The NLP Entry on Wikipedia

I have just been reading the NLP entry on Wikipedia (one of my favourite sources of online information) and was shocked at how they got away with such a one-sided opinion.

So here is my views on it:

Everything has it’s critics. Which is fair enough

And NLP has been very badly misused and misold in the past which has a created a rather negative image in some areas (and with very good reason), because it is a highly deregulated field and there are so many chancers out there doing it, most of which, sadly, are rubbish at NLP! But tell me of something that hasn’t been misused and misold to make someone rich?

The scientific section is a somewhat selective and one sided list of experiments about the validity of NLP. There is a long list of scientific studies that have found in favour of NLP here:

And Selarno’s findings haved been deeply criticised, so that doesn’t help their case!!

Psychology in general is a rather woolly area when in comes to science, most mainstream psychological theories vastly contradict each other. And most “hard scientists” (which I suspect the person who wrote this argument is) hate psychology anyway, cos you can’t pin it down to fixed theories and “truths”.

(Really these hard scientists are as bad as fundamental religious nuts. If that’s what they want to believe then all power to them, but I hate the way they have this need to convert everyone to their way of thinking. Because everyone else it wrong! They have such a rigid world view…)

NLP seems to be a field that creates very emotive opinions in people. So you get its really evangelical supporters (who don’t help the cult criticisms) who make wild claims and get all carried away with what they say it can do (not helping the “pseudo-science” claims)

I would strongly refute the “New Age” claims though and the comparisons to EST and Dianetics (which are belief systems first and foremost)

But it NLP is certainly not a panacea for all ills. It’s doesn’t work on everyone and it has varying degrees of success with people. But point me out a psychological process that does!

I have found that it works for people more than it doesn’t and I have helped a lot of people with it, which too me is much more important that some bullshit petty argument about its “scientific validity”. And when you explain the principles to people, it seems a pretty intuative model of the mind.

And really, if it didn’t work, at all, would it still be around 30 years after it was created?? I don’t think so! Even Dianetics works with some people, that’s why that is still around…

And that whole argument on Wikipedia is written in a very emotive way for its claims of scientific validity.

(ever notice that? Scientist claim objectivity, yet are often the most emotive when it comes to criticisms of other “non scientific” fields?)

it makes me laugh that they spend half the argument telling you that it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t work and the other half telling you that it is dangerous and manipulative and BAD.

How can something not exist and be dangerous. If it doesn’t work it has no power and it if is dangerous it presupposes that it must work?

Talk about a contradictory argument!

And my final point. They claim it is all in the head of the person who it works on. Of course it is, it’s psychology. That is the definition of psychology.

Categories: NLP

About Matt Caulfield

5 Responses to “The NLP Entry on Wikipedia”

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  1. Rob says:

    Hi Matt

    Given the amount of reading I’ve done on the topic, I surprised myself that I hadn’t gone to Wikipedia at all, but I was glad I did. I agree that it wasn’t a balanced entry, but it nevertheless gave balance to my views. What surprised me more was that you couldn’t give a robust defence to NLP.

    From someone who I would consider an advocate for NLP, you seem to agree with the argument that here is a system open to abuse. A standpoint that’s unlikely to build further trust.

    Although you refute comparisons to EST and Dianetics, I have to argue that there is a belief element to NLP, comparable to Dianetics when you isolate it from Scientology. In both cases the view is that only once you believe, it will work for you. It’s this that makes these systems hard to refute. Placing NLP under scientific study would require trying to disprove its theories and by refusing to believe, from the perspective of a NLP’er, the experiment would collapse.

    What makes the New Age label seem so appropriate is the way NLP is presented – the marketing of the courses and learning opportunities. There are the same kinds of endorsements and sales techniques used on (mostly poorly presented) websites that bring a hokey new fad or cult to mind. Then there are the fees. Given what I know about NLP so far, what I learn on a course may well be the best lesson in my life. However, the exclusivity of that price tag reminds me of sign up practices of snake oil salesmen. If you’ve easily got £1000 plus to spend on a course, I’m sure you wouldn’t feel too aggrieved if you came away feeling nothing more than an optimistic outlook as a substitute for empowerment. Personally, I would be desperate to see results after such a large investment and that, worryingly, would prejudice my interpretation of the course, the content and the results.

    I, for one, would like to think this is a strategy that works; that I haven’t been wasting my time. Wikipedia being what it is, you do have the option of presenting a more balanced view and I believe the NLP community needs to start changing perceptions to prevent it being further marginalised.

  2. Pradeep says:

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    Pradeep Aggarwal

  3. Pradeep says:

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    Pradeep Aggarwal

  4. Pradeep says:

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    Pradeep Aggarwal

  5. Pradeep says:

    This is a nice blog with very good information on NLP.I’ll continue visiting it for more information.

    Pradeep Aggarwal