The Fourth Kind: A Movie Portrayal Of The Usefulness Of Hypnosis

1270 words - 6 pages

The Fourth Kind: A movie portrayal of the usefulness of hypnosis

Consciousness has always captivated my attention and has been the subject of my interest. I have decided to pursue an issue that the media never seems to depict properly. Hypnosis is best defined as the connection between two or more people, “In this interaction the hypnotist attempts to influence the subject's perceptions, feelings, thinking and behaviours by asking them to concentrate on ideas and images that may evoke the intended effects.”(Heap et al.(2001, p.3) Hypnosis has been a topic of great controversy in psychology and some even doubt its effectiveness. Being hypnotized occurs when a pattern a person’s ...view middle of the document...

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Taking a look at our class text book and look over the myths of hypnosis, we see that “myth 2: Hypnotic Phenomena Are Unique. Contrary to popular belief, subjects can experience many hypnotic phenomena, such as hallucinations…” This is very important point to remember when considering cases of memory recall hypnosis. It defies one's intellect by getting a subject to do things they normally would not do, remember, admit or say.

In the movie the Fourth kind, a therapists’ husband is found murdered by an unknown cause while sleeping next to her. To enter her subconscious and try to extract the memory which would prove her husband's murder, she is hypnotized by another therapist. In order to figure out exactly what she had seen and to make sense of it, she hypnotizes her patients who all had the same symptoms of insomnia and later realizes that there is a common factor after all her patients wake up; all complained of a starring owl at their window. Patients are constantly hypnotized throughout the movie, and with every time, they remember detailed and horrifying details of their experience. The viewer eventually learns that aliens were abducting these patients on a nightly basis.  This was proved while hypnotizing patients and recording all aspects of the sessions. The movie reinforces the popular stereotypes that hypnosis brings out a perfect memory of past events.

We have come to know that it is very unlikely to retain a perfect memory of a picture let a lone perfect recollection of multiple events. The Fourth Kind has various patients who are hypnotized by the same therapist and obtain the same results. This point alone tells us that the repeating variable is the therapist. This leads us to believe that it is possible that the therapist could be giving cues or possibly recreating a pattern to induce specific hallucinations.  Dr. Abigail Tyler is looking for something in particular in which she saw when she was hypnotized.  The therapist along with different examples of the media's influence in the movie, were given small cues and patients were informed of each other's experiences and results, almost forcing them to fantasize and hallucinate specific events. By doing so, it gave room to the myths around hypnosis as having the ability to improve memory and hypnotic phenomena are unique. The patients were induced into a sleep like state, found it hard to get out of that state, and were not aware of what they were doing during it. This adds more to the list of myths because scientist and therapist now know that you are not in a sleeplike state, actually very conscious and aware of your surroundings, and you have the ability to say no or stop the session at any given time.. This movie however, helps debunk the...

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