NLP: No Linguistic Proof

It's more than 40 years since I started doing research for a PhD. Ever since then, I've naively thought that you really shouldn't go around making claims about the workings of human behavior and interaction for which there is little or no empirical justification. And that means, among other things, that there have to be methodological procedures that are clear enough for any other researcher to be able to check out the validity of whatever it is you're claiming.

In previous postings, I've already touched on some of the grossly exaggerated claims about the supposedly overwhelming importance of body language and non-verbal behavior in human communication.

But however flawed the empirical basis for some of these may be, they pale into insignificance compared with what's on offer from proponents of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

If only I'd realised how much money can be made if you don't hold yourself bound by what can be established through careful observational research, I could have not only got my hands on part of the action but also, at the same time, could have saved myself huge amounts of time.

But I don't think I could have lived with my conscience - unless, of course, I'm missing out on something when I see stuff like this (which really hots up after about 60 seconds):

Now, some questions:

Q1. Did you manage to watch it through to the very end?
Q2. Can you summarise what the point of it all was?
Q3. What empirical research is 'the point' based on?


Anonymous said...

You should pop over to and join in the fun there. Trust me, it's a hoot!

Anonymous said...

I like the acronym explanation. Struggled to watch for 3 mins - was the all that I expected and more. The sad thing is that some people are not in NLP for the money - they actually believe it!

Unknown said...

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