It seems that experts never fail. Over the summer holidays I have had the time to look at some hypnosis videos, mostly on Youtube. (I fear I am getting addicted to Youtube. Is there a name for that?) I didn't have any particular plan, just following links from one site to another and watching whatever was recommended as the next video.
More fame less evidence
What struck me after several hours of video watching was that the more famous the hypnotist the less likely they were to actually test their client for hypnosis. It seemed to me that the one thing they all had in common was total self admiration. Every one of them was so ready to believe in their own techniques that it never occurred to them that it might not actually have worked.
There was pushing and swaying and fast talking and slow talking, but every one of them told the client to close their eyes. And as long as the client's eyes were closed they kept on at whatever they wanted to do. It seemed that having your eyes closed is taken as positive proof that trance has been induced and that the client is taking it all in.
So where's the proof?
It was made even more obvious to me to see that many of the subjects were clearly not in trance, but neither the subject nor the audience felt brave enough to challenge the instructor. These instructors charge a lot of money for these training sessions, yet if it wasn't for the credulous participants who don't know any better, most of them would be out of a job.
Next time you have a travelling showman come round your way, challenge him to demonstrate the signs of hypnotic response to prove the client is in trance. Would make for a much more interesting demo than most of the ones I have been watching.