NLPhilia Blog

NLP Articles, News, Trainings, and Products

Archive for August, 2008

Sentences saturated with similar sounds seem to stimulate synapses

without comments

Alliteration is the way English poetry used to be done. If you read Old English or Middle English poetry (even if you don’t understand it) you won’t find rhyming; you’ll find alliteration. If I recall correctly, rhyme didn’t come into English poetry until after the Norman Conquest.

I find alliteration to be rather hypnotic, and I’ve noticed Richard Bandler uses it sometimes in his presentations. (I’ve heard him use rhyme as well.) A recent bit of research, outlined at Cognitive Daily, indicates that it may stimulate memory as well:

Some scholars have suggested that alliteration makes a poem easier to remember: an important skill back in the days when books were so expensive that it might be cheaper to pay a bard to recite a poem than buy a written copy. But there has been little research about whether alliteration actually acts as a way to spur memory. More to the point, alliteration is rarely used throughout a poem: some of the words have to start with different letters. So alliteration might help you remember some of the poem, but it can’t help you remember the parts that aren’t alliterative. Or can it?

Go read more at Cognitive Daily: Alliteration improves memory performance

Previous posts of this particular persuasion:

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 29th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Linguistic,Psych

The power of away-from

without comments

When in any Master Practitioner training and learning about metaprograms, one of the more amusing moments is when someone discovers that he or she is motivated by pain more than by pleasure. Often, they cry, “But I don’t want to be away-from!” (If you don’t know why this is funny, I can’t help you right now.)

There’s a prejudice in American culture against away-from motivation, a persistent belief that it’s somehow ineffective or worse. I think that’s garbage. People with away-from motivation can accomplish great things:

Scared, and more than a little frustrated, I made up my mind, then and there, to do SOMETHING about my situation. I took out a piece of paper – actually, the back of an envelope – and I began to…

Read the rest of You. Can. at No Credit Needed.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 29th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Like him, love him, laugh at him, loathe him…

without comments

No matter what your response to Barack Obama, you’ve got to admire his amazing skill with language. His ability to stay both engaging and content-free is astounding.

Here’s a transcript of his convention address. I was just working through it. It’s got everything a hypnotist could want in a trance induction. I wish now that I’d watched it so I could experience his paraverbal and nonverbal stuff too.

(Edited to add: Bert Decker over at Create Your Communication has posted his critique of Obama’s presentation, and it’s worth a look.)

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 29th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Richard’s New Book: Get the Life You Want

without comments

Via John LaValle, an e-mail from Richard Bandler landed in my inbox today. Here it is for your enjoyment, edited only to “linkify” the included URLs and obfuscate the e-mail address of the publicist.

Dear friends and colleagues,

This September, I’m excited to bring out my first U.S. published book in 10 years, GET THE LIFE YOU WANT: The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change with Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

You have all noticed that the state of the world is a bit tenuous at the moment – to say the least. People are running around like chickens without heads about jobs going away, love lives crumbling, and subsequently watching their health deteriorate.

Now that I have unfortunately painted a bleak picture, don’t you think the time is right for a little NLP?

I’d like you to partner with me in getting the word out there. Let’s help others learn to acquire some valuable tools to turn around their lives. And, at the same time help co-create a NY Times bestseller.

What I’m asking is for you to send a message to your own email list of friends and colleagues (at least 10 people) and encourage them to pick up a copy for themselves and at least one more to share.

What we need, in order to create critical mass, is for this campaign to roll out over a few specified days. So, we want people to order their books from on September 2, 3, and 4. The link to order is by clicking here.

I am also running a contest where a few lucky people will win a signed copy of GET THE LIFE YOU WANT. Be one of the first 25 people to email my publicist at will receive an autographed copy. Thank you in advance for helping me to get the word out. Together, we’ll sort out this chaos, one brain at a time.

Yours truly,

P.S. Another item that might interest YOU and/or your friends is that I am giving a FREE lecture in Las Vegas on Friday night, September 5 at the Las Vegas Hilton from 7:00 – 9:00 pm which is part of a professional conference on neuroscience. You may want to spend the entire day there.

See more about the conference at: You can also get a copy of GET THE LIFE YOU WANT there and have it signed. Remember, what happens in Vegas…. hope to see you there.

