Oxytocin Enhances Social Persuasion during Hypnosis
AuthorBryant, RA; Hung, L
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sBryant, Richard
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsBryant, R. A. & Hung, L. (2013). Oxytocin Enhances Social Persuasion during Hypnosis. PLOS ONE, 8 (4), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060711.
Access StatusOpen Access
It has long been argued that hypnosis cannot promote behaviors that people will not otherwise engage in. Oxytocin can enhance trust in others, and may promote the extent to which a hypnotized person complies with the suggestion of a hypnotist. This double-blind placebo study administered oxytocin or placebo to high hypnotizable participants (N = 28), who were then administered hypnotic suggestions for socially unorthodox behaviors, including swearing during the experiment, singing out loud, and dancing in response to a posthypnotic cue. Participants who received oxytocin were significantly more likely to swear and dance than those who received the placebo. This finding may be interpreted in terms of oxytocin increasing social compliance in response as a function of (a) increased trust in the hypnotist, (b) reduced social anxiety, or (c) enhanced sensitivity to cues to respond to experimental expectations. These results point to the potential role of oxytocin in social persuasion.
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