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Demanipulation in the NLP

Liubov Ilieva, Stanimir Iliev


Demanipulation in the NLP. Complex system approach

In: Communication strategies of the information society: Proceedings of the Xth International scientific-theoretical conference, October 26–27, 2018. –St. Petersburg : POLYTECH-PRESS, 2018. 323 – 328. (In Russian).


We live in the society where we could observe increase of manipulation towards one person and the whole society groups. Of course we understand better methods of manipulation but we still couldn’t protect ourselves enough. Numerous editions teaching us how to manipulate others and at the same time to be saved from manipulation.

But there is very deep and serious problem. The problem of phenomenological basis of manipulation – demanipulation remains insufficiently clear because of the deep levels of human perception and communications. The phenomenological basis is connected with deep levels of both – perception and communication. To illustrate it we will take the simple example of the conjurer who "deceives" us, using features of our perception. The example of the conjurer is not that dangerous, but the thief could be successful in his actions knowing laws of perception. If we understand methods of manipulation we could understand how to carry out the contraversion of manipulation - demanipulation.

Using knowledge of laws of perception, it is possible to exercise a manipulation, breaking human rights (the action of thief is very similar to tricks of the conjurer), hence, the use of certain kinds of manipulation should be forbidden by laws. The conjurer in his show uses receptions of "consciousness detour». Manipulation methods can be based on bypassing consciousness, using specificity of human communications.

The method of NLP is in the avant-guard of modern understanding and use of the manipulation techniques. The NLP method has been developed as the model of communications that includes data processing and investment by their sense, and the method of NLP defines ways of subjective experience of components use for psychological (mentally-emotional) changes of the person behavior [1].  NLP method in use could cause changes in the consciousness of one person by means of coding changes. What does it mean? The NLP method considers the three processes, that accompany the modeling of one's experience, namely: generalization, omission and distortion of the information during the transition from the deep structure of experience and deep structure of language to the superficial. Transition function is non isomorphous it means that we could observe a divergence in understanding of experience at deep and superficial levels (the same concerns also language). Transition functions play the role of frames, they are non linear they are connected and this connection has complex character. Sometimes transition functions are described as mental filters. That is not correct and leads to an illusion of their linear character.  The transitions from deep levels to surface levels and from surface levels to the deep levels of the experience are different for different people. The previous experience of every person is crucial. We could isolate transition functions only from results of coding we couldn’t separate transition functions from a territory card of one. In the context of transition the word could be allocated with the sense (meaning) from the surface. The very same word activates the one’s deep structure of experience. During the process of the representation of the sense of one word this word plays the role both of the frame and an anchor, and also connects individual experiences at transition to deep level of language and his experience. Relations between one’s own experience and words of languages are very complicated. These relations are in the basement of manipulation and self-manipulation. Conscious provides the word by sense of the event to which the attention is directed and this affects the way we imagine attractors conditions and structure of frames, it is very hard to catch this process as it is spontaneous and unconscious.

Processes of generalization, omission and distortion of information while transiting from deep levels to surface give us the possibility to explain as reframing, the speech paradoxes. The latent commands become effective methods of influence that means - manipulation in the course of communications. Transition from deep language structure to the surface is accompanied by processes of generalization, omission and distortion. At this transition we can observe such phenomena as lost of performative, the omission of the cause-consequence relations, generality quantifiers, modal operators, and abstract verbs.

NLP is proclaimed to be used for therapeutic reasons in order to help one to restore deep structure of his personality in order to achieve his purposes. For that purpose it is necessary to accomplish full language representation as at the deep level and at the surface level.

In the NLP technique we meet the process of nominalization. By means of nominalization the process becomes event. One of the purposes of the NLP method is to help the client (patient) to see that something he thinks to be completed as an event, is actually a process, and the client (patient) has the power to influence this process. If one thinks that something is an even and not the process it means that this person has no control over this process.

Nominalization is one of well-known mechanisms by which in our language process turns into event. However, it is possible to look at each word from the point of view of process, namely in process the word manifests the sense, interpretation [3; 4]. As for nouns, dictionaries fix them as events. In the dictionaries we meet the nouns that name our inner fillings, for example, fear. At the level of the process the sense of words is shown. In the group of Hindu- European languages nouns are naming things [3; 4], so they play role of a label, an anchor and attractors.

To interpret experience as a process we need verbs. Nutka language gives us very interesting approach. Worf would say that for us all the words in this language would look like verbs. One event has sense only when it is included in the process.

To understand the way one word obtains the sense is very important to show how the deep structures of language are connected with one’s experience. Process approach to language gives us a chance to understand the deep structure of language in terms of connected processes that permits us to find out connection of language and one’s experience in easer way, to activate relation with memory of concrete things, that gives sense to our speech. The process approach permits to create principles in order to define reframing, that is necessary to understand if manipulation takes place or not.