And, of course, you can check out my Web site at

For more information about the Las Vegas event and to save your place, call: 800-441-5569 or

P.P.S. Richard Bandler’s Guide to Personal Trance-formation will be out in November. You can also pre-order this book on Amazon.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 26th, 2008 at 3:19 am

Posted in Books,Personal Change

Tagged with

Push For Pain, Pull For Pleasure

without comments

I’m a big fan of Free and open source software. I’m running Ubuntu Linux at home, haven’t booted Windows in ages, and really enjoy the freedom and choice that gives me. But that isn’t what this post is about. I just wanted to mention how I happened upon the article I’m suggesting you read.

Solveig Haugland, author of the 2 Guidebook, has been working to convert people from Microsoft Office to the free, open-source suite, and she’s discovered the power of metaprograms… specifically, pain versus pleasure. It’s an interesting real-world example of the application of metaprograms in persuasion.

Go see Persuading people that is the right choice? Accentuate the negative.

Oh… and switch to OpenOffice!

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 22nd, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Those Wacky Psychiatrists!

without comments

Wow. Thorazine is magic!

Hate parenting? Here ya go!

Ladies, can’t make your man happy? Now you can!

Too healthy? Medicine has the answer!

And here’s scientific proof that money can buy happiness.

(I’m delighted to have found the Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research.)

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 22nd, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Neuro,Psych

You’ve just got one of those faces

without comments

This article at the Mind Hacks Blog summarizes some research being done in the area of how we decide to trust (or mistrust) a person based on the shape of their face. It starts with an article at the Boston Globe, with an accompanying graphic illustration of the pertinent facial characteristics:

behavioral scientists have also begun to unravel the inner workings of trust. Their aim is to decode the subtle signals that we send out and pick up, the cues that, often without our knowledge, shape our sense of someone’s reliability. Researchers have discovered that surprisingly small factors – where we meet someone, whether their posture mimics ours, even the slope of their eyebrows or the thickness of their chin – can matter as much or more than what they say about themselves. We size up someone’s trustworthiness within milliseconds of meeting them, and while we can revise our first impression, there are powerful psychological tendencies that often prevent us from doing so – tendencies that apply even more strongly if we’ve grown close.

Here’s something else I found interesting:

Another set of cues, and a particularly powerful one, is body language. Mimicry, in particular, seems to put us at our ease. Recent work by Tanya Chartrand, a psychology professor at Duke, and work by Jeremy Bailenson and Nick Yee, media scholars at Stanford, have shown that if a person, or even a computer-animated figure, mimics our movements while talking to us, we will find our interlocutor significantly more persuasive and honest.

Cute, eh? Go read the Globe article; it’s great.

If you love academic writing, or even more detail, here’s a PDF of a Princeton University study on the subject.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 21st, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Psychedelics and Therapy

with 4 comments

An August 19 article in The Guardian, written by psychotherapist Andrew Feldmár, talks about the benefits of using hallucinogenic drugs alongside conventional treatment:

After three LSD sessions, a patient emerged from what was labelled chronic psychotic depression (she had attempted suicide three times, had been hospitalised, and given several courses of ECT, major antipsychotics and antidepressants), and was able to hold a job, derive pleasure from her days, and look forward to cultivating a varied garden of delights. She moved from cursing me for not letting her die to blessing me for the surprising freedom that opened up for her as a result of her LSD experiences. Psychotherapy, without LSD, would not have been enough, I’m afraid.

I’ve been curious about such methods ever since reading Aldous Huxley‘s book, The Doors of Perception. (Not curious enough to try the stuff, though.) I’m wondering what it is, exactly, that helps the mentally ill get better so much faster with such drugs than without them. If we could determine that, we could determine how to duplicate the results more safely and consistently… perhaps even without the drugs.

Go read Psychedelic Drugs Could Heal Thousands.

(Thanks, BoingBoing, for the pointer.)

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 21st, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Neuro,Psych

Failure is more than just feedback

without comments

A little while back, BoingBoing pointed me to an article in Harvard Magazine. It’s a video and a transcript of author J. K. Rowling’s commencement address, and it’s amazing. One of my favorite parts:

…failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. I love it.

Go read The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination, and/or watch the video.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 17th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Pattern Interrupt!

without comments

My old friend Quentin Grady sent me this. Do you know where phones go when we put them out to pasture?

Jean-Luc Cornec\'s sheep

A quick Googling showed they were created by artist Jean-Luc Cornec for the Museum of Telecommunication in Frankfurt, Germany.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 15th, 2008 at 1:11 am

Posted in Left Field

Tagged with