The Stroop Effect
There is something called the Stroop Effect. The Stroop Task is one of the best known psychological experiments named after John Ridley Stroop. The Stroop phenomenon demonstrates that it is difficult to name the ink colour of a colour word if there is a mismatch between ink colour and word. As it is more difficult to name the ink colour when the word does not match, it takes longer for the brain to process this and say the correct word – this delay is called The Stroop Effect.
E.g. It is easier to say the correct colour of the word when the word matches the colour you are required to say:
This is something you can try yourself! http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/java/ready.html
Now what is interesting about this is that Amir Raz and his colleagues (2002) used hypnosis to create a ‘Word Blindness’ – where participants could ONLY see the colour and could not read the word. This basically eliminated any Stroop Effect and participants would be to say the colour of the word equally quickly no matter what the word said!
Now this is something that you cannot pretend to be good at and therefore provides scientific evidence that hypnosis does have an effect! These experiments have been replicated many times and therefore provides good quality neuro-scientific evidence that hypnosis is something very real!