This is topic Deception in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Ecthalion (Member # 8825) on :
So this is a new show on discovery which just aired. Basically they have a "mentalist" run psychological experiments on unwitting people. They keep mentioning that the people are not actors, and that all of this is real. I can't say that I think hypnosis is impossible, because I think that people are open to suggestion under regular conditions and probably more so in a situation where the person is relaxed and trusting someone. I still cant quite buy the "flash" hypnosis though, where he just walks up to someone and does secret "mentalist" stuff to them to hypnotize them.

Did anyone else watch? any thoughts?
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
There's some weird things in the human psyche and various ways that is expressed in behavior. That said, a lot of these techniques would probably be more likely to be employed taking over the world than making a show for the Discovery Channel.

Hobbes [Smile]
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
I've recently been looking into hypnosis. My understanding is it's possible to do some amount of "instahypnosis" but nothing that interesting at first, and it only works on people who are willing to let it work. Some people are naturally more hypnotizeable. Some people are (for whatever reason) more likely to go along with some random guy walking up to them and doing weird stuff.

Bear in mind a TV show is free to cherry pick the results that are entertaining, so it may very well be "accurate" while still being misleading about how effective hypnosis is.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
Pen and Teller have talked about this stuff for years. Basically, even if these "techniques" only work on one out of 20 people, on a TV show, you only have to show the times that it worked.
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :
A friend once told me a story about his own friend being on stage at a hypnotist show.

The hypnotist announced to the guy that after whispering the magic words to him, and counting to three, he would jump up and start acting like a chicken.

So the hypnotist leaned in and said, "if on the count of the three, you don't jump up and act like a f***ing chicken, I'm gonna take you out back later and break your f***ing legs."

So, on three, he jumped up and clucked and winged his arms like a madman.

The story could be total bull, but it's funny nevertheless.
Posted by Geraine (Member # 9913) on :
I actually got tickets to go see a hypnotist show on the Strip about a year ago. I actually went on stage to see if it worked.

It did. The Hypnotist took about 10-15 minutes to try and hypnotise us, and it involved some strange music and him asking us to relax certain parts of our body, and asking us to imagine or think of certain things. The hypnotist called about about 60 people and kept 10-12 of us.

I didn't fall asleep. I was knew what was going on the entire time. I knew he had me though when he asked me to do something and I felt compelled to do it. I had a burning desire to do it.

At one point he took my belt and told everyone on stage that it was the most poisonous snake in the world. I thought to myself "Nah, that is just a belt. " Funny thing is, whenever it got close to me, I freaked out. I remember thinking how stupid it was for me to be afraid of a belt, but then it would get close to me again and I would run away from it, afraid for my life.

Everytime he shook my hand I had this huge desire to give him the hypnotist a hug. At one point I said "Heeeeeey buddy!" And gave him a bear hug.

I can't say I believed in hypnotism before but to be honest I do now.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Yeah, hypnotism is real. A really good hypnotist can really, actually get it to work, not just on some people, but on most people.

This was one of the weirdest things I've ever learned in college, because the general idea of hypnotism just screams con games and trickery, and I'm sure plenty of stage hypnotists play some of those games.

There were clinical experiment videos of hypnotism in controlled environments that showed a wide range of responses to hypnotic techniques, with only about 5% of people showing a complete immunity to being put into a hypnotic state. Immunity to hypnosis didn't correlate well to gender, extroversion/introversion, neurotic tendencies, a general level of 'gullibility,' or anything else they assumed it would correlate to.

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