous sessions, and were themselves convinced that they were "poor" hypnotic Ss. Simulating Ss were given an accurate (and truthful) description of their task. In summary, each simulator was told:

Your task is to try to fool another hypnotist by pretending to be deeply hypnotized. Although you are not susceptible to hypnosis, your task is to pretend to be a deeply hypnotized S; to fool another E who is a trained, expert hypnotist. The new E is "blind," and knows that some Ss will really be hypnotized, but that others will only be acting. In previous research it has been found that a "blind" E cannot with certainty pick out which Ss are simulating. The task is not an easy one for you but it can be done successfully. However, if E becomes sure that you are actually simulating, he will stop the experiment and your services will no longer be required. You should make use of whatever clues you glean from the instructions, the experimental procedure, your past experiences with hypnosis, and your expectations and conceptions about what deep hypnosis is like. Your task is even more difficult in this study, because you have to simulate with the hypnotic depth indicator and the physiological recordings, as well as with the hypnotist. The E may inspect the physiological record at any time: one of the important aims of the experiment is to determine whether you can fool the machine, as well as the hypnotist.



Experimental Procedure

The S was met by the new E and led into the experimental room. The room was furnished with a small desk, and was lighted by both overhead lights and a desk lamp. Conspicuous in the room was a one-way screen, but because Ss had participated in several sessions in the room, they were accustomed to its presence. The S sat in a comfortable, soft-backed chair, and E placed the small table, on which was the hypnotic depth indicator, in front of S. The assistant attached the GSP recording electrodes to S’s arm, and then left the room. The S was aware of her departure.

After a minimum of interaction between E and S, the tape-recording was started. Hypnosis was induced by the tape, using a cue that S had responded to in earlier sessions. The S was reminded about moving the HDI, and suggestions of amnesia for all hypnosis experiences were repeated. After about five minutes, hypnosis was terminated. A brief inquiry about subjective experiences was conducted by E. The tape was restarted and hypnosis was again induced. Arm levitation was suggested; Ss were then told to open their eyes and to learn some meaningful material presented by a memory drum. Recall was tested. Before hypnosis was terminated, a repetitive finger tapping movement was induced, and strong suggestions of amnesia were given. Recall of the previously presented material was tested while Ss were in the waking state.4 A brief inquiry followed. This part of the experiment lasted about half an hour. During this period E twice monitored the GSP record.

The tape was again started and hypnosis was reinduced. Arm levitation and arm rigidity suggestions were administered. Emphatic suggestions were then given that S’s right hand and arm were stuck tightly to the table and arm of the chair. The suggestion was administered so that the arm would remain stuck posthypnotically until E said: "Your arm is comfortable now." After S was given an opportunity to test that the arm was stuck, by trying to lift it, suggestions were given that S was at a concert listening to his favorite music, tapping his foot in time with the music. At a predetermined point during this item, the power failure occurred.

4 This procedure was followed to provide a task similar to those carried out in earlier sessions, in order to legitimize the present session, and to ensure that Ss became deeply hypnotized. Although it was not necessary to do so, Ss who did not appear to E to be deeply hypnotized at this stage would have been rejected from the study.



The Tape Breakdown

The tape-recorder was plugged into a hidden extension cord which led into the adjacent observation room. A small desk lamp was also in this circuit, and was illuminated throughout the experimental session. A silent mercury-switch was thrown in the observation room, simultaneously stopping the tape-recording with a marked slur, and turning out the desk light.

Immediately E sprang up, muttered under his breath, switched the light twice, manipulated the control dials of the tape-recorder, and appeared to check the outlet socket. This was done very rapidly, and after muttering softly "the damn fuse," E hurriedly left the room, slamming the inner and outer doors of the office. However, the inner door to the observation room had been silently opened by the observer, and E quietly entered the observation room.

The S was observed for 30 minutes from the time the light went off until it was switched on. After 30 minutes the light and the tape-recorder were switched on again. The light flashed on instantaneously. The tape-recorder started turning but took a few seconds to warm up before the sound recommenced. The tape was restarted at exactly the same point as it was stopped. Two and one-quarter minutes after restarting the tape, E quickly reentered the room, appearing slightly dishevelled, and placed a flashlight conspicuously on the desk. If S still had his eyes closed, E said nothing. However, if S was not apparently hypnotized at this point, E reinduced hypnosis by counting from 1 to 20, the standard cue previously used.

