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Human Mind & Hypnosis: Cognitive/ Affective/Psychomotor Aspects

Imagine opening up a PANDORA’S BOX – one that is a magically compartmentalized working machine, fitted with different components of all shapes, sizes and models- each having a specific function and attribute towards a desired output. The concrete aspect, like the hardware of a computer, that can be seen and observed, can be likened to the HUMAN BRAIN and the abstract function that it performs, akin to the operating software to deliver a desired result, can be associated with the HUMAN MIND.

The Human Mind is that part of the Human Brain that is responsible for all metaphysical aspects of cognition like thinking, imagining, perceiving, desiring, remembering, willing, emoting etc. In the world of Educational Psychology, Bloom’s Taxonomy has a very important place wherein Bloom has trifurcated all the learning processes of the brain & the mind into three domains namely:

  1. The Cognitive Domain (intellectual capacities)

  2. The Affective Domain (thoughts, emotions, attention, desires, etc.)

  3. The Psychomotor Domain (cross construct of the cognitive and affective domains, wherein the motor functioning of the physical body is driven by inner workings of the psych)

 Let us study each of them in detail:

The Cognitive Domain: (INTELLECT BASED)

 As the name suggests, this domain of the brain is concerned with all aspects of intellectual activity relating to cognition. This domain has been effectively defined as a sum of the processes that enable the cognitive activity to take place across the various stages of intellectual functioning. The componential steps involved in this exercise are:    

 a- Knowledge/Remember           b- Comprehend/ Understand              c-Application                                         d- Analysis                                                  e- Synthesis                                            f- Evaluate/Create                              

  1. Knowledge /Remember:  involves identifying and memorising factual aspects, terminologies, conceptual details, without any kind of real understanding of them. For example: use of Legos, puzzles, Rubik’s cube                                   

  2. Comprehension/ Understand: involves depicting / demonstrating one’s understanding of all the facts/ concepts/ ideas by organizing, summarizing, translating, generalizing, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas. For example: learning all the standardised techniques & formulae of operations of the cube

  3. Application: involves using the acquired knowledge to solve problems in new situations by applying all the learned facts, techniques and rules, understanding the connections and relationships between old knowledge and newly acquired information. For Example: creating new designs and patterns using the principles learned using the cube. 

  4. Analysis: involves studying and deconstructing the information into components, understanding their mutual connections, knowing the underlying principles, deducing inferences as well as striving to prove the generalizations. For example: studying a principle deductively as well as inductively   

  5. Synthesis: involves creating from varied elements as well as bringing all the parts together to create the whole- either back to what it was or something that is new in form and meaning. For example: creating a whole new structure/ form from the same basic elements/raw material at hand 

  6. Evaluation/ Create:  involves presenting the pros and cons of assumptions and generalisations by putting forth pointers and information, showcasing the validity and reliability of ideas. For example: trying, testing and proving facts under all circumstances.

The Affective Domain: (EMOTION BASED)

This domain relates to generating emotional reactions and empathetic responses from within the individual and focuses on the evolution of one’s attitudes, emotions and feelings.

There are five stages in this domain that are responsible for the growth and realisation of one’s emotional intelligence.

     1- Receiving                               2. Responding                        3. Valuing               4. Organising                            5. Characterising

  1. Receiving: It is the first level of attention without which no learning can occur because it encompasses memory and recognition.

  2. Responding: Wholesome and active participation in the learning process, by responding/ giving feedback to a stimulus comprises this very important stage.

  3. Valuing: In this stage, a sense of worth is attached to the information being acquired as tools for life.

  4. Organizing: This involves putting together all of one’s learnings in a systematic and relatable manner for one’s own purposeful application. It involves comparative studies, classifications, grouping elements as per one’s understanding. 

  5. Characterizing: This is the foremost stage of this domain that has the ability to construct abstraction in knowledge and understand & present its non-concrete dimensions.

The Psychomotor Domain: (ACTION BASED)

This domain focuses on the manipulation of the physical body in accordance with our using cutlery, dancing, playing a sport, etc.


   P – Perception                   S- Set                            GR- Guided Response          M – Mechanism              COR- Complex Overt Response                                A – Adaptation                 O – Origination


This talks about the skill of being able to perceive from the environment, using sensory cues, leading to the appropriate motor activity. So as the process suggests, it ranges from the ability to use the sense organs as per whichever get stimulated and further translating that information into experience. It is a form of communication with the environment that falls in the non-verbal category. It covers aspects of estimation, approximation, anticipation in studying events from the environment. Some examples of this faculty would be catching a ball, judging the environment on the basis of smell, etc.


This can be attributed to the phrase ‘GET-SET-GO’ wherein SET means the act of readiness, be it on any plane- physical, mental, emotional. This pre conceived and prepared readiness for any situation is also responsible to the formation of certain MIND SETS, that could be a derivative of the Affective Domain. For example- the act of being prepared in position to race both on a physical as well as mental level, the interest to follow a series of steps in any procedure, etc.

Guided Response:

This stage refers to the most initial stage of comprehending information characterised by curiosity, trial and error and imitation by observation and proficiency is achieved by consistent practice. For example, learning a sport, skill, etc  


This is the stage where all that is acquired through learning gets habitual which is evident in the confidence and flawlessness with which these activities are performed. Examples of the same include skating, driving, deducing an equation.

