Hypnotism has been used for everything from enhancing courtroom testimony to breaking bad habits.
But participants at the recent Fife Conference on "Folklore and the Supernatural" at Utah State University put the technique to even more exotic uses.During a session demonstrating a Shamanistic rite, four hypnotized subjects were asked who would win the NBA championship. Three voted for the Bulls; a fourth indicated no preference.
The participants later indicated little or no knowledge of or interest in basketball. One responded, "I hate it."
Sociologist James McClenon, department of social sciences, Elizabeth City State University, who conducted the session, said in a similar performance in a New England college during spring training in a past year, someone asked the hypnotized subjects who would win the World Series. One of the subjects quickly gave the name of the team that did emerge on top that year.
McClenon also asked the hypnotized subjects to visit their homes mentally and see if there was anything unusual. One of the subjects said she had seen a backhoe next to her house. When she called home, her daughter said everything was fine, but the neighbor had to have a backhoe brought in to dig up a waterline.