A study of the effect of hypnotic susceptibility on senior secondary school students taught by regular subject instruction or by an accelerated learning method : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
In this study a Sixth Form Certificate class in Human Relations was taught by accelerated learning methods through the whole academic year. All students in this class were matched closely with students not involved in the Human Relations area. Accelerated Learning approaches are based on the original work of a Russian Psychiatrist who called his early work Suggestopedia. Lozanov believed that the effective use of suggestion was the key to speeding the acquisition of knowledge and improving its retention. Relaxation skills are a prime feature of accelerated learning when students receive passive instruction while relaxing to baroque music. The study measured the students on both academic performance and measures, pre and post treatment, of anxiety and self-esteem. At the end of the year all students were assessed on level of susceptibility to hypnotic suggestion. A division was made into those regarded as high or low in susceptibility to suggestion, and the results of testing examined in the light of level of responsiveness to suggestion. In both the treatment and non-treatment classes students rated as high for suggestibility performed better than students rated low for responsiveness to suggestion, however the high-suggestible students in the Accelerated Learning class performed significantly better than all other subjects in the study. It was possible to conclude that the process of instruction via accelerated learning techniques significantly raises the academic performance and self esteem levels, while decreasing both trait and state anxiety levels. The implications of these results for teachers and for future research on the use of suggestion in the classroom is also discussed.