We could observe reframing when there is no manipulation in common sense. In the NLP the process of forming of cards and framing does not include characteristics of manipulation. In the NLP method the context of the method does not concern morality so, the person practicing the NLP method has to be responsible for ethical and ecological principles.

People who attend NLP session do it for the purpose of personal development. During sessions psychotherapist could bring patient into condition of unconscious reframing for the reason of improving his patient personal development. This condition can have as positive as negative consequences for the patient.

If NLP method could cause some harm to the patient, he should know how to protect himself that is why it is necessary to know technique of demanipulation.

How could we understand if the NLP implement has negative or positive effect for patient? We register positive effect after communication session the patient is in victory position and we mark the negative effect if patient is in the loss position. The context of influence can be formalized by means of the theory of games [5]. We introduce the category "purpose" (we put concept "purpose" in inverted commas as we use it in a context of the theory of games, instead of common sense, in detail see [5]) and we define criterion for its approachability. So, in the context of the theory of games manipulation in NLP during communicative action causes in the addressee of the communicative act the unconscious condition of the process of reframing, that means the addressee of communication doesn’t realize if the NLP methods have changed the degree of approachability of its purpose.

We register the most negative situation when the NLP session cases damage for  the patient - for example his health condition becomes worse. We have to notice that when we are talking in t terms of NLP desires, aspirations and purposes of the person are situated at the meta- level toward the basic representative system.

The analysis of language in terms of process permits to define sense of a word by means of process attractors such as labels, symbols and the anchors. They make connection between the language of events and language of processes. In such a context attractor realizes the process of purpose achievement. One event and any other data become significant for the addressee when they are included in the process that has attractor (and "purpose") in a card of a reality of the concrete person. Attractor in its role of purpose represents the sense, information and framing in terms of language.

The approach based on the theory of games is integrated into the processes of formation of sense in NLP and it itself is a model of the pragmatic theory of the information.

We could define the addressee position towards attractor (achievement) of his purpose by mental movies. Mental movie is that kind of condition of person (the addressee of communications) when he (or she) at virtual level sees in detail all stages that this person has to pass in order to achieve his purpose. After that mental movie (this special mental condition) the person has to make analysis of possible situations that could appear after his different reactions at communication he could receive. One could react in a certain way on the certain communication. The person is an element of complex system that means that this person can change his position in the system and to affect other elements of this system. The implementation of the evaluation of the possibility of achievement the purpose in the communication model fulfill relation between the deep language structure and deep structure of experience. It means that the process of providing the word by sense is not limited by the language level.

In the frame of NLP model we could follow the process of conversion from surface structure of language to the experience and to define purposes and attractors and their hierarchy, all this gives us possibility to analyze communication session both from the point of view the message sender and receiver. Like this we can understand the mechanism of impact sender of message produce.

It is very important for us to make clear correlation between purpose and sense at the deep level (of language and experience). As this level is basic for word structure of common event language oriented towards the achievement of the purpose. In the communication session we have two participants, each of them has his own purpose. To achieve their purposes each of participants uses the meaning of the surface language level but this level is connected with the deep level.

To optimize communication and to avoid manipulation it is very important to eliminate manipulation elements from the speech, to realize the true purposes of participants of communications, both the sender, and the addressee (in the process of communications they exchange their roles). If we draw an analogy with physics we could say that we integrate events by time, doing this we transform events into processes, at the same time we "filter" processes on their possible purposes. Like this we have spectral structure of the purposes of the message sender and the addressee. That on its turn gives us the possibility to define the character of communications in the approach of the theory of games. If the sender and the addressee have opposite purposes, obviously, manipulation attempt will take place. It is possible to assert, that revealing of own spectral target structure, also as well as spectral target structure of potential participants in communications will benefit each participant of communications giving the chance of orientation in the event space that makes easer acting in this space. This knowledge is especially valuable for restriction of manipulation attempts of participants of communications.

The spectral structure can be defined on the basis of the analysis of text and visual messages (or their parts connected with certain subjects) of each active element of communication process, whether it is speech of the politician, the mass media message or the message of the anonymous participant of facebook group. To analyze the text approach of neural networks could be applied. Thus the participant of communications can receive much more knowledge of process and the communications purposes, rather than by means of his own conscious channels of the analysis in which communicator could not avoid processes of generalization, omissions and experience distortions. At the same time the participant of communications can on his own adjust data for his own purpose structure, if he sets (the automatic program) texts he likes and texts he doesn’t like, by marking texts or videos he is looking at by marks “like” or “don’t like”. One PC can use such a program for example for blocking data that could be harmful for the user, could manipulate him.

This approach can be used for the analysis if manipulation aspect in mass media information, advertising that presumes to regulate manipulation processes legislatively.




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Modified date:05-04-2019