While hypnosis is endorsed by the American Psychiatric
Association as a therapy for certain disorders, the precise
manner in which it works is still not understood.
The most influential theories of hypnosis emphasize dissociation,
which may explain the amnesia of hypnotic subjects and the fact
that they often say their actions are not willed but happening
A different understanding is reflected in the social-cognitive
theory of hypnosis, which emphasizes suggestibility rather than
dissociation. This theory holds that the hypnotic trance is not
an altered state of consciousness but instead a striking effect
of the human susceptibility to social influence.
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