Dr. Laurence is Professor at the department of Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He obtained his PhD from Concordia University in 1983 and joined the department of Psychology in 1985 where he assumed the direction of the Hypnosis and Memory Laboratory in collaboration with Dr. Campbell Perry. Awarded a Natural Sciences Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in 1983, Dr. Laurence spent a year in France to study the history of hypnosis. His book on the topic won the Arthur Shapiro Award from the Society for Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis in 1988.
Dr. Laurence and his students have produced more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters. Dr. Laurence’s seminal research on the creation of memory in high hypnotizable subjects, published in Science in 1983, was the first quasi-experimental demonstration that a new memory could be implanted during hypnosis. His work on the role of attention and the process of automatization as major factors at play in hypnotisability outside of the hypnotic context emphasized the importance of looking at hypnotisability as a synergistic ability, multi-determined by individual skills and social-contextual factors. In his recent research on hypnotizability, Dr. Laurence has demonstrated that working memory and attention processes interact efficiently to favor the automatization of responses in highly hypnotizable individuals.
Dr. Laurence has served as a reviewer and/or editorial assistant for many important journals in the field and for many Canadian Research Agencies. His research has been founded by both federal and provincial research agencies in Canada.