The term suggestion was used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Introduced in the century, it describes the manipulative influence of an idea or sensation with the result that the manipulation is not perceived or at least temporarily not available to the consciousness. Etymologically, it can be traced back to the Latin noun suggestio, -onis , which means something like addition , inspiration or whispering , or to the Latin verb suggerĕre ( to add , underscore ).
In psychology, suggestion - the term was first used by James Braid - is a form of influencing feeling, thinking and acting. However, demarcations or differences to neighboring areas are hardly discussed. A distinction is made between autosuggestion and heterosuggestion , i.e. influencing oneself or others. In the subject area of hypnosis , suggestions represent immediately effective inspirations by the hypnotist. Posthypnotic suggestions , on the other hand, only work after the hypnosis, usually on a previously determined cue (e.g. a word or a gesture).
In any case, a distinction must be made between suggestion as an act or result, suggestibility as the willingness of the person to be suggested, and suggestivity as the potential to be able to place a suggestion. In this understanding of suggestiveness, suggestibility can then also be understood as auto-suggestivity - of course based on an external stimulus.
The terms “suggestion” and in particular “suggestibility” are often used as synonyms for influencing the will, exercising power, good faith, influenceability and weak will.
Even before the development of psychoanalysis , Josef Breuer used suggestions to cure hysteria . The symptoms are combated in this technique by applying a suggestion, the effect fading over time and the treatment must be renewed. Suggestion methods were also used to treat so-called war neuroses.
Other everyday effects where suggestions can serve as an explanation:
According to the meaning of the subordination , the term suggestion is also used in the so-called suggestive question . The aim of the questioner is to influence the content of the answer directly on the respondent. (Example: You were at the crime scene after all? - which can more likely evoke the answer yes from the other person.) This influence can already take place via facial expressions and gestures, but also verbal expression. For example, there is an old trick among waiters according to which the guest can be influenced by a slight nod or shake of the head when asked whether he should be refilled.
- Max Nonne : About successful suggestive treatment of hysteriform disorders in war neuroses. In: Journal for the whole of neurology and psychiatry. Volume 37, 1917, pp. 191-218.
- Fanny Jimenez: Psychology: memories can be manipulated afterwards. In: welt.de . May 27, 2011, accessed October 7, 2018 .