Special Committee: Creating a Curriculum About Hypnosis for Introduction to Psychology


Given the ubiquity of stage hypnosis found both on college campuses and in popular media, exposing psychology students to the scientific, clinical and psychological uses of hypnosis is very important. Due the large scope and breadth of many Introduction to Psychology curricula, few instructors dedicate instructional time to hypnosis. Some may be hesitant to do so because they know little about the topic. Those who generally like doing demonstrations in other units may have difficulty providing something of interest to students, especially if they do not want to do formal hypnosis.


The purpose of the committee is to create a unit about hypnosis for high school and college teachers of introductory psychology and similar courses where hypnosis is taught. This unit would give teachers the tools to introduce students to what hypnosis is, present accurate information using a theoretically balanced approach, dispel its myths, and provide suitable, interesting, and appropriate demonstrations. This unit is not intended to teach students how to do hypnosis but rather to teach about it.

Enduring Questions:

  1. How much is being taught about hypnosis and by how many in college and high school psychology classes? What are students expected to know?
  2. What are the textbooks teaching about hypnosis? Do any miss major points? Do any provide information that may inadvertently mislead the reader?
  3. Do schools use stage hypnosis or hypnosis for entertainment as a means of teaching or enriching this unit?


  1. Formation of committee composed of teachers of psychology and hypnosis practitioners and researchers.
  2. Data Collection: Public comment, taken in the form of surveys, opportunity directed at Listservs and online groups that focus on professional hypnosis and/or teaching of psychology. Dedicated to
    1. What is taught by survey respondents
    2. What needs to be taught
  3. Data Collection: Textbook and curriculum review by committee
  4. Review of data by committee
  5. Curriculum creation: 1st draft
  6. Review of curriculum by Division 30 Executive Committee
  7. Revision of curriculum
  8. Public Comment on curriculum
  9. Final revision by Committee
  10. Ratification by Executive Committee


  1. A curriculum guide will be created that will contain the following:
    1. The unit will be made so that it can be adapted for lessons of various lengths.
    2. Content
      1. Introduction to Hypnosis
      2. Major Theories
      3. Uses
      4. Appropriate demonstrations
  2. One or more reports about the findings of the committee’s research, which may become submissions for possible journal publication.
    1. Examples
      1. Coverage of hypnosis in textbooks
      2. Amount time dedicated to hypnosis in classroom/course lessons


Up to three years. Estimated time commitment is 30 minutes to one hour per month on average, with some months having more than that and others requiring fewer or none at all.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please e-mail John Mohl (John.Mohl[at]bucks.edu) by September 1st, 2017.