Several research programs have investigated the phenomena of hypnosis in some depth over the past century, and despite all manner of both scientific and unscientific skepticism and a bewildering variety of different models and viewpoints over the years, there is now a fascinating degree of consensus over some of the core findings.
We are capable of altering our sense of control over our own body, and we are able to perceive things radically differently than we typically expect, the "classic suggestion effect." The experiences involve profound alterations in our attention and self-awareness yet they can also be strongly shaped by expectancy. Some of the most interesting differences in experience are stable enough to show test-retest reliability over 25 years, yet these alterations also seem to occur via a variety of different talents, and under different situations.
This is among the richest and most interesting areas of research into the human mind and yet it has been buried in speciallist journals for the most part and it is rare to find psychologists familiar with it. This book is highly recommended for psychologists to begin to introduce them to this remarkable and profound research literature. This is unfortunately a rather academic treatment, so I suspect it will not get the broad popular reading it deserves. A version of this in something closer to the style of Ken Bowers' classic "Hypnosis for the Seriously Curious" Hypnosis for the Seriously Curious might have helped reach a wider audience, but this is in the style of a scholarly edited collection. It is very close in range of topics and style to the excellent previous edited collection Theories of Hypnosis: Current Models and Perspectives, which first helped me understand hypnosis as a distinct field of research years ago. This book is very much like an update of that one in spirit.
This is a superb and authoritative compilation representing the full spectrum of major scientific viewpoints on hypnotic phenomena, from the special processs and special state to the sociocognitive and expectancy based views, as well as a valuable attempt to integrate the different theories. I consider this book essential to the state of the art understanding of human experience and perception available to us from the scientific study of hypnosis.