“Am I a good candidate? "
Everyone is sensitive to hypnotic suggestion at least to some level, and this level is easy to measure. But psychologists have been trying since the late 19th century to identify which personality traits indicate a good hypnotic subject - and with very little success!
Despite this, there are five characteristics that can often be found in highly suggestible people, although there are still many people who do not have all of these characteristics and are still very hypnotizable.
What may surprise some skeptics is that these human traits do not include gullibility, addiction, or submission. Additionally, people with psychosis or mental retardation are traditionally considered very difficult to hypnotize.
Confidence here is the kind of subject being certain of their ability to respond to suggestion and hypnosis; unsurprisingly, they tend to be more hypnotizable. These are the people who don't care about getting it right; they don't suffer from performance anxiety.
Motivation matters; the more you want to be hypnotized, the easier it will be to hypnotize yourself. In the past, physicians using hypnosis in a medical setting have observed that their patients are more responsive than average, possibly because people in hospital are often highly motivated to accept treatment that may help them.
Suggestion is sometimes confused with gullibility, but in fact, the higher the level of intelligence, the more hypnotizable subjects become. IQ has been shown to positively correlate with performance on many types of tasks, hypnosis being no exception. Research also suggests that the more people understand hypnosis, the better they tend to respond.
Research suggests that people who worry about "distractions" such as sounds or other disturbances during hypnosis tend to progress more slowly than people who are more accepting of their experience. It is normal for your mind to wander a bit, especially at first. Hypnosis is a skill that can be learned and improved, so be patient with yourself.
A particular type of imagination is revealed to be a factor in hypnotic responsiveness: the ability to be easily absorbed, as in movies, novels, or daydreams. It makes sense that people who can be deeply wrapped up in their imaginations can focus better on the suggested images, such as in hypnosis.
A reminder - don't worry if you think you don't have enough intelligence, imagination, confidence, motivation or patience! You can still be a good hypnotic subject and should definitely be able to improve your responsiveness with a little training and practice.