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Facilitated Communication as an Ideomotor Response
Cheryl A. Burgess, Irving Kirsch, Howard Shane, Kristen L. Niederauer, Steven M. Graham and Alyson Bacon
Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 71-74
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063250
Page Count: 4
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Forty college students were taught facilitated communication via a commercially available training videotape. They were then asked to facilitate the communication of a confederate, who was described as developmentally disabled and unable to speak. All 40 participants produced responses that they attributed at least partially to the confederate, and most attributed all of the communication entirely to her. Eighty-nine percent produced responses corresponding to information they had received, most of which was unknown to the confederate. Responding was significantly correlated with simple ideomotor responses with a pendulum and was not affected by information about the controversy surrounding facilitated communication. These data support the hypothesis that facilitated communication is an instance of automatic writing, akin to that observed in hypnosis and with Ouija boards, and that the ability to produce automatic writing is more common than previously thought.
Psychological Science © 1998 Association for Psychological Science