Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Michael R. Nash


Previous research has failed to find a consistent relationship between hypnotizability and imagery ability. Common means of assessing imagery ability involve self-report measures of visual imagery vividness. The present study implements a behavioral approach to capture a unique aspect of imagery ability. It was hypothesized that participants' ability to have physiological reactions to their mental images as if those images were real, may be related to hypnotizability. Additionally, previous research has explored links between hypnotizability and a tendency to have psychosomatic difficulties. The present study examines this relationship using a new measure of somatization (Somatization of Emotional Conflict Scale). 70 Undergraduates at the University of Tennessee (34 Males and 36 females, mean age = 19.59) completed several self-report questionnaires as well as the Waterloo-Stanford Group C scale of hypnotic susceptibility. Their physiological reactivity to imagery of having their hands immersed in an ice bath was also measured. Findings indicate that reactivity to mental imagery was not related to hypnotizability however, scores from the Somatization_ of Emotional Conflict scale significantly predicted hypnotizability over and above all other measures implemented in the study. Implications for further research on the relationship between somatization and hypnotizability are discussed.

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