Besides response expectancy sets and other specific cognitive-social factors, hypnotic responsiveness depends upon the ability to inhibit the irrelevant stimuli that evoke responses that are incompatible with current goals or the mapping between irrelevant/disruptive stimulus and its response in order to actively maintain task relevant information (e.g. response expectancy sets). Two correlation designs presented in this paper showed a modest but a robust and significant correlation between cognitive inhibition and hypnotic responsiveness. These results are discussed in the context of an argument for the integration of the trait and social learning views of hypnotic responsiveness. Cognitive inhibition, as a basic mechanism in human cognition, may provide a basis for the trait view of hypnotic responsiveness. Further, cognitive inhibition is flexible enough to permit social and learning factors to play an important role in determining hypnotic responsiveness. For example, expectancies may determine which response will be emitted and when it will be emitted only if the appropriate response expectancy set is actively maintained by inhibition of collateral disruptive information.
KEYWORDS: hypnotic responsiveness, cognitive inhibition.