For years people have asked if someone can be hypnotized against their will. Unfortunately, the answer is YES and NO!
No, if you know what your mind is receiving, whether written, audible or visual. You will not be hypnotized by any input that you refuse to accept and are aware of what is happening.
Yes, people go in and out of the hypnotic mindset many times daily. But how can a person be hypnotized against their will? When their concentrated attention is not involved.
To find out how the media can hypnotize you, let’s review what hypnosis is and how it works. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind where the conscious and unconscious minds change control positions, and the brain wave patterns change into different patterns. Hypnosis is the internal focus of attention to the extent that you become overly receptive to suggestions within your focused attention.
For example, suppose you’re studying something and have to be called twice or three times to break your concentration. In that case, you were experiencing a light state of hypnosis. If you drove home and don’t remember seeing the landmark you always see, you were in a light state of hypnosis. Suppose you are watching TV and a commercial advertising a new and improved cleaner. The next time you go shopping, you may react to a hypnotic suggestion and buy the new cleaner instead of your usual product.
How did the commercial give you the hypnotic suggestion? In hypnosis, you are probably relaxed and experiencing an Alpha brainwave pattern, the same pattern as when you are watching TV or reading some news event. If someone spoke to you during the commercial, you might not completely hear what they were saying. You were experiencing a light hypnotic trance. The person speaking to you broke your Alpha waves (a state of relaxation) into Beta waves (where you have to concentrate).
This snap happens when you’re watching a movie, engrossed in the action or drama, and the commercial begins—the commercial “snaps” you back into a state of awareness and focus.
But the commercial didn’t do the hypnotizing. The program did! Advertisers study where to place commercials because they know that when you are relaxed, you are more likely to be influenced.
There’s no question that the media can influence your thoughts and actions.