The tape continued to the end of the suggestion about the concert, induced a hypnotic dream, administered a posthypnotic suggestion, and reinforced suggestions of amnesia. Hypnosis was terminated, and the posthypnotic suggestion was tested. A brief inquiry was conducted by E, during which the posthypnotic suggestion was tested twice, amnesia was tested, and S was asked what he thought to be the purpose of the experiment. If S mentioned the power failure, E asserted that a fuse had blown, but discussion about the tape breakdown was avoided as much as possible. At one point, E asked S: "How is your right arm?" and subsequently gave the cue to remove the suggestion that the arm was stuck to the chair. The posthypnotic suggestion cue was given before and after this point. The E then left to "find" the familiar E, who carried out a more exhaustive inquiry about S’s perception of the meaning of the experiment and the nature of his subjective experiences.



Behavior Observed During Breakdown of Tape

A number of objective indices to evaluate the continuation of hypnosis, or the continued attempt to simulate hypnosis, were recorded. These included (a) time until S first opened his eyes; (b) time until S initially and finally discontinued tapping his foot; (c) time until S moved his right arm from the arm of the chair. In addition, S’s reaction to the cessation of the tape-recording, to the departure of E, to the recommencement of the tape and reentry of E to the experimental room, as well as any other overt reactions, were recorded.


Scores on the objective, overt behavioral responses of each S are presented in Table 1, together with details of the presence or absence of specific behavioral manifestations. These data are further summarized in Tables 2, 3, and 4.

Differences Between Reals and Simulators in Overt Response

Deeply hypnotized Ss opened their eyes more quickly (10.7 minutes) than simulators (25.2 minutes; p = .05) ; discontinued tapping their foot after 1.2 minutes compared to 17.3 minutes for the simulators (p < .005); and insignificantly removed their "stuck" arms more rapidly (15.5 minutes) than simulators (22.5 minutes; p > .05).5 Behaviorally, it appears that simulating Ss continued to act as if hypnotized longer than truly hypnotized Ss remained entranced.

Differences in Ratings Made by Blind E

The behavioral differences were confirmed by ratings made by the blind E about the general appearance of S (see Table 3). Of six Ss whom the blind E considered had remained (or apparently had remained) hypnotized throughout his 30-minute absence, five of these were simulators (Fisher's exact p = .04). A similar rating was made about how S looked when E reentered. Of the eight Ss who appeared hypnotized when E reentered, all six simulators were included (Fisher's exact p = .03). There is little possibility of error in this rating,

5 On such a small sample, and with the large range of behavior, statistics are, in a sense, misleading and are reported only for completeness. As well as t-tests of statistical significance reported in the text, Mann-Whitney U-tests are also reported in Table 2. It will be noted below that the apparent wide range of response is due to atypical behavior by three Ss, each of which is discussed in the text.



a R: Perceived as a hypnotized S by E.

S: Perceived as a simulator by E.

b Time S remained with eyes closed from discontinuation of tape. Maximum is 30 minutes, indicating S did not open eyes.

c Time S continued tapping foot to hallucinated music after tape discontinuation. Maximum is 30 minutes.

d Time until S moved "stuck" arm from the arm of the chair. If arm not moved, scored 30 minutes.

e Indicates whether S appeared to be hypnotized by "blind" E. Y indicates S appeared to remain hypnotized for a full 30 minutes, N indicates S seemed to terminate hypnosis during tape breakdown period.

f Refers to whether S assumed a hypnosis like posture and attitude when E reentered room. N indicates S active, eyes open; Y indicates S passive, eyes closed.

g Y: In subsequent inquiry, S asserted he accepted the genuineness of accidental breakdown at the time.

N: S asserted he initially believed breakdown was not an accident, but that it was part of the experiment.

h Y: Indicates that Es subjectively considered that S had been asleep during the 30-minute period, and this was confirmed as at least possible by S during inquiry.

N: No evidence or feeling that S was asleep.



as the remaining four hypnotized Ss were quite active, speaking freely to E when he reentered.

One reaction noted was unexpected. The two observers considered that four Ss looked as if they had fallen asleep for short periods during E's absence. It is stressed that there is no physiological data to support this impression, although GSP and slower breathing rates supported this possibility. All four Ss were in the deep hypnosis group (p = .03). If they did sleep, then they did so for only short periods, and tended to arouse before E reentered. The subsequent reports of Ss also support the possibility of sleep in three of the four Ss.

