Faculty Profile

Karlin, Robert

  • Portrait
  • Robert Karlin
  • Associate Professor
  • Email: rakarlin@psych.rutgers.edu
  • Phone: 1.8484452047
  • Office: Tillett Hall 517
  • Campus: Livingston
  • Areas: Clinical Psychology


I received my M.S. in Psychology from Yale in 1973 and my PhD from Rutgers in 1974. I have been on the Rutgers University faculty ever since. My major interest has always been in psychotherapy and I have long taught the psychotherapy proseminar for our beginning graduate students. However, my research areas have related to rather than directly studying psychotherapy. So,after beginning my research in alcohol studies and then in environmental psychology, I became interested in hypnosis and have subsequently published a good deal in this area.

I have had four sets of interrelated interests in hypnosis. First, I have been interested in hypnotic analgesia. I wanted to establish whether there were or were not measurable differences in the brain function when highly hypnotizable research participants were compared to their willing, but not as hypnotizable, counterparts. My work was the beginning of a series of studies that indicate that suggested positive and negative hallucinations result in clear brain function differences when those capable of the hallucination are compared with those who are willing to try, but who can not experience the hallucination.

Second, I wanted to understand the mechanisms that underlie highhypnotizability, looking at differences inattentional abilities among high and lesshypnotizable participants.

More recently, I have been interested in distinguishing the responses of relatively unhypnotizable participants who are willing to "go along with the gag" but can not experience very much of a change when hypnotized from those who are simply unwilling to be hypnotized.This research has led to a variety of suggestions about methodological problems and data analysis in hypnosis research.

Fourth, I have been interested in keeping hypnosis out of courtrooms, where it can create false memories and result in major miscarriages of justice.

Most recently, and on another track, I became interested in divorce mediation, a better way to get divorced. I also routinely teach the undergraduate statistics course for psychology majors, trying (as a good clinician should) to help people do things well that they don't do easily.