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Research and Development

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pjdunbar
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Research Development
The video portion about brain researcher Amere Ras and his work in hypnotic suggestion brings up many questions in regards to treating mental health or addiction. In this he sheds some light on the power of suggestion and how if you are susceptible to hypnosis it can have a huge impact on your learning abilities and if you could possibly be treated with hypnosis. In this paper I will explain what Ras was trying to accomplish and will also tell you about how I would conduct this study if I were to do it.

What was the purpose of this study?
When Ras first conducted this study his intentions were to show us how he could undo automatic behaviors such as reading and being able to understand your native language. He used a test called the Stroop Color-Word Test that consists of colors that are written in words but in the wrong color ink. The test-taker has to be able to state the color that the word is written in and be able to ignore whatever the actual word is. For example, if you see the word “red” but it’s written in blue ink, the correct answer would be “blue”(Heerema, 2014). When he conducted this test he had two groups, one that was highly susceptible to hypnosis and the other who was not. Those who were susceptible saw the words as foreign and only saw the colors, which made them do much better on the test. (Psychology media suite 2008)
Ras scanned the brain while completing this experiment and noticed that the anterior cingulated cortex, the area of the brain associated with conflict resolution showed less activity. Therefor eliminating the automatic reading of the word as opposed to identifying the color.

Use of this study in the real world
Many may ask how this study could benefit us in our everyday life with mental health or addiction struggles? If you are susceptible to hypnosis you would be able to be placed in this state and possible be able to be treated for your depression or anxiety or even be able to quit smoking or drinking. The power of suggestion shows you that this automatic behavior you have developed i.e. lighting up a cigarette or having a fear of heights can be corrected by simply saying you don’t need this anymore or you never were afraid. I have heard personal stories about people who have gone to a hypnotist to stop smoking and it actually did work. How would I continue this study?
If I were to continue this study to the next phases I would used different many different age groups and would have male and female in each age group to show the variation between sex and age. This would give me a bigger sample to go off of, I would also use various mental health conditions and addictions. This would show whether or not it worked in the least severe to most severe cases.
Scientific Method
My hypothesis for this continuation would state; in a sample of patients who are susceptible to hypnosis, can we successfully treat their addiction/mental health with the power of suggestion?
I would then choose test subjects with various conditions, ranking from severe to minor in nature. I would then run the study on each of them to see whether or not the severity of the condition mattered with the hypnosis and the power of suggestion. I would make sure that I tested all of them the same way so the results wouldn’t be skewed based on a differentiating test. Then based on the results of this particular test I would be able to show whether or not anyone could be treated using this method or if only mild cases could be treated. Conclusion
I found this test very interesting, I have never really been into hypnosis because the only thing I have learned about it is involved with psychoanalysis. Looking at it from the neurological side I could see how it could be a useful tool in treating addiction or helping people with anxiety and depression.

References
Heerema, E. M. (2014). About Health. Retrieved from http://alzheimers.about.com/od/testsandprocedures/a/What-Is-The-Stroop-Test-And-How-Is-It-Used-To-Screen-For-Early-Alzheimers.htm
Psychology media suite. (2008). Retrieved September 14, 2014, from http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=35671…...

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