Differences in Perceived Reality of Breakdown

In the independent inquiry, only one hypnotized S initially seemed to suspect that the "inadvertent" breakdown was part of the ex-



a Determined during independent inquiry. One simulator perceived the breakdown initially as an accident. One hypnotized S perceived breakdown as part of experimental procedure. Frequencies tabulated according to S’s conviction.

perimental design. The remaining five hypnotized Ss appeared to accept the stopping of the tape as an accident at the time it occurred. However, five of the six simulators were quite convinced it was "rigged" and that the tape was deliberately stopped; that they were being observed while E was absent. This difference is significant (Fisher's exact p = .03, Table 4).

One simulator summarized the general attitude by saying that the experimental situation was presented to her as a deception task, so why was it not possible that the experiment was a double deception study? She was to deceive E, so it seemed quite reasonable that E, or some other person, would try to deceive her in an attempt to detect whether she was a simulator. The perceptions of the only simulator who did not continue to simulate throughout were complex. He perceived that the main purpose of the study was the learning tasks. When recall was tested "posthypnotically" he had expected amnesia to be lifted so that further recall could be tested. After considering this, about halfway between the exit and reentrance of E, it suddenly occurred to him that he had probably been tricked; that the breakdown may have been part of the experiment. He tried to deduce how he could salvage the situation if he were being observed, but decided that there was nothing he could do, even though he felt by then that he should have continued to simulate. He decided that he could still possibly bluff his way, provided he was not being directly observed, if he merely returned to the position he had been in when E left, as soon as he heard E returning.

Behavior and Experience of Hypnotized Ss

The hypnotized Ss neither awakened immediately nor remained hypnotized for the duration of E's absence. During the inquiry, they



reported, in contrast to the simulators, that they accepted the tape breakdown as an accident. More typically, they reported not even having particularly noticed that the tape stopped, only gradually "becoming aware" that something was wrong. The gradual awareness was accompanied by anxiety.

The Ss did not, generally, terminate hypnosis spontaneously and immediately. Most Ss slowly moved the HDI toward zero, and subjectively reported it took considerable "effort" on their part to dehypnotize themselves. One S appeared to become agitated and uncomfortable after E left the room, and E decided he should return immediately. This S later reported she was not upset, but rather that it took marked physical effort to bring herself out of hypnosis.


Differences Between Hypnotized and Simulating Ss

Following the attempt to "accidentally" produce a blown fuse during a tape-recorded hypnosis session, during which E was absent from the room for 30 minutes, there were significant differences in the overt behavior of deeply hypnotized Ss and Ss who were simulating hypnosis to a "blind" E. The deeply hypnotized Ss showed a significant tendency to overcome the effects of several suggestions, discontinued carrying them out, and displayed overt behavioral signs of terminating hypnosis. The termination of hypnosis was not immediate for most Ss, and the discrepancies in the time during which a variety of suggestions persevered indicated that the termination of hypnosis was a gradual process. The evidence from the overt behavior was confirmed by the subjective reports of Ss during an inquiry after posthypnotic amnesia was lifted. In marked contrast, five of the six simulating Ss continued to respond as if the existing suggestions were still effective, and displayed clear overt behavior consistent with the supposition that they continued simulating hypnosis through the entire duration of the tape breakdown.

The Manipulation of Experimental Conditions

The results reinforce previous conclusions by the authors (Orne, 1959; 1962; 1965a; Orne & Evans, 1965) about the inherent difficulties involved in attempts to artificially manipulate conditions in behavioral research. It would not have been sufficient in this study to assume the "accident" was perceived as a genuine accident. The use of simulating Ss is a useful technique for testing the efficacy of the attempted manipulation of S’s perceptions and beliefs. It is clear from both the overt behavior and the subsequent subjective reports



that the simulators were quite convinced that the "accident" was indeed part of the experimental procedure: the present study was unsuccessful in attempting to create a convincing accident. In fact, it appears that simulating Ss were quite sophisticated in their knowledge of one-way observation screens. They were also puzzled that the overhead light did not turn off, and the polygraph recording GSP was still operating. Apparently Ss did not think in terms of different power circuits for different room outlets.

Inconclusive Implications for Theories of Hypnosis

The failure of the simulators to perceive the "accidental" tape breakdown as a genuine accident makes it difficult to interpret the present study as well as those reviewed above (Dorcus et al., 1941; Fischer, 1954).

