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Unformatted text preview: Orne, M.T. Hypnosis, motivation, and the ecological validity of the psychological experiment. In W.J. Arnold & M.M. Page (Eds.), Nebraska symposium on motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1970. Pp. 187-265. Hypnosis, Motivation, and the Ecological Validity of the Psychological Experiment 1 MARTIN T. ORNE 2 Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital and University of Pennsylvania INTRODUCTION It is the hope of understanding the sources of human behavior that has always been the basis of psychology. Regardless of whether attention momentarily turned to other species, to simpler mechanisms, or to apparently remote mathematical concerns, the ultimate object of interest has always been man. The very scientists who objectified psychology and examined simple processes of behavior in animals revealed an intense and abiding concern for improving the human condition. Pavlov, for example, devoted many years to the study of psychiatric treatment techniques; Watson invented the first behavior therapy for phobias; Hull helped found the Department of Behavioral Science at Yale which merged anthropology, psychiatry, and psychology; and Skinner wrote Walden II. 1. The research from our laboratory which is reported on in this paper was supported in part by Contract #DA-49-193-MD-2647 from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Grant #AF-AFOSR-707-67 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Contract #Nonr 4731(00) from the Office of Naval Research, and by a grant from the Institute for Experimental Psychiatry. 2. I would like to express appreciation to my colleagues, Harvey D. Cohen, Kenneth R. Graham, and David A. Paskewitz, for helpful comments in the preparation of this paper. I am particularly grateful to A. Gordon Hammer, Frederick J. Evans, Emily C. Orne, and David Rosenhan for their detailed criticisms and many incisive suggestions. Appreciation is also due Karen Ostergren for her editorial comments. 187 188 Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 1970 Some kinds of research can be carried out only with animals, but other questions which address themselves to human experience and complex human behavior can be asked only by studying human subjects. Not surprisingly, then, psychology's focus of interest has inevitably returned to man. In this discussion we will not be dealing with animal research. This paper will concern itself solely with experimental studies of human behavior and experience. Experimental studies of human behavior typically have considerable face validity. Generalizations from laboratory findings appear to have intuitive merit so that both the investigator and his scientific public are inclined to make the inferential leap to domains of behavior and experience beyond the laboratory. Such a leap is a complicated one, often not warranted on the basis of current evidence....
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