The Influence of Hypnotizability and Dissociation on Ganzfeld Experiences and Mind-Wandering

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: Many studies have shown that people report unusual experiences when their senses are exposed to unstructured, monotonous stimuli. However, individual differences in responsiveness are poorly understood. The present study used a sensory homogenization procedure (i.e., ganzfeld) to address this issue. High (n = 15) and low hypnotizable individuals (n = 14), also measured on dissociation, completed a mind-wandering task during ganzfeld stimulation and a control condition (in total; 8 males and 21 females, Mage = 22.55, SDage = 4.22). They also retrospectively reported their experiences in reference to each condition. Condition, hypnotizability, and dissociation were expected to interact in terms of mind-wandering and alterations in experiences. Significant interactions were found for the behavioral mind-wandering task, but not for the subjective reports. High hypnotizables engaged more in mind-wandering during ganzfeld stimulation relative to control, whereas lows showed the reverse pattern. These two populations are argued to be a valuable source for the study of different types of mind-wandering.

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