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Chapter 31: Hypnosis
The high school where I teach hires a stage hypnotist to entertain at the party.
The day after students see the hypnotist's show, I can expect a lot of questions about the process of hypnotism and whether it is a valid psychological phenomenon or a trick.
Some of the questions are about the powers hypnotism seems to have.
Posthypnotic amnesia is when people forget events that happened while they were hypnotized.
A posthypnotic suggestion is a suggestion that a hypnotized person behave in a certain way after he or she is brought out of hypnotism.
Many questions about hypnotism are not completely answered.
There are at least three theories that attempt to explain what happens during hypnotism.
According to the role theory, hypnotism is not an alternate state of consciousness.
Some people are more likely to be hypnotized than others, according to this theory.
They tend to have richer fantasy lives, follow directions well, and be able to focus on a single task for a long period of time.
It is possible that hypnotism is a social phenomenon.
People acting out the role of a hypnotized person are following the suggestions of the hypnotist because that is what is expected of the role.
State theory is used to explain hypnotism.
Some parts of the definition for an altered state of consciousness include hypnotism.
According to hypnotists, we become more or less aware of our environments.
Dramatic health benefits from hypnotism include pain control and reduction in physical ailments.
In his dissociation theory, researcher Ernest Hilgard explained hypnotism in a different way.
Hilgard says that hypnotism causes us to divide our consciousness.
One part of our consciousness responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist, while another part remains aware of reality.
Hilgard hypnotized participants and asked them to put their arm in an ice water bath.
The hypnotized participants reported no pain after they were hypnotized.
Most participants lifted their finger when Hilgard asked them to if they felt the pain.
A hidden observer is a part of our consciousness that watches what is happening while another level obeys the hypnotist's suggestions.
Psychoactive drugs change the chemistry of the brain and the rest of the body and cause an altered state of consciousness.
Some of the behavioral and cognitive changes caused by these drugs are due to their effects on the body.
The placebo effect is similar to the expected effects of the drug if you think you took it.
All drugs change our consciousness through the same processes in the brain.
thicker walls surrounding the brain's blood vessels protect it from harmful chemicals in the bloodstream.
The barrier is called the blood-brain barrier.
The small molecule drugs that make up psychoactive drugs can pass through the blood-brain barrier.
The brain has naturally occurring neurotransmitters.
Drugs that mimic neurotransmitters are called agonists.
The drugs fit in the sites where the neurotransmitter is normally received on a neuron.
Drugs that block neurotransmitters are called antagonists.
The molecule also fit into a neuron.
Instead of acting like the neurotransmitter, they prevent the natural neurotransmitters from using that site.
Natural neurotransmitters are prevented from being reabsorbed back into a neuron by other drugs.
Prozac is a kind of drug called a "selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" because it prevents Serotonin from being absorbed back into the neuron.
Drugs gradually change the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
If the amount of a neurotransmitter is influenced by a drug, the brain will produce less of it.
This change causes a need for more of the same drug in order to achieve the same effect.
Users will experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of tolerance.
There are different withdrawal symptoms from drug to drug.
They range from the headaches I might get if I don't drink any coffee or tea during the day to the dehydrating and potentially fatal night sweats that heroin users experience during withdrawal.
Dependence on drugs can be either psychological or physical.
A person dependent on a drug feels an intense desire for the drug because they are convinced they need it in order to perform.
Persons dependent on a substance have a tolerance for the drug, can experience withdrawal symptoms without it, and need the drug to avoid them.
Four common categories of psychoactive drugs are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens and opiates.
Stimulants include cocaine, amphetamines, and nicotine.
Stimulants speed up body processes.
A sense of euphoria accompanies the dramatic increase.
The more powerful stimulants, such as cocaine, can make a user feel very confident and self-assured.
Stimulants produce tolerance, withdrawal effects, and other side effects to a greater or lesser degree that correspond with the power of the drug.
The effects of alcohol on our nervous system is what makes it a depressant.
Expectations about alcohol and the lowering of inhibitions are to blame for the energizing effect.
Nicotine stimulates the nervous system, but some smokers smoke to relax.
Stimulating body systems are slowed down by depressants.
Depressive drugs include alcohol, barbiturates, and anxiolytics.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug.
Depression and euphoria are accompanied by tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol slows down our brain processes.
Behavioral changes are caused by the inhibition of brain regions.
When alcohol affects the cerebellum, it can make it difficult or impossible for the user to stand.
More research has been done on alcohol than on any other drug.
Hallucinogens don't speed up or slow down the body.
Drug use can cause changes in perception of reality.
Marijuana, peyote, and LSD are some of the common hallucinogens.
Hallucinogens have one notable feature.
The drugs may stay in the body for a while.
If an individual ingests the hallucinogen again during this time period, the new dose of the chemical is added to the linger amount, creating more profound and potentially dangerous effects.
The second dose may be less than the first but still cause the same or greater effects.
The effects of hallucinogens are not as predictable as those of depressants.
Opiates are similar in structure to opium, a drug derived from the poppy plant.
Powerful painkillers and mood elevators can be found in the opiates.
High endorphin levels cause euphoria and cause drowsiness.
The opiates are some of the most physically addictive drugs because of their rapid change in brain chemistry.
Five suggested answers or completions are followed by each of the questions or incomplete statements.
Pick the one that is the best.
A group of people are shown a set of geometric shapes.
The group is shown a larger set of shapes that include the first set of geometric shapes randomly distributed among the other images.
Even though they can't remember which images they've seen before, the participants choose shapes from the first group more often than the new ones.
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