The Social Influence Theory is a popular theory that explains how people are influenced by their social surroundings. This theory has been applied to many different areas of human behavior, including hypnosis. In this article, we will explore how the Social Influence Theory explains hypnosis and its effects on individuals.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of consciousness where an individual is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. This state is usually induced by a hypnotist who uses various techniques such as relaxation, concentration, and suggestion to alter the individual’s state of mind. Hypnosis has been used for many purposes such as pain management, stress reduction, and behavior modification.

The Social Influence Theory

The Social Influence Theory suggests that people’s behavior is influenced by their social surroundings. According to this theory, people often conform to the norms and expectations of their social group in order to fit in and be accepted. The theory also suggests that people are more likely to comply with authority figures or individuals who hold power over them.

When it comes to hypnosis, the Social Influence Theory explains that individuals who are hypnotized are highly suggestible due to the influence of the hypnotist. The hypnotist holds power over the individual as they are seen as an authority figure with expertise in inducing hypnosis. The individual may feel pressure to comply with the hypnotist’s suggestions in order to fit into the expectations of the situation.

Examples of Social Influence in Hypnosis

There are several examples of how social influence plays a role in hypnosis:

The Role of Expectations in Hypnosis

Expectations also play a role in how hypnosis affects individuals. The Social Influence Theory suggests that individuals may have preconceived notions about hypnosis and what it entails. These expectations can influence their behavior during hypnosis and their susceptibility to suggestion.

For example, if an individual expects that hypnosis will be a positive experience that will help them overcome a problem, they may be more likely to comply with suggestions given during the process. On the other hand, if an individual has negative expectations about hypnosis or does not believe in its effectiveness, they may be less likely to comply with suggestions.


In conclusion, the Social Influence Theory explains how social surroundings and expectations can influence an individual’s behavior during hypnosis. The power dynamic between the hypnotist and the individual being hypnotized plays a significant role in compliance with suggestions. Understanding these factors can help us better understand how hypnosis works and its potential benefits for individuals seeking behavioral change or stress reduction.