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Psychology in Action

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Instructor’s Resource Guide                          Chapter 5                                                 Page  170
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Brain-Based Learning Activity 5.5 - Hypnosis--"Tricks of the Trade" #2 As a follow-up to the above exercise, or as an alternative, ask your class if anyone has a needle or straight pin. Use this needle or pin for your demonstration. If you have no volunteers, take a standard paper clip and make a show of straightening it in front of the class. Announce that you will push the needle, pin, or straightened paper clip, under your thumbnail to demonstrate self-hypnosis. Explain that you have induced self-hypnosis prior to coming to class and that you need only to stroke your hand as a post-hypnotic suggestion for pain insensitivity. Make a show of gently stroking your left hand and pinching yourself as if testing for numbness. Ask the class to watch carefully as you slowly insert the needle. (The trick is that you have cut a thumbnail size piece of scotch tape and applied it to the nail of your "numb" hand before coming to class. During the presentation, you simply slide the needle between your nail and the piece of tape.) Explain to your class what you have done. Be sure to emphasize that your simple magic trick is to simulate tricks often used in stage hypnosis-- NOT to discount the documented effects of pain relief through clinical hypnosis. Mention again the points made in the above exercise regarding James Randi and the possible manipulation and deception by unethical "tricksters." Brain-Based Learning Activity 5.6 - Class Hypnosis/Guest Speaker To offset the problems and stereotypes of stage hypnosis, it is also helpful to demonstrate a standard hypnosis technique. If you do not possess the requisite skills or feel comfortable with the demonstration, you might consider inviting a local hypnotherapist to class. Ask him or her to discuss the therapeutic effects of hypnosis and to demonstrate hypnosis to willing subjects in your class. Instructor’s Resource Guide                          Chapter 5                                                 Page  171
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C ritical T hinking Critical Thinking Exercise 5.1 - Tolerating Ambiguity: Exploring the Meaning of Your Dreams Television, movies, and other popular media generally suggest that dreams are highly significant and easily interpreted, but scientists are deeply divided about the meaning of dreams and their relative importance. These differences in scientific opinion provide an excellent opportunity for you to practice the critical thinking skill of tolerance for ambiguity . A noncritical thinker often looks for the one "right" answer or one "right" theory, whereas the critical thinker recognizes the value in competing theories and accepts that each theory may be partially correct.
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