The 7 types of suggestions (and their functions and uses)

Today we are constantly exposed to a wide variety of stimuli, suggestions in the form of slogans, attractive images, sounds or even smells that remain registered and are associated with a wide variety of consumer products such as a snack or a perfume, among others; these being some suggested examples.

Here we will see what they are the types of suggestions that existand what are its main characteristics.

    What is the proposal?

    Due to what has been seen repeatedly in movies, series or television programs, some techniques carried out within the different types of suggestion have stopped, and may become unlikely to be perceived as a magic trick or illusionism. However, suggestion is a more complex psychological process that must be performed by trained professionals, and it can even be used in psychological therapy helping some patients establish healthier behaviors in their lives and thereby changing some that were harmful.

    However, although the effects of different types of suggestion have been observed in various fields, such as politics or neuromarketing, more studies are still needed in the field of psychotherapy.

    The different types of suggestion that exist have in common the fact that they are made to induce in others a change of thought, emotions and/or behavior through the external introduction of contentcan be seen as a kind of mental or psychological manipulation.

    Suggestion is a psychological process implemented with the aim of modifying behaviors and attitudes by various techniques and, although certain types of suggestion are traditionally associated with hypnosis, it is also often implemented in various fields, such as as advertising or neuromarketing, and even in politics, in order to induce, drive or guide a series of certain ideas, behaviors and/or emotions in people, without them needing to enter a hypnotic state.

    And is that in fact the suggestion, beyond what might lead us to believe in movies where a hypnotist with a pendulum appears succeeding in getting someone else to do what is asked, is far from to be the good one; It’s actually a fairly natural human mechanism, as it works in a wide variety of may be the case with purchases made within an establishment.

    In the field of psychology, it is quite common to find the use of the word suggestion to refer to the act of indirectly and argumentatively introducing something, such as a particular statement might be, into the mind of another person. It also refers to the impression made on the minds of people through gestures, words, speeches, sensations, signs, environment, etc.

    Main types of suggestions

    Below we will briefly explain the different types of suggestions that can be found in the various contexts in which the suggestion could be used.

    1. Direct suggestion

    The first type of suggestion that we are going to explain is the direct suggestion. Its effects usually occur immediately and it occurs when a person exercises his authority over another person who is suggested to him, who can submit to it. In such cases, authority is exercised by an order and the suggested person would carry it out, carrying it out without questioning the reason for the order.

      2. Indirect Suggestion

      Indirect suggestion is more subtle than direct, and its effects are not immediate.

      This mode of suggestion occurs through a series of acts performed by the person making the suggestion in order to induce the suggested person to do what the suggesting person wants to do, causing the other person to go in the direction you want. instead of going to another, all without saying so explicitly.

      An example of indirect suggestion can be seen in the case where a person, far from being intentional, registers an idea in his head thinking it originated on his own, when in fact it was suggested by a other person.

        3. Hypnotic Suggestion

        Third, we can find hypnotic suggestion among the different types of suggestion, a type of suggestion that is usually done for therapeutic purposes. However, it can also be done through various means.

        In this case, a mental suggestion is reached through a hypnotic session in which different techniques can be used for this purpose. In this type of suggestion, it is important to be very careful after performing the hypnosis session because it could become crucial for the patient.

          4. Auto-suggestion

          self-suggestion is a sort of self-imposed suggestion. Put into practice, we could find the example of a person who is convinced that something is true and for this, what he does before is to mentally repeat that certain phrase that serves to affirm it until he begins to consider it true.

          In the case of auto-suggestion, we can find two different ways: “voluntary auto-suggestion”, which occurs when a person repeats several times that something is true consciously in order to convince himself and ‘on the other hand, is the ‘involuntary autosuggestion’, which occurs when a person does not realize that he comes to think that he wants something, may have seen it in an ad, read somewhere or have heard of it before.

          • Related article: “Positive autosuggestion: what it is and how to use it to achieve our goals”

          5. Motor Suggestion

          Another type of suggestion is motor suggestion, which is one that can induce or even inhibit a movement or pattern of behavior based on the sequencing of movements.

          This type of suggestion is widely used in the field of neuromarketing in order to sell certain products, being an example of motor suggestion the strategy carried out by supermarkets when they put low-priced products, which are not essential, next to the boxes where customers pay for their purchases so that they are visible in the moments when they wait in line until it is their turn to pay, being more likely to end up buying a product of this type while waiting for your turn.

          6. Sensori-physiological suggestion

          Sensory-physiological suggestion is one of the types of suggestion, frequently applied induce certain behaviors by appealing to certain physiological reactions or senses.

          This is another technique widely used in the field of neuromarketing, applied in stores to induce in customers certain pleasant emotional states to associate with the shopping experience. Therefore, in clothing stores, we often hear relaxing music or even happy music that induces a relaxing and/or happy mood while shopping.

          7. Cognitive-perceptual suggestion

          Finally, among the different types of suggestion, there are also cognitive-perceptive suggestions; it’s a way of suggesting that certain psychological contents that influence memory come into playas well as the role that the senses play.

          This technique is also widely used in the field of neuromarketing, advertising and sales, being an example of advertising where they use an image that has an impact on the senses of the public to which it is intended to sell a particular product; while this image is accompanied by a tagline that serves to encapsulate what is meant to be etched in consumers’ minds, namely content that leads to purchase.

          Bibliographic references

          • Labrador, FJ (1980). Sensitivity to suggestion based on personality factors. Studies in Psychology, 1 (3), p. 15-27.
          • Michael, RB, Garry, M. & Kirsch, I. (2012). Suggestion, cognition and behavior. Current directions in psychological sciences.
          • Mordoh, E., Gurevicz, M., Thompson, S., Mattera, SI, Frydman, A. and Lombardi, G. (2006). The analysis of suggestion in psychoanalysis. Research Directory, 13, pp. 75-79.
          • Oakley, DA and Halligan, PW (2009). Hypnotic suggestion and cognitive neuroscience. Trends in cognitive science.
          • Computer, HG (2006). Clinical hypnosis: applications of suggestive techniques in clinical and health psychology. Behavioral Psychology, 14(3), pp. 467-490.

          Leave a Comment