World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Atavistic regression

Article Id: WHEBN0008170305
Reproduction Date:

Title: Atavistic regression  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hypnotherapy, Atavism, Ainslie Meares
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Atavistic regression

Atavistic regression is a hypnosis-related concept introduced by the Australian scholar and psychiatrist Ainslie Meares.

Meares coined his term from the English atavism, which is derived from the Latin atavus, meaning a great-grandfather's grandfather and, thus, more generally, an ancestor.

As used by Meares, for example, his 1960 work A System of Medical Hypnosis, the term atavistic regression is used to denote the tendency to revert to ancestral type:

“The atavistic hypothesis requires… a regression from normal adult mental function at an intellectual, logical level, to an archaic level of mental function in which the process of suggestion determines the acceptance of ideas. This regression is considered to be the basic mechanism in the production of hypnosis.”[1]

Meares held the view that when in hypnosis, the higher (more evolved) functions of the subject's brain were switched off, and the subject reverted to a far more archaic and far less advanced (in evolutionary terms) mental state; something which significantly altered the subjects' cognitive processing so that they readily accepted internally consistent, literal logic without any of the normal filters and verifications against the objective facts of the real world.

See also



  • Meares, A., "A Dynamic Technique For The Induction Of Hypnosis", Medical Journal of Australia, Vol.I, No.18, (30 April 1955), pp.644-646.
  • Meares, A., "A Note on the Motivation for Hypnosis", Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol.III, No.4, (October 1955), pp.222-228.
  • Meares, A., "A Working Hypothesis as to the Nature of Hypnosis", Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, Vol.77, (May 1957), pp.549-555.
  • Meares, A., "An Atavistic Theory of Hypnosis", pp.73-103 in Kline, M.V. (ed.), The Nature of Hypnosis: Contemporary Theoretical Approaches, Transactions of the 1961 International Congress on Hypnosis, The Postgraduate Center for Psychotherapy and The Institute for Research in Hypnosis, (New York), 1962.
  • Meares, A., "Atavistic Regression As A Factor In The Remission Of Cancer", Medical Journal of Australia, Vol.2 (1977), No.4, (23 July 1977), pp.132-133.
  • Meares, A., "On The Nature Of Suggestibility", British Journal of Medical Hypnotism, (Summer 1956), pp.3-8.
  • Meares, A., "Theories of Hypnosis", pp.390-405 in Schneck, J.M. (ed.), Hypnosis in Modern Medicine (Third Edition), Charles C. Thomas, (Springfield), 1963.
  • Meares, A., A System of Medical Hypnosis, Julian Press, (New York), 1960.
  • Meares, A., Hypnography: A Study in the Therapeutic Use of Hypnotic Painting, Charles C. Thomas, (Springfield), 1957.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.