"An eye roll test for hypnotizability" - Herbert Spiegel

The Eye Roll Sign (ERS) and its relation to innate trance capacity

In four-thousand years of hypnosis, we've only found one physical characteristic that shows a high correlation to the ability to be hypnotized.

In 1972, Dr. Herbert Spiegel, M.D. published "An Eye Roll Test for Hypnotizability" in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, which detailed a method to determine trance capacity using the eyes. This test has been found to be accurate in more than 70% of cases.

In short, the subject is asked to roll their eyes back, much as if they were looking up through a hole in the hairline. The more the eyes roll up, the more susceptible the person is. The amount of roll is recorded on a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the most roll/most susceptibility to hypnosis.

You can read the complete paper here: "An Eye Roll Test for Hypnotizability - Dr. Herbert Spiegel, M.D."

Hypnotic Induction Profile

Administration of the HIP can be a routine part of the initial visit and evaluation. The test begins with the eye-roll sign, a presumptive measure of biological ability to experience dissociation. In the test procedure for eye-roll sign measurement, the patient is told Hold your head looking straight forward; while holding your head in that position, look upward, toward your eyebrows, now toward the top of your head (up-gaze). While continuing to look upward, close your eyelids slowly (roll).

The up-gaze and roll are scored on a 0-to-4 scale by observing the amount of sclera visible between the lower eyelid and the lower edge of the cornea. This procedure takes approximately 5 seconds. The eye roll is a part of the hypnotic induction, which is also scored as an initial indicator of the potential for hypnotic experience. Also, in many patients, the eye roll alone can become a spontaneous rapid hypnotic induction in addition to providing initial information that is compared to the more traditional perceptual and motor items that follow.

Spiegel Eye Roll Chart



The client is asked to :

1.    Hold your head looking straight forward ;
2.    While holding your head in that position, look upward toward your eyebrows— now toward the top of your head (UpGaze) ;
3.    While continuing to look upward, at the same time close your eyelids slowly (Roll) ;
4.  Now, open your eyes and let your eyes come back into focus.

The Up-Gaze and Roll are scored on a scale.

The amount of sclera visible between the lower eyelid and the lower edge of the cornea is the most practical measurement. 

March 22, 2018, 3:09 PDT

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