Suggestion overrides the Stroop effect in highly hypnotizable individuals

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):331-338 (2007)
Cognitive scientists distinguish between automatic and controlled mental processes. Automatic processes are either innately involuntary or become automatized through extensive practice. For example, reading words is a purportedly automatic process for proficient readers and the Stroop effect is consequently considered the “gold standard” of automated performance. Although the question of whether it is possible to regain control over an automatic process is mostly unasked, we provide compelling data showing that posthypnotic suggestion reduced and even removed Stroop interference in highly hypnotizable individuals. Drawing on a large sample of highly hypnotizable participants, we examined the effects of suggestion on Stroop performance both with and without a posthypnotic suggestion to perceive the input stream as meaningless symbols. We show that suggestion administered to highly hypnotizable persons significantly reduced Stroop interference and derailed a seemingly automatic process
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2006.04.004
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John F. Kihlstrom (2011). Prospects for de-Automatization. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2):332-334.

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