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It performed some quite sophisticated experiments on magnetic phenomena.
With the magnetically "adept" person separated from the magnetist by a paper screen so that they could not see each other, the Commissioners found that the patient frequently showed magnetic effects when the magnetist was not magnetizing, and did not show these effects on other occasions when he was.
The Commission concluded (correctly) that animal magnetism did not exist, and (incorrectly) that its non-existence meant that it could not have curative effects.
In the true traditions of science, however, the commission provided an alternative explanation of magnetic phenomena, part of which suggested a way in which an ostensibly non-existent entity could, in fact, have curative effects.
Hypnosis is inextricably tied to the false memory problem, whether its use is formal or disguised. KEY CONCEPTS IN HYPNOSIS I gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of Emily Carota Orne for her critical comments on earlier versions of this manuscript and Pamela Freyd for her incisive editorial recommendations. Hypnosis involves a person’s ability to set aside critical judgment without relinquishing it completely, and to engage in make-believe and fantasy (Gill & Brenman, 1959; E. The ability to conduct a hypnotic induction is acquired easily and rapidly by an individual who has at least moderate interpersonal skills, and who is able to establish a relationship of trust and an appearance of competence.
During that period, Franz Anton Mesmer gained astonishing popular recognition for what he called Animal Magnetism (the first of several metaphors for what is now called hypnosis).
This success led him to conclude, erroneously, that Animal Magnetism exists; we now know, however, that the various non-specific placebo factors that are present in healing situations may have been the effective ingredients in his treatment successes.