Let’s iterate that Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is not a science nor is it scientifically validated by either psychology or neuroscience. Yet, there are many interesting scientific papers published that NLP practitioners use in support of what they practise. Nevertheless, this is of course no scientific validation. NLP is a wide and deep field and until systematic scientific research in the field of NLP as a whole is being done and published in an undisputed scientific journal, there will be no scientific validation of NLP. It is important that no NLP practitioner claims anything even remotely connected to the idea that NLP is scientific or scientifically validated for that could only make NLP a pseudo-science. According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy pseudo-science has two criteria:
it is not scientific, and
it’s major proponents try to create the impression that it is scientific
NLP complies with criterion one, so NLP practitioners have to make very sure that they steer clear from criterion two. As long as they adhere to this it will be impossible for NLP to be pseudo-scientific.
Hence the importance of proto-science for NLP. On proto-science Thomas Kuhn said that they:
“generate testable conclusions but … nevertheless resemble philosophy and the arts rather than the established sciences in their developmental patterns. I think, for example, of fields like chemistry and electricity before the mid-eighteenth century, of the study of heredity and phylogeny before the mid-nineteenth, or of many of the social sciences today.”
[Kuhn, Thomas (1970). Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave, ed. Criticism and the growth of knowledge, Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 244]
In discussions we had with Dutch professors of philosophy it was made clear that as long as we publish the complete data sets we are in excellent waters. That is the reason why we publish all data sets here and why we have a complete archive of all the original documents used to collect the data. These will be made available to any well respected scientist or researcher who wants to go over all the source material as well as the raw data and data sets.
Furthermore, this proto-scientific research is done under the independent supervision of The Neurosophia Foundation, an officially recognized European charity that is audited by the Dutch authority. One of the two charitable objectives of The Neurosophia Foundation is the promotion of scientific research into pragmatism. The other one being the promotion of general well being through pragmatism. NLP is in line with pragmatism and as such well worthy of proto-scientific research according to The Neurosophia Foundation.