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Hypnotism vs. Mesmerism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 23, 2023
Hypnotism is the practice of inducing a trance-like state to increase suggestibility, while mesmerism, rooted in Franz Mesmer's theories, posits a magnetic fluid influence between individuals.

Key Differences

Hypnotism refers to the method or technique of putting someone into a trance-like state, often characterized by heightened focus and receptivity to suggestion. Mesmerism is based on the earlier practices and teachings of Franz Mesmer, who believed in a kind of "animal magnetism" that could be transferred between individuals.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
In hypnotism, the trance state is achieved through specific relaxation techniques, verbal cues, and repetitive suggestions. The process is believed to tap into the subconscious mind, allowing for deep-seated beliefs or memories to be accessed. In contrast, mesmerism postulates a magnetic fluid or energy that one person can transfer to another, influencing their mental and physical state.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
Today, hypnotism is commonly used in therapeutic settings, such as hypnotherapy, to address behavioral and psychological issues. It is scientifically recognized and distinct from stage hypnotism, which is performed for entertainment. On the other hand, mesmerism has largely fallen out of favor and is often viewed as pseudoscience, but it played a significant role in the early history of psychology and the study of the human mind.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
Despite the differences, both hypnotism and mesmerism share an underlying theme of influence over another person's mental state. While hypnotism has roots in clinical practice and psychology, mesmerism is more associated with the mysticism of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Origin

Modern psychological practice
Based on Franz Mesmer's "animal magnetism" theory
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
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Usage

Therapeutic, entertainment
Historical therapeutic, mystical
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Technique

Induction through verbal cues, relaxation
Believed to use a "magnetic fluid"
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Scientific View

Accepted in psychology and therapy
Largely considered pseudoscience today
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Focus

Accessing subconscious mind
Influence through magnetic energy transfer
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism and Mesmerism Definitions

Hypnotism

A technique to influence behavior and thought through the subconscious mind.
With hypnotism, he managed to quit smoking after years of addiction.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023
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Mesmerism

An early precursor to modern hypnotic practices.
Although mesmerism has lost its popularity, it paved the way for contemporary hypnotic techniques.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism

The practice of inducing a trance-like state to heighten suggestibility.
Through hypnotism, he accessed buried memories of his childhood.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Mesmerism

An 18th-century practice based on Franz Mesmer's theory of "animal magnetism."
She studied the historical practices of mesmerism as part of her research.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism

A method to achieve deep relaxation and increased focus.
She used hypnotism to help her overcome her fear of flying.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

Mesmerism

The belief in a magnetic fluid exchanged between individuals to influence health and behavior.
He was a firm believer in mesmerism and its healing properties.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism

A state of heightened receptivity to direct suggestion.
Hypnotism allowed her to recall details she thought she had forgotten.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Mesmerism

A method asserting influence over another through supposed magnetic energy.
The crowd was captivated, almost as if under the spell of mesmerism.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism

The art of placing an individual into a sleep-like state for therapeutic purposes.
Many turn to hypnotism for help with issues like insomnia or anxiety.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Mesmerism

The act of inducing trance states through believed magnetic forces.
She tried mesmerism to find relief from her chronic pain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Hypnotism

The theory or practice of inducing hypnosis.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 15, 2016

Mesmerism

A strong or spellbinding appeal; fascination.
Sumera Saeed
Mar 15, 2016

FAQs

Is mesmerism scientifically accepted?

It's largely considered pseudoscience today, though it played a role in early psychology.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Is hypnotism scientifically accepted?

Yes, especially when used in therapeutic settings like hypnotherapy.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Are hypnotism and mesmerism the same?

No, while both involve trance-like states, hypnotism focuses on suggestibility, and mesmerism focuses on "animal magnetism."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

What is hypnotism?

Hypnotism is the practice of inducing a trance-like state to increase suggestibility.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Was mesmerism popular in the past?

Yes, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

How does hypnotism work?

Through specific relaxation techniques and verbal cues that access the subconscious mind.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

How was mesmerism believed to work?

Through the transfer of a magnetic fluid or energy between individuals.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

What's the difference between hypnosis and hypnotism?

Hypnosis refers to the trance-like state itself, while hypnotism refers to the practice or technique.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

What is mesmerism?

Mesmerism is based on Franz Mesmer's theories, suggesting a magnetic fluid influence between individuals.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 23, 2023

Can hypnotism be harmful?

When practiced by untrained individuals, it can be, but in therapeutic settings, it's generally safe.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Is mesmerism still practiced today?

While largely historical, some niche groups and individuals still explore mesmerism's techniques and concepts.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Is stage hypnotism real?

Stage hypnotism is for entertainment and may involve some genuine trance states, but it's distinct from therapeutic hypnotism.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Can you self-hypnotize?

Yes, with practice, many individuals can achieve a state of self-hypnosis.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

What's the main goal of hypnotism?

To access the subconscious mind, influence behavior, or achieve relaxation and focus.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Was mesmerism used for healing?

Yes, Franz Mesmer and his followers believed it had therapeutic properties.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Are there any famous figures associated with mesmerism?

Franz Mesmer is the most notable figure linked to mesmerism.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Most people can be hypnotized to some degree, but responsiveness varies.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Did mesmerism lead to the development of any modern practices?

Yes, mesmerism paved the way for modern hypnotic practices.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Can hypnotism help with anxiety?

Many people find relief from anxiety through therapeutic hypnotism.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Why did mesmerism fall out of favor?

As scientific understanding advanced, many of mesmerism's principles were debunked.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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