In order to be certain that all synergological observations are real, Synergology assesses them using the falsifiability criterion established by Karl Popper (cf: Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959). For Popper, a scientific theory is only scientific if the truths it states can be challenged through observation. Thus it is the possibility that a proposition can be refuted by means of experimentation (or “falsifiability”) that validates its scientific nature. A theory is scientific if it can be put to the test, is testable and if it is falsifiable. An example: 100 000 white swans on a lake do not allow us to state that the proposition “all swans are white” is true. On the other hand, a single black swan on a lake allows us to state that the proposition “all swans are white” is false. The scientific attitude is a critical attitude that does not seek confirmation of a theory; just the opposite – it looks for tests that can refute the theory.
Let’s apply the falsifiability criterion to synergological propositions: if we put forward a hypothesis in the following terms: “In all happy people the lower palpebral fissure of both eyes is automatically raised, never revealing the white of the eye under the pupil”, we are providing the means to falsify the hypothesis; all it would take is a for a significant percentage of palpebral fissures not to be raised in obviously happy people to invalidate our hypothesis. A synergological proposition is only truly synergological if it can be falsified. Error, far from being a shortcoming, is a necessary step in the development of knowledge. Every synergological proposition put forward in training courses has been put to the falsifiability test.
Verifying the observations
Non-verbal communication is one of the few fields in the humanities in which it is possible to verify observations. If you practise psychology for example, it is not always easy to define consciousness. To say that this or that person does this or that, driven by a given unconscious strategy, is not always formally provable. The propositions made in Synergology are of a different order. They are verifiable! With non-verbal communication everything can be seen and therefore verified, validated or invalidated.
Example: In Synergology, we say that in a person experiencing a positive emotion the two lower palpebral fissures (the muscle under the eye) are always retracted, preventing us from making out the white of the eye. There are no two ways about it – it is either true or false. It is very easy to verify the truth or falseness of the proposition. All you have to do is store videos of people who are in a state of high positive excitement (a win in a sporting tournament, an election victory) All it would take is for one person, on more than one video out of ten, to reveal the whites of their eyes under the pupils (dilated palpebral fissures) to invalidate that synergological proposition. For the proposition to be entirely true, you then have to compare the images of eyes in a positive state of excitement with expressions in which the eyes are sad. This is done by precise observation of the shape of the lower palpebral fissure of the sad eyes. In this instance, the white of the eye is quite visible under the iris.
Evaluation criteria of the truth are easily verifiable We do not hesitate to say that there are charlatans operating in the field of interpreting non-verbalcommunication. We say this simply because their propositions, which are usually made in books, are not up to verification standards. They present as truths statements that they would be quite incapable of demonstrating formally. What saves their bacon is the credulity of the public. We make ample demonstration of this in our training courses, and take every opportunity to present our propositions to scientists, as required by the Synergology Code of Ethics. The aim of Synergology is to make available to those from other disciplines a tool to strengthen their convictions, by giving them definitive validation by means of the non-verbal communication grid. Making propositions that are as scientifically acceptable as they are open to criticism based on scientific criteria lies at the heart of the synergological method. Synergology submits any proposition about non-verbal communication made outside its own sphere to the same critical scrutiny it imposes on itself. Thirty years of observing non-verbal communication, establishing the discipline, of teaching drawn from scientific contributions, and especially twenty years of rigorous methodology, allow us today to make propositions about non-verbal communication that are beyond doubt.
Synergology asserts that the ten propositions set out below are in fact, underneath their banality, scientific propositions. What allows us to state this with such certainty? Well, for each of the following propositions to be untrue, it would be enough to find 10% of counter-examples. In the field of pure science, and Synergology can also be evaluated according to this model, it is impossible to demonstrate that a proposition is true. It is, however, possible to demonstrate that it is false. This is what is known in pure science as the falsifiability criterion.
Take the first example: A happy person communicates by speaking with both hands. All it would take is for more than one person in ten who was really happy (e.g.: the thrill of winning a sporting competition, winning an election, hearing good news) but who only communicated this with one part of their body, for the proposition “A happy person communicates with both hands” to be declared false.The following ten scientific propositions: a few examples of synergological propositions that have been tested countless times and have been proved to be true: 1: A happy person communicates with both hands. 2: A relaxed person looks at his/her interlocutor with the left eye. 3: A person who has had a big fright conveys fear by showing the whites of the eyes above the pupil. 4: A person who is being open communicates with supinating (i.e., slightly turned towards the interlocutor) palms. 5: A person hiding the palms of the hands behind their back is being reticent. 6: A person who systematically communicates with the right hand is being careful about what he/she says. 7: In a situation of well-being, if the interlocutor is facing him/her, a person who is listening inclines his/her head slightly to the left. 8: A critical person always looks at their interlocutor with the right eye. 9: A person who has stopped listening to you stops blinking the eyes. 10: The eyebrows of an angry person form a sort of slight V-shape.