Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment, traditionally employed in a club or theater before an audience. Due to stage hypnotists’ showmanship, many people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control. Stage hypnotists typically attempt to hypnotize the entire audience and then select individuals who are “under” to come up on stage and perform embarrassing acts, while the audience watches. However, the effects of stage hypnosis are probably due to a combination of psychological factors, participant selection, suggestibility, physical manipulation, stagecraft, and trickery. The desire to be the center of attention, having an excuse to violate their own fear suppressors and the pressure to please are thought to convince subjects to ‘play along’.

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