A question about the Critical Factor (or Critical Function) of the mind.

Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH


I am having some trouble conceptualizing what is meant by the critical factor, and the role that it plays in hypnosis. Can you clear things up for me?

Medical-Minded Student of Hypnosis


Hi L,

I believe that the Critical Factor is a comparing function. It constantly compares new information and experiences with what is already in the subconscious mind. If the new information matches what is already in the subconscious mind (your view and understanding of the world) then that information goes right in and reinforces what is already there. If it does not match, i.e., contradicts what is in there, then it is rejected. That information is still known to the subconscious mind. But it is considered to be untrue or irrelevant information, so it does not affect your beliefs and behavior.

But once the Critical Factor allows the new information in, then it becomes part of your program and you act upon it without further critical analysis and can become habitual. It becomes part of your belief system.

Hypnosis is an effective process in which the Critical Factor is bypassed, and new information can be placed into the subconscious mind. Then it becomes part of your belief system. Such hypnotic suggestions are a very effective way to build habits, and to remove old ones.

Thanks for the question,
Cal Banyan, MA