# Is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) a science or pseudoscience?

Are there some branches of NLP which are considered scientific?

Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, myopia,[8] allergy, common cold[9] and learning disorders, often in a single session.[10][11][12][13] NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and in seminars marketed to business and government.[14][15] Reviews of empirical research find that NLP's core tenets are poorly supported.[16] The balance of scientific evidence reveals NLP to be a largely discredited pseudoscience. Scientific reviews show it contains numerous factual errors,[14][17] and fails to produce the results asserted by proponents.[16][18] According to Devilly (2005),[19] NLP has had a consequent decline in prevalence since the 1970s. Criticisms go beyond lack of empirical evidence for effectiveness, saying NLP exhibits pseudoscientific characteristics,[19] title,[20] concepts and terminology as well.[21][22] NLP is cited as an example of pseudoscience when teaching scientific literacy at the professional and university level.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] NLP also appears on peer reviewed expert-consensus based lists of discredited interventions.[16]

Source: Wikipedia. I've made a fast search on Wikipedia, but I cannot access the papers. Also, going deep into this topic would be really demanding.

• Please, if you choose to downvote I would really appreciate an explanation, to avoid the same error the next time. – Revious Mar 24 '14 at 0:16
• Please read the tag wiki, the tag nlp is not for neurolinguistic programming. – Chuck Sherrington Mar 24 '14 at 0:25
• That's okay. Mousing over the tag will give you the excerpt. Clicking on it (and then clicking "learn more...") will take you to the actual wiki. – Chuck Sherrington Mar 24 '14 at 0:37
• Interesting. At one time, didn't most in the medical field announce Louis Pasteur and Elizabeth Kelly as Charlatans and frauds? – user4679 Mar 24 '14 at 15:34

## 1 Answer

We have quite a few questions on this site about Neuro-linguistic-programming. In general I think it is more productive to talk about a particular scientific claim or a particular treatment rather than an entire paradigm. Paradigms that are not grounded in the scientific method may incidentally reflect the truth when studied relative to scientific standards.

In general, this question on NLP and sales effectiveness has mostly been answered in a general sense. In particular, @what's answer makes reference to the scientific evaluation section on Wikipedia which basically states that NLP is not scientifically based or validated.

• Interesting.. it seemed to me a bit "invented", even if I'd like to wait before classifying it as completely ineffective. Sometimes scientific discoveries starts from intuition and a scientific approach is really time-demanding. For example, as far as I know, Dale Carnegie is also missing of scientific evidence.. but it's really intuitive that it works in many many cases. – Revious Mar 24 '14 at 9:18