Research Studies on NLP

Early academic research on NLP was not favorable and there were terrible design flaws as NLP did not meet the therapy model and was not testable in the traditional sense.  There were a number of methodological and design issues that have made it difficult to get good ongoing research in the field.  Here is text from an email I recently sent to a colleague with references attached. My apologies if you are not research oriented and just want to learn more about this dynamic  and life-changing technology that is known as NLP.  Please read other blog articles here that are designed to educate.


In college I did a research paper and here is a partial list of the citations that were in APA Format in 1990-1991.  I pulled from a lot of different sources.  You may already have these.  (See list below.) The astericks (***) mark the primary article we need to include in our current work in my opinion. Einspruch is from University of Miami and his literature review starts with an inset paragraph, ‘There is a growing body of empirical literature on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).  A review of this literature by Sharpley (1984) failed to consider a number fo methodological errors. In the present article the authors identify six categories of design and methodological errors contain in 39 empirical studies of NLP documented through April 1984.  (The paragraph continues, and you have the premise.)

The first paragraph of the actual article says, “Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a way of organizing and understanding the structure of subjective experience and is concerned with the ways in which people process information but not necessarily with the specific content of that information. Information is processed primarily in three modes, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The sensory modalities used in a given task and their sequence are critical to the performance fo that task. Persons who are extremely skilled at a task will have radically different processing sequences than those who perform poorly on that same task… ”   To my mind the article gives a pretty good introduction to NLP and the last page of the article suggests ways to avoid previous research errors including the training of study participants by NLP Trainers, understanding of the Presuppositions of NLP and sensory observation measures.

Here is my partial list:

Day, M.E., (1967), Eye-vovement indicator of…, The Journal of Psychology, 66, 51-62.

Dittman, A. T., (1969). Body Movement and speech rhythm in social conversation. , Journal of Persoanlity and Social Psychology, 11, (2) 98-106

Dorn, F.J. Burnson, B.I . Atwater, M (1983). Assessment of primary rep sys… . American Mental Health Counselors Association Journal. 161-168.

Durand, D, Weitzel, J, Hansen, A (1989).  Computer analysis of sensory predicate use…  . Psychological Reports.

***  Einspruch, E. L. & Forman, B. D. (1985). Observations concerning research literature on NLP… Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32. (4) 589-596.

Falzett, W. C. (1981) Matched versus unmatched primary rep…   . Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28 (4), 305-308.

Gumm, W. B., Walker, M. K., & Day, H. D. (1982) Neurolinguistics Programming: Method or Myth? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 29, (3) 327-330.

snip>>>>>  I also have specific references for Gur, Hammer, Harmon, Jupp, LaBorde, Ludwig, Mercier, Ucros, Wertheim, Wilbur, Woerner, and Zastrow in the 1980’s.