Fortune Telling Is a Load of Crystal Balls; Scientists Expose Scams

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

Fortune Telling Is a Load of Crystal Balls; Scientists Expose Scams


Byline: By Bob Dow

SEEING into the future is just a load of crystal balls, scientists claimed yesterday.

A report has found that clairvoyants and psychics rely more on a scam called 'cold reading' rather than looking to their star charts and Tarot cards.

Their tricks of the trade also include even more underhand methods such as searching a client's belongings for clues or scanning the internet for background information on them. The only thing that can be confidently predicted is that eager customers are so willing to be taken in that it makes the job much easier.

Scientists studied the methods used by everyone from spirit guides to gyspy tea-leaf readers and found that cold reading covers a range of psychological techniques to make it appear they know a lot about their client.

They make general statements that could easily apply to almost everyone, said the findings published in New Scientist.

But they are worded in such a way that the customer thinks it is a very personal description.

Other comments on health, family or work also seem to be spot-on as the customers often go to psychics in the first place because they have worries about these aspects of their life. …

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