The effect of definition of the situation and relaxation versus alertness-enhancing instructions on suggested amnesia

Creator: 

Bodorik, H. Lorraine

Date: 

1977

Abstract: 

One hundred Carleton University students were randomly assigned to one of four treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial design. The two variables were Hypnosis (yes/ no) and Instructions (relaxation/alertness-enhancing). Subjects learned a nine-word list composed of instances from three different taxonomic categories to a criterion of two successive correct trials. An amnesia suggestion to forget the words was presented, followed by a recall test. The suggestion was lifted and recall was again tested. Partially amnesic subjects showed a breakdown in the organization of recall during the amnesia suggestion, whereas full recall subjects did not. The four treatment conditions failed to selectively influence either amount of amnesia or clustering during the amnesia suggestion. A "cued distraction" hypothesis was tentatively advanced to account both for the present data and those of previous studies. According to this hypothesis, preliminary instructions that repetitively ask subjects to attend to bodily sensations cue the later enactment of a forgetting strategy. This strategy involves subjects distracting themselves from the recall task during the amnesia suggestion by focussing attention on bodily sensations. A more specific "confusion" hypothesis was tentatively advanced to account for interrelationships among distraction, disorganization, and recall deficit during the amnesia suggestion.

Subject: 

Memory
Amnesia
Hypnotism

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Psychology

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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