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Just what is neuro-linguistic programming?


In an article on the BehaviourBuzz website, Sue Knight explains what Neuro Linguistic Programming is all about and how it can be used to give you choice  - choice to do more of the same or choice to do differently.

2 Responses

  1. NLP?
    The following web site located in Germany has a fascinating database that lists close to 180 references on academic and scientifically verified research that has been conducted and published on NLP.
    The findings are as follows:

    A total of 177 research papers were referenced.

    26 studies were written in a language other than English and could not be analysed.
    58 studies were inconclusive, irrelevant to this report or drew no formal conclusions

    My key findings were:

    35 studies looked at the validity of eye accessing cues. Only 8 of these studies (23%) supported the use and legitimacy of eye accessing cues as an indication of sensory modality. The rest, 27 (77%) stated that eye accessing cues had no significant positive or negative impact on personal interactions.

    32 studies looked at the validity of predicates. 21 of these studies (66%) found that the use of predicates had no influence in building rapport. (An interesting observation about predicates was that two of the studies demonstrated that there was a stronger correlation between personality type and predicates used than there was with any other factor they encountered.)

    36 studies looked at the concept of representational systems. 29 of these studies (80%) found that when representational systems were used they played no significant part in enhancing relationships.

    5 studies (56%) found that phobia cures worked.
    4 studies (44%) determined that NLP phobia cures worked but only short term.

    Could any NLP’s suggest why this research is not totaly convincing of NLP uses and affects?

    Garry Platt
    [email protected]

  2. Recent research
    More recent research shows that neurolinguistic programming is as pseudoscientific as it sounds. Its a misleading bunch of new age hooey. The minor tweaks and benefits from it are totally swamped in misdirection and embarrassingly wrong misconceptions about human mental functioning.

    NLP has been rated as one of a top ten most discredited interventions:

    John C. Norcross, Thomas P. Hogan, Gerald P. Koocher (2008) Clinician’s Guide to Evidence-based Practices. Oxford University Press, USA

    It has been rated as more discredited than thought field therapy (TFT)

    Norcross, JC, Garofalo.A, Koocher.G. (2006) Discredited Psychological Treatments and Tests; A Delphi Poll. Professional Psychology; Research and Practice. vol37. No 5. 515-522

    It resoundingly failed the tests of the 80s

    Sharpley C.F. (1987). “Research Findings on Neuro-linguistic Programming: Non supportive Data or an Untestable Theory”. Communication and Cognition Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1987 Vol. 34, No. 1: 103-107,105

    and is considered pseudoscientific bunkum:

    Lilienfeld Scott O. , Steven Jay Lynn, and Jeffrey M. Lohr (2003). Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Guilford Press, New York.

    Grant J. Devilly (2005) Power Therapies and possible threats to the science of psychology and psychiatry Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Vol.39 p.437

    Drenth, J.D. (2003). “Growing anti-intellectualism in Europe; a menace to science”. ALLEA Annual Report

    Singer, Margaret & Janja Lalich (1996) Crazy Therapies : What Are They? Do They Work? Jossey-Bass (September 27, 1996)


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