The effect of hypnotically induced positive, self-statements on self-concept in Christian, female college students
Author(s)Haubold, Robert Louis
Contributor(s)Hutchinson, Roger L.
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AbstractProceeding from the belief that much human misery is self-inflicted as a result of negative self-statements (Ellis & Harper, 1962), it was felt that emphasis on positive self-thought would represent a significant therapeutic intervention. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of positive self-statements on self-concept. Since negative self-defeating statements are quite well ingrained, especially within Christian people (Reglin, 1976), it was decided to identify this as the target population. Furthermore, it was felt that cognitive restructuring would require considerable amounts of direction before it would be effective. To accomplish this goal, Frank (1961) and Breger and McGaugh (1967) suggest the need for therapists to consider such methods as hypnosis, suggestion, and relaxation. Therefore, within this study, these methods of restructuring were utilized in an effort to enhance self-concept.The sample consisted of 48 female Christian students enrolled Fall Quarter, 1983 at Ball State University. Twenty three and twenty five subjects were assigned to the experimental and control conditions, respectively. The experimental group was exposed to hypnotically induced positive self-statements. The subjects in the control group did not receive treatment. At the end of the treatment period, all subjects were administered the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale. The Total Positive Score (P) was used as an index of self-concept.The initial hypnotic induction consisted of a procedure suggested by Wolberg (1964) and Barber (1975). The procedure involved (a) deep breathing, (b) progressive muscle relaxation, and (c) visualization of a relaxing scene. After a pause, deepening by means of mental imagery took place in which subjects imagined themselves descending a 10 step escalator. During subsequent sessions, an abbreviated induction procedure was used.The positive self-statements used in this study are those formulated by Barber (1979, 1981), Hartland (1965, 1971), Stanton (1975, 1977), and others (Coleman, 1971; Gorman, 1974;, Maltz, 1960; and Oakley, 1965). The content of these positive self-statements suggested that subjects would feel generally more relaxed and self-confident, more self-reliant and independent,physically stronger and healthier, calmer, more serene and unconcerned by situations. which used to bother them. It was hypothesized that hypnotically induced positive self-statements would have a significant facilitating effect on self-concept in Christian, female college students. The hypothesis was tested using a two-group design and the corresponding parametric "t" test. Analysis of the data clearly indicates the absence of any significant treatment effect.