What is a hypnotic "trance" ?
2.2. Are there
potential clues in 'trance logic?'
One particular researcher,
psychiatrist M.T. Orne of the University of Pennsylvania, finally concluded
that objective correlates werenot to be found in the available physiological
measurements of the time, and that they were apparently of no value in
determining whether a hypnotized subject was 'truly hypnotized' or 'simulating
Orne, who did recognize from
both highly consistent verbal reports of hypnotized subjects and from
various clinical and empirical studies that there was indeed something
unique about hypnosis in at least some subjects, concluded that
that he would have to use verbal reports of subjective experience rather
than rely on measurements. He carried out a series of clever experiments
which seemed to establish a reliable way of distinguishing simulators
from hypnotized subjects by their verbal reports. The resulting alteration
of mental function was found to be present in nearly all deeply hypnotized
subjects, and almost never found to the same degree in people who were
not hypnotized but were motivated to simulate hypnotic phenomena.
The most obvious aspects of
this alteration of function were dubbed 'trance logic,' and appeared to
correlate well with the anecdotal reports of the clinicians like Milton
Erickson who had long considered verbal reports of hypnotized subjects
to be valuable in distinguishing what was going on in hypnosis.