Sunday, June 1, 2008

Did Derren Brown Use NLP to Get Jason a Date?

In last week's episode of Trick or Treat 2 (episode 5), Derren Brown apparently improved Jason's self-esteem so he could get dates and chase down purse thieves.

It certainly looked like Derren was using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to create this change. The middle segment of the program was an elaborate mirroring exercise, the mental imaging routine smacked of NLP, and the glass-eating reminded me of the hot-coal-walking Tony Robbins uses to inspire confidence in his conference attendees.

But magicians who like Derren Brown frequently argue that DB does not practice NLP, and that he only uses it as a form of misdirection in his tricks (i.e., viewers are led to believe that he's using NLP when in fact his illusions rely on sleight-of-hand and hypnosis).

Derren himself criticized the followers of NLP in his book, Tricks of the Mind, but at the same time acknowledged that some NLP techniques work.

So, does DB use NLP or not?

Weigh in by answering this week's survey question, to the right of this entry -->>

I will post the results later this week. And if you have any theories specific to episode 5 of Trick or Treat, please leave them as comments on this blog entry.


totalsuperbot said...

One of the most shocking parts of the show for me was when Jason was chasing the thief. It seemed they were struggling for a fairly long time, yet Jason didn't resort to physical violence. Why was this? Surely most people would try have tried to get the thief to the ground, yet Jason let himself be led up into the apartment. I suspect he had already been hypnotized/persuaded/told subconsciously what to do in that situation. Potentially it could have turned pretty nasty.

William_Tapscott said...

Good point. Jason had no problem using abusive language with the thief, but for some reason it did not occur to him to knock the thief to the ground.

Stu S said...

Given that Jason was put across as a pretty big introvert at the beginning of the show (maybe this was to emphasise the change he undertook, but lets assume it's true), I think the chances of Jason resorting to physical violence is fairly small.

Firstly, Jason chased the mugger because he had developed a more positive, "can-do", confident self image from his experience with DB.

Secondly, he did not resort to physical violence because his aim was to retrieve the female stranger's bag and the role he took on was that of a protective character i.e. hero, rather than a more authoritative character in which he would of attacked him to punish the man. In addition to this the work DB did with him was based around self image, self belief, confidence to talk to people and deal with "scary" situations, not martial arts.

I do think however the event would of gone differently if it had been Jason's bag/backpack. This would of been a more personal threat and would of then been a case of having to defend himself.

Regarding abusive language, Jason was shown playing his Xbox 360 and he's a computer techy... he blatantly plays online where one comes under such verbal abuse daily... mail.

What do you think?

Em & Stu