It may seem paradoxical that, although clear-cut differences were found in the behavior of hypnotized and simulating Ss,6 it is not possible to draw conclusions about the issues raised in this paper. The failure to convince simulating Ss that a genuine accident had occurred precludes drawing positive inferences from the behavior of hypnotized Ss. To the extent that the demand characteristics of the manipulated situation were perceived as they were by simulators, i.e., as an experimental deception which they would not accept as genuine, it is probable that the same perceptions were "available" to hypnotized Ss.

Nevertheless, the hypnotized Ss behaved quite differently from the simulating Ss who were maximally responding to the demand characteristics. Why is it that the deeply hypnotized Ss terminated hypnosis? It is possible that the hypnotized Ss were less perceptive or less suspicious than simulators. The hypnotized Ss typically reported they were not particularly aware of, or concerned about, the cessation of the tape, as they were involved in enjoying the hallucinated concert. A similar lack of concern about on-going reality was reported

6 The observation that it is exceedingly difficult to discriminate behaviorally between deeply hypnotized and simulating Ss has led to two opposing conclusions. This difficulty has been used to support the belief that hypnosis is really no different from simulation. Secondly, it has been argued that simulating Ss are, in fact, hypnotized because they behave identically to hypnotized Ss. The technique described in this experiment, while time-consuming and difficult, does discriminate between Ss who are deliberately simulating and those who are deeply hypnotized. This supports our contention that hypnosis is indeed a different phenomenon from simulation and that simulators are not hypnotized.



by Orne and Evans (1965). Alternatively, instructions to simulate may have alerted simulators to the possibility of further deception.

Support for the possibility that hypnotized and simulating Ss perceived the experimental situation differently was obtained from the postexperimental inquiries. However, Ss may be rationalizing their own performance rather than reporting their perceptions. To the degree these reports are accepted at face value, all 12 Ss behaved according to their reported perceptions of the reality of the accident. Thus, the only hypnotized S who later claimed he did not believe the accident was genuine, because he "did not trust psychologists," remained hypnotized for the 30 minutes of the tape breakdown, overtly behaving in an identical manner to the simulating Ss with similar perceptions. Similar explanations, consistent with his perceptions, were forthcoming from each S who behaved atypically. Whether the behavior influenced subsequently reported subjective perceptions or whether the degree of conviction about the accident shaped performance cannot be answered in this study. In fact, such an answer is possible only if the experiment is redesigned successfully so that simulators accept the tape breakdown as a genuine accident. (Such an attempt is presently being conducted.)

If the subjective evidence can be accepted at face value, the behavior of the hypnotized Ss is more in accord with the so-called state theories of hypnosis rather than the so-called motivational and role-playing theories. Hypnotized Ss did not apparently respond to the totality of demand characteristics implicit in the design in the same manner as did the simulators. This implies that hypnosis per se was a determinant of the behavior of the hypnotized Ss and that they were not merely compliant with the demands of the situation. It is consistent with the "state" theories of hypnosis that Ss did not terminate hypnosis immediately. The subjectively reported conflict and anxiety which accompanied the termination of hypnosis also supports this interpretation. If it is confirmed that some hypnotized Ss go to sleep after terminating hypnosis (for which standard electroencephalograph recordings will be required), then the tendency to sleep may well involve a defensive withdrawal from a stressful conflict situation.

Even though the impressionistic evidence may seem convincing, the objective data do not provide either support or disconfirmation of a state theory of hypnosis. The experiment was unsuccessful in convincing simulating Ss that a genuine accident had occurred. To this extent, the present experiment is inconclusive. A projected replication



of this study must employ revised and more sophisticated techniques. It is only if the simulating Ss can be convinced that the accident is a genuine mishap that the issue of the unexpected "disappearance" of the hypnotizing medium provides a model for testing the two divergent theories of hypnosis.


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Los Efectos de un Final Insperado de la Hipnosis sobre la Conducta de Sujetos Simuladores y Realmente Hipnotizados

