Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Stanley I. Berger


The present study in basic research designed to investigate the relationships among the variables of class standing, major, and sex and hypnotic susceptibility of undergraduate students. The results were also to be assessed for indirect indications of a relationship between age and HS and for indirect indications of an increase in HS of undergraduates as a result of contemporary trends such as the popularization of mind altering chemicals. From a pool of over 1,200 volunteers recruited from University of Rhode Island classrooms, 240 undergraduate participants were selected on the basis of specified criteria. The Harvard Group Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale: Form A, in tape form, was used as the measurement procedure. A three-way analysis of variance, with an a priori significance level of .05, was used. No significant differences were found for HS across class standing or for social science and natural science majors. A significant difference between male and female hypnotic susceptibility was found; mean for males= 6.66, S.D. = 2.61; mean for females= 7.16, S.D. = 2.78. There were indirect indications that there might be stabilization in HS for the participants between the ages of 17 and 22, and there were no clear indications of an increase in HS of undergraduates. The meaning of the results is discussed; no solid conclusions are drawn, and more basic research is called for.



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