Complex Overt Response:

Skilful and perfected presentation of the acquired skill devoid of any hesitation is the hallmark of this response system. This effectively showcases one’s ability to perform challenging tasks with ease of skill and mind. For example: playing complex musical instruments, parking a car in a difficult place, etc


In this stage, all the skills are very well developed to an extent such that the individual can reinvent, modify adapt and accommodate as per changes in the requirements. For Example: taking unexpected questions from people in a workshop, 


This part of the domain deals with the skill of solving problems creatively by using all the available knowledge in a different manner to suit the changed demand and requirement. For example: fitting in classical moves in modern music. This is the real test of the learning outcome where the individual develops the ability to mould one’s acquired knowledge as per the situation.


Now that we have had an overview of The Bloom’s Taxonomy in describing the working of the Human Mind in its Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor capacities, let us also understand about Hypnosis.


Imagine yourself free floating on water while swimming. Though one is transported to a joyful state of calmness and tranquillity, drifting into a myriad of thoughts and feelings, one is still aware of the surroundings and is in control of the self, despite getting swayed into a parallel world within oneself. This best describes the process of Hypnosis. Infect, on a daily basis, we are often in an auto pilot mode which is nothing but a state of Hypnosis where we are totally open to the suggestions and information being fed to us by our immediate environment. For Example: Watching an emotional scene in a film brings out the corresponding feelings within us despite us logically knowing that the film is no more than an act put out on a screen with fictional characters and situations- yet we succumb and post that scene get back to our normal self. The same can be said about watching/hearing/seeing anything and getting carried away by it without application of our logical mind – be it poetry, music, art, news, driving, cooking, cleaning. 


Hypnosis can be defined as a state of the mind in a trance like situation wherein the attention, concentration and suggestibility (the ability to accept external ideas) is exponentially increased. In layperson’s terminology, Hypnosis is actually considered a sleep like state but in reality, it is a state of absolute clarity of thought, feeling and proposed action. Though during this process, the person experiences diminished peripheral awareness, yet the person remains in complete control of the self and can opt out of the process at will.

The process of Hypnosis is facilitated by capitalising on the power of suggestions which are given in the form of guided imagery, sounds, sensations through consistent verbal repetition that eventually brings the person into a state of relaxation and creates potential for transformative changes.

To understand how Hypnosis works, we need to understand the Model of the Mind


The human mind is represented by the following diagram wherein it is perceived to be compartmentalised into 3 parts

  1. The Conscious Mind – makes up only 12% of our entire brain, akin to the C.P.U of a computer controlling all voluntary activities and perceiving, analysing, reasoning all the incoming information from the environment.

  2. The Critical Filter – acts like a guard that controls the nature of the information entering the Subconscious Mind. It has the power to accept or reject suggestions of the conscious mind.

  3. The Sub Conscious Mind – makes up the remaining 88% of the brain, akin to the hard disk of a computer 

 regulating all involuntary functions of the body and storing all the information like a database. 

 Effect Of Hypnosis on the Human Mind:

The process of hypnosis creates a bridge between the External Suggestions being provided by the Practitioner to the concerned individual and the Subconscious Mind by over- riding the Critical Filter. 

The main objective behind Hypnosis is to transcend the Gatekeeper and initiate a connection with the Subconscious part of the Mind. As a result of this, the Conscious Mind is no longer in action and therefore the person enters into a highly suggestive state wherein he /she is able to access their Subconscious reservoir of their real and deep desires, emotions, beliefs, goals, fears, insecurities and other repressed contents.  

As and when the individual willingly enters into this trance-like heightened state of inner awareness, the Cognitive Aspect of the brain becomes dormant for that much amount of time and the Affective Domain is awakened and highly capitalized as a result of the stimulated Subconscious part of the mind. 

This happens very methodically because as we have learned earlier, the Cognitive Aspect governs all the Intellectual Processes of thinking, planning, reasoning, logically deducing, etc. most of which belong to the Conscious Domain of the Mind. Simultaneously, once the connection with the Subconscious is made, the Affective Domain is brought to the fore with all the repressed and hidden emotions, thoughts, feelings, desires, dreams, etc. There are also certain moments within these sessions that the Psychomotor Domain of the brain responds to the suggestions owing to Ideomotor Responses that follow the suggestions being given, while at the same time being absolutely aware of the movement happening. This means that at no point in time is the individual out of control of the self and can choose to come back to conscious awareness. The proof od this is usually the feedback the practitioner receives at the end of the Hypnotic trance, wherein, the individual can clearly recollect most of what has ensued during these sessions.

Hence, it is thus logically proving that Hypnosis has a very deep impact and connect with the Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor Aspect of the Human Mind and greatly brings about the most desirable changes that an individual aspires for, as long as the aspiration is one of pure and focused positive intention.

To conclude, Hypnosis is a very effective technique that finds application in numerous therapeutic, diagnostic and healing processes and comes under various sobriquets like guided imagination, relaxation, mindfulness, etc. and is adopted by many body-mind-soul practitioners to reach their desired outcome.

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Show full profile Ritu Practitioner

Having spent my life years in work profiles ranging from being crew for an international airline to enjoying a brief teacher/ trainer stint in educational institutions, I chose to spend a major portion of my life being a stay at home parent. I have always been intrigued by the diversity in human nature and perceptions for which I pursued M.A (Clinical Psychology) and followed it up by an elaborately structured course in Cognitive Hypnosis and Psychotherapy at ICHARS. My introspections over the last couple of years or more have enlightened and empowered me on an individual level which I am consciously enabling others to experience as well with success. Looking forward to being a 'Clarity Catalyst Coach Cum Therapist' and Chancing upon a 'Conscious Change by Choice'.

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