Characteristics of a Good Hypnotic Subject
Okay, so there is someone I know who is the PERFECT PERSON to demonstrate this and he gave me permission today to use him as an example! :D :D :D He may or may not be one of my professors. Anyway, he is a really awesome person and the things that make him so also make him a perfect candidate for this type of experimentation.
The qualities that I plan to demonstrate have been gathered in my prior knowledge for a long time, so please don’t ask me where I got them from. :P I will gladly point you to my page of recommended reading material, because I’m pretty sure all of the books I have on there mention it at one point or another. I plan to add new material today, actually. You can also Google it.
1. Contrary to popular belief, above average intelligence and hypnotizeability have a strong positive correlation. This is thought to be due to intellectuals having better imaginations than those with less intelligence. Good, productive hypnosis requires a lot of visualization and the ability to come up with different sensory scenarios on the spot, and these in turn require a substantial imagination. My acquaintance (who will be referred to as X throughout the rest of the article) is extremely smart. X loves to do math things (not computation, he emphasizes that regularly) that require a lot of unique ways of perceiving and analyzing. He bring the phrase “outside the box” to a whole new level.
2. Good hypnotic subjects are not easily distracted by outside stimuli. The best can ignore all sorts of distractions because they are so entranced (lol hypnosis pun) with their current task. Only further trains of thought can possibly derail whatever thought process has manifested in their minds. This is important because concentration is necessary to go into any trance state and those who are easily distracted/lose focus easily cannot provide the required mental effort. X is great at going into the proverbial trenches when he teaches (oops, I guess that does sort of reveal that he is a professor). He is willing to lose himself in his work because that is what extreme focus entails. When he teaches and he isn’t prone to being self-conscious, his world only consists of the class material and the students.
3. If you can work well with others, you make a better hypnotic subject than those who cannot. Cooperation is required between the hypnotist and his/her subject because although all hypnosis is self-hypnosis a guide is occasionally needed to accomplish something specific. Not trusting your designated hypnotist is like not trusting the tech support people that you call when your computer isn’t working — nothing is accomplished in either case. The rapport between those involved ensures a smooth transition in and out of consciousness and makes the process a lot more efficient. X is very comfortable talking with his students on professional and casual levels, and he has established a good rapport with his students (well, if college professors and students can have a good rapport :P ).
4. This is the last point I will make because I have a life to resume and this is the longest post ever: good hypnotic subjects, like good hypnotists, tend to get excited about stuff. It could be anything, but having interests in general makes you a better candidate. Being willful and motivated make going under hypnosis a lot easier, because it does require work on the part of the subject as much as it does on the part of the hypnotist. It especially helps to have an interest in trying new things. Being open to multiple experiences and just plain not having an apathetic personality indicate that you will have the ability to follow necessary instructions and put effort into whatever goal you are trying to achieve through hypnosis. X gave us this talk today about how he is open to and driven towards learning new things, plus he gets so excited when he teaches (sometimes he just starts jumping up and down for no apparent reason).
So what is my point in all of this? The media (cue villainish music) tends to portray the ideal hypnotic subject as a young, foolish, vulnerable girl who is too dumb to really notice what is going on or put a stop to it. I just proved to all of you that sometimes the ideal hypnotic subject is a super-intelligent male mathematician who is more than a little quirky but never clueless. I must add that while these qualities may make hypnosis easier or quicker, mostly everyone can be hypnotized when the right amount of effort and practice are put in (yes, practice). I’ll post more later, but please enjoy this because I promised X I would tell him how popular he can be on the Internet! XD