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November 21, 1925

Wesen und Vorgang der Suggestion.

JAMA. 1925;85(21):1663. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670210065037

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Straus analyzes suggestion through detailed study of ordinary conversation in contrast with hypnosis. Previously, he believes, theories of suggestion were erroneously influenced by studies of the hypnotic state in which the subject's behavior is regarded as a state of pure receptivity due to a "specific psychic constellation in the subject caused by affective influences on the part of the suggestor." Such a theory might account for affirmation and acceptance; it fails to explain repudiation and negation. It involves also the erroneous idea that in the suggestive act the subject has no purpose, "no subjective motivation," and is controlled by causes outside of its consciousness (extraconscious causation). For Straus the individual responding to suggestion is "consciously motivated"—undergoing a purposive experience. This conscious motivation does not imply reacting to the pure logic of a situation. Reasoning occurs, but is influenced by the relation existing between "percipient" and suggestor, as well as by

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