Martin T. Orne y Frederick J. Evans

Resumen: Un grupo de 12 sujetos contituido por 6 individuos muy susceptibles a la hipnosis y por 6 sujetos refractarios, estos ultimos instruidos en simular el estado de hipnosis, recibieron, en conjunto, sugestiones hipnoticas grabadas en cinta magnetofonica. Los 12 sujetos indicados, tenian experiencia previa de haber participado, por lo menos, en dos oportunidades anteriores en experiencias de grupo similares a la presente en la misma pieza provista de espejo con vision unidireccional. En el experimento presente, el investigador, que desconocia cuales eran los sujetos simuladores y cuales eran los sujetos que realmente lograban el estado de hipnosis se encontraba en la pieza simulando ser, a su vez, un ayudante tecnico que registraba el reflejo psicogalvanico y que, ademas, habria de controlar al final del experimento los resultados de la prueba de hipnotizabilidad en proceso. Despues que el grupo de 12 sujetos estuvo hipnotizado por medio de las instrucciones grabadas, se produjo un apagon partial simulado de la luz en el cuarto en que ocurria la experiencia con el resultado que tambien la maquina grabadora dejo de funcionar quedando, en consecuencia, todo el proceso en suspenso. En ese momento el investigador abandono la pieza con la "intencion" de ir a buscar un fusible de reemplazo. Asi las cosas, pudo observarse, por espacio de 30 minutos, desde la pieza contigua con vision unidireccional, la conducta de los 12 sujetos en estudio. 2 ½ minutos antes del lapso de tiempo indicado el investigador se hizo de nuevo presente en la pieza experimental. Durante el perfiodo de observacion pudo verse como las sugestiones hipnoticas parecian perder su efectividad en los sujetos realmente hipnotizados con la consecuencia que gradualmente fueron despertando. Por otra parte, 5 de los 6 simuladores se comportaron como si nada hubiese ocurrido, manteniendose en hipnosis durante los 30 minutos. Interrogados posteriormente cada uno de los miembros del grupo resulto que 5 de los 6 sujetos realmente hipnotizados pensaron que en verdad el fusible se habia fundido; en cambio, 5 de los 6 simuladores pensaron que el "accidente" formaba parte de la experiencia. Las implicaciones teoricas de estos resultados aparecen como limitadas si se considera la conducta de los simuladores. Seria preciso disenar una situacion tal, en que tanto simuladores como reales estuviesen convencidos de que el accidente ocurrido es genuino.


Der Effekt von einer scheinbaren zufallsweisigen Unterbrechung der Hypnose auf simulierende and tief hypnotisierte Subjekte

Martin T. Orne und Frederick J. Evans

Abstrakt: 12 Vpn, 6 tief hypnotisierte und 6 unhypnotisierte Subjekte (die letzteren mit der Versuchsanordnung Hypnose zu simulieren) wurden mittels Tonband von dem Vl hypnotisiert. Der Vl wusste nicht, welche der Vpn hypnotisierbar und welche unhypnotisierbar waren. Psychogalvanische Reflexe, sowie auch das subjektive Gefuhl hypnotisiert zu sein, wurden andauernd gemessen, um dem Vl es zu ermoglochen, die Rolle eines Assistent, der nur die technischen Messungen durchfuhrte,



zu spielen. Alle Anweisungen und hypnotischen Befehle wurden vom Tonband gegeben. Alle Subjekte hatten zumindesten 2 fruhere ahnliche Sitzungen in demselben Zimmer, das mit einem durchschaubaren Spiegel versehen war. Wahrend die Vpn scheinbar tief hypnotisiert waren, ging plotzlich ein Licht aus und das Tonbandgerat horte gleichzeitig auf zu spielen. Der Vl stiirmte von dem Zimmer, scheinbar um die Sicherung zu wechseln. Die Vpn wurden fur 30 Minuten beobachtet, dann wurde der Starkstrom wieder aktiviert and 2 1/2 Minuten spater kehrte der Vl zuruck. Wahrend dieser Zeit scheinten die hypnotischen Befehle ihre Kraft langsam zu verlieren, und die tief hypnotisierten Vpn wachten langsam auf. Hingegen 5 von 6 simulierenden Vpn benahmen sich, als ob sie die ganze Zeit in Hypnose geblieben waren. In Aussprache mit den Vpn bekam es klar, dass 5 von 6 Simulanten das Experiment durchschauten, wahrend 5 von 6 hypnotisierten Vpn glaubten, dass wirklich eine Sicherung durchgebrannt hatte. Die theoretischen Bedeutungen dieses Versuches, als auch die Schlussfolgerung, werden besprochen. Ein weiteres Experiment ist notwendig. Das heisst die scheinbare Fehlleistung der Sicherung muss genugend uberzeugend gemacht werden, dass die simulierenden Vpn wie auch die Hypnotisierten wirklich daran glauben.

The preceding paper is a reproduction of the following article (Orne, M. T., & Evans, F. J. Inadvertent termination of hypnosis with hypnotized and simulating subjects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1966, 14, 61-78.). It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.