Most researchers leverage bottom-up suppression to unlock the underlying mechanisms of unconscious processing. However, a top-down approach - for example via hypnotic suggestion - paves the road to experimental innovation and complementary data that afford new scientific insights concerning attention and the unconscious. Drawing from a reliable taxonomy that differentiates subliminal and preconscious processing, we outline how an experimental trajectory that champions top-down suppression techniques, such as those practiced in hypnosis, is uniquely poised to further contextualize and refine our scientific understanding of unconscious processing. Examining subliminal and preconscious methods, we demonstrate how instrumental hypnosis provides a reliable adjunct that supplements contemporary approaches. Specifically, we provide an integrative synthesis of the advantages and shortcomings that accompany a top-down approach to probe the unconscious mind. Our account provides a larger framework for complementing the results from core studies involving prevailing subliminal and preconscious techniques.
Landry, M., Appourchaux, K., & Raz, A. (2014). Elucidating unconscious processing with instrumental hypnosis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00785