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You are getting sleepy. . .

Contrary to what you probably think you know about hypnosis, it can be done very quickly and can be used to convince someone to do something they normally wouldn't--like, say, giving away their wallet, phone, and keys to a stranger (English mentalist Derren Brown). What's happening here is known as a handshake induction, a technique pioneered by American psychiatrist Milton Erickson. There are other methods of rapid induction hypnosis. These methods, along with techniques of verbal suggestion, are used by practitioners of Neuro-linguistic programming, a field which some have associated with Mr. Brown's performances, though he denies it. I wonder, though, how he manages to get a cashier at a dog track to pay out on a losing ticket? [more inside]
posted by flotson on May 11, 2008 - 79 comments

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