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The Sussex-Waterloo Scale of Hypnotisability (SWASH): Measuring capacity for altering conscious experience

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Article numberniy006
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Neuroscience of Consciousness
Issue number1
Number of pages7
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date3/06/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The ability to respond to hypnotic suggestibility (hypnotisability) is a stable trait which can be measured in a standardised procedure consisting of a hypnotic induction and a series of hypnotic suggestions. The SWASH is a 10-item adaptation of an established scale, the Waterloo-Stanford Group C Scale of Hypnotic Suggestibility (WSGC). Development of the SWASH was motivated by three distinct aims: to reduce required screening time, to provide an induction which more accurately reflects current theoretical understanding and to supplement the objective scoring with experiential scoring. Screening time was reduced by shortening the induction, removing two suggestions which may cause distress (dream and age regression) and by modifications which allow administration in lecture theatres, so that more participants can be screened simultaneously. Theoretical issues were addressed by removing references to sleep, absorption and eye fixation and closure. Data from 418 participants at the University of Sussex and the Lancaster University are presented, along with data from 66 participants who completed a re-test screening. The subjective and objective scales were highly correlated. The subjective scale showed good reliability and objective scale reliability was comparable to the WSGC. The addition ofsubjective scale responses to the post-hypnotic suggestion (PHS) item suggested a high probability that responses to PHS are inflated in WSGC screening. The SWASH is an effective measure of hypnotisability, which reflects changes in conscious experience and presents practical and theoretical advantages over existing scales.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Neuroscience of Consciousness following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version P Lush, G Moga, N McLatchie, Z Dienes, The Sussex-Waterloo Scale of Hypnotizability (SWASH): measuring capacity for altering conscious experience, Neuroscience of Consciousness, Volume 2018, Issue 1, 1 January 2018, niy006 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2018/1/niy006/5032616