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Science Café explores the art and science of hypnosis

Published November 26, 2012

James Council, professor and chair of the NDSU psychology department, is scheduled to present the December Science Café, titled “The Art and Science of Hypnosis,” Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson.

The presentation will discuss the origins and historical development of hypnosis, its depictions in art and literature, and the current understanding of hypnosis as a therapy technique and psychological phenomenon.

“A lot of people are fascinated by hypnosis and believe that it can help them change in important ways, like losing the urge to smoke or overeat,” Council said. “Others are afraid of it, and think it can be used to make a person do things they wouldn't ordinarily do, such as cluck like a chicken or even commit crimes. Understanding the history and scientific basis of hypnosis can put all this in perspective, and help us know how and when hypnosis is appropriate and effective.”

Hypnosis has existed for hundreds of years and has been widely depicted in art, music and literature, which has led to misconceptions and a rather sinister image in some people’s eyes, according to Council.

However, hypnosis has a respectable place in psychology and medicine and has a long history as an effective therapy for a variety of physical and psychological disorders. For many years, hypnosis also has received serious study in its own right and has accumulated a large body of scientific research findings, Council said.

Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Keri Drinka at or 701-231-6131.

Science Café, sponsored by NDSU’s College of Science and Mathematics, features a presentation by a scientist and time for discussion with the scientist and other attendees. For more information on Science Cafés, visit


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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 11:48:54 AM