The Milton Model

Milton Model Conversational postulates

Conversational postulates are questions we could answer with yes or no, but usually give a behavioral response rather than a literal answer.

When a young child is on the phone and you ask, “Can you get Susan?” They will say yes. Meaning “yes I am capable of getting her”. When you ask an adult, “can you get Susan?” Normally they get up and get her.

This pattern is a way to avoid creating resistance. Milton Model Tag questions are another good way, aren’t they? Many of us hate being told what to do and we can react strongly and close down the conversation quickly when someone starts issuing commands.

  • Do you know what’s on at the movies this week?
  • Do you have the time?
  • Is the window open?
  • Can you listen to me?
  • Can you pass the butter?

In trance, when you say, “can you move your leg” the person interprets this literally and says yes. In a waking state, the person will generally just move their leg.

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