Date of Award

8-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Michael R. Nash

Committee Members

Derek Hopko, Robert G. Wahler

Abstract

The construct of “suggestibility” has garnered great interest in the field of psychology over the years. It has been invoked as an explanatory construct in social, clinical, and forensic psychology. Yet, the nature of the construct and of its factor structure is unclear. In an earlier study we operationalized suggestibility by measuring conformity, interrogative suggestibility, placebo effects, persuasibility and hypnotizability. There was no discernible factor structure. In the present study, we narrowed our focus to sensory suggestibility alone expecting to find some cohesion among responsiveness to these types of suggestive situations by examining this phenomenon across eight sensory measures (tactile, auditory, visual and olfactory). Additionally, we investigated the relationship between hypnotizability and the sensory suggestibility measures used. We applied factor analytic methodologies using Analysis of Movement Structures (AMOS) and found no support for a unitary or multi-factorial solution. None of the sensory measures used in this study correlated with hypnotizability. Results and implications of these findings are discussed.

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