Why I Dislike Psychics and Why You Should, Too

Why I Dislike Psychics and Why You Should, Too April 12, 2019

One of my guilty pleasures is Big Brother. Alongside Survivor, Big Brother satisfies some deep dark corner of my psyche that voraciously craves strategy. I loved chess growing up and now I can’t live without marathons of Settlers of Catan. If you watched my brain on an MRI, the very same areas that light up when I plan my attack against a dungeon boss playing Zelda would light up when I’m watching a discussion between two human chess pieces locked in a house somewhere far away.

Up here in the Great White North, we have our own Big Brother. Affectionately nicknamed BBCAN, I enjoy it more than the American series. Mostly because the Canadian contestants tend to be less… well, screamy and shrieky. South of the border, Big Brother is less about the strategy and more about the drama and that’s just not why I watch it. So, when BBCAN is airing like it is now, I am one happy heathen.

GM Note: I’m 3 episodes behind, so no spoilers in the comments, please!

This season, BBCAN introduced a houseguest who claimed to be psychic. Yes, in spite of the fact that Big Brother strategy relies almost entirely on a player’s ability to keep information on the down-low, production dared to bring in a mind-reader. If I believed in that sort of thing, I might have called it cheating, but because I don’t, I spent the first few weeks of the show yammering on and on about how great it would be if the psychic got blindsided. A few weeks in and mama’s wish came true. The clairvoyant was tossed from the BBCAN house and ladies and beards, she did not see it coming. In her exit interview, she tried to back peddle, but we all knew, she was just as surprised as the rest of us and it was a beautiful, poetic thing.

If it hasn’t come through loud and clear yet, I’ll save you the visit to your fortune-teller and clarify: I don’t like psychics. I especially don’t like psychics who take your money for “readings”. If you’re someone who claims to be psychic and that’s the extent to which you wish to take it, then I’m alright with you, though I don’t believe you. But as soon as you tell someone who’s struggling with something that you can help them find the answers with your psychic power, then we gonna have a problem. Then I’m gonna have to ask you to take a step back and stay the flip away from my family and friends. If you’re taking money to “help”, then all I see is a criminal.

The thing about psychics is that every last one of us, whether you believe in psychic ability or not, knows that there are people who fake it out there. We know there are people who say they’re psychic but who are not. The fact that any reasonable adult can accept this then leads us to the question, how do we know the difference? If you’re someone who believes that psychic ability exists and there are people out there who can use it to help you sort out your life or find closure with loved ones who’ve passed, you have to ask yourself, how do you know which “mediums” do indeed have the ability to see the future or communicate with “the other side”? How do you sort the fakes from the bonafide clairvoyants? What test do you apply that works universally?

We would all love to be able to say that we can go into something completely stripped of bias, but none of us can. That’s why we needed science to begin with. We knew that each one of us has our own biases, whether we are aware of them or not, and we knew that we would have to find a way to strip those biases in order to discover the truth. Science accomplishes that with its insistence on demonstrability, controlled experiments, repetition and peer-review. We cannot strip ourselves of our biases, but science can.

When someone believes in the power of psychic mediums, they walk into a reading with a bias. They will find ways to weave around the misses and focus on the hits. When someone like me, who does not believe in psychics at all, goes into a reading, my bias will likely lead me to put less weight on the hits and more on the misses. This is called confirmation bias. You look for the evidence that supports your already held ideas. Even if you don’t have strong opinions either way, you still carry with you biases that can blind you to the truth.

The answer, then, is science. And the science suggests that psychic ability is simply not a real thing. We’ve explored claims of psychic ability in scientific settings since the times of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and the closest any of these experiments and studies have come to proving it’s a real thing is the 2011 study by Daryl Bem at Cornell University. This study resulted in findings that appeared to prove that precognition exists.

However, it all fell apart when the study was reproduced. Several reproductions later, and there is still no solid evidence for precognition.

This means that nearly every time we’ve put psychics to the test, they’ve failed. This extends to tests and challenges in non-scientific settings, as well. No one has offered a better illustration of this than my fellow Canadian, James Randi. Also known as “The Amazing Randi”, James is a magician who decided early on in his career to expose the parlour tricks of magicians and psychics and he’s devoted exhaustive energy to this end. This is an hour-long documentary on psychics that is worth every minute it takes to watch it:

Randi offered a million-dollar prize to anyone who could demonstrate psychic ability in a controlled environment. The challenge went from 1964 to 2015 and tested thousands and thousands of people who claimed to be able to prove the paranormal. Each one of them failed and Randi never got to award the prize to a challenger before he retired.

It would be one thing if the claims of psychics were limited to challenges like this, but often the claims of psychic mediums can cause real-world problems, sometimes toying with the mechanisms of life and death itself. When children go missing, psychics offer their “help” to detectives on the case, using up valuable time and resources. In one very well documented case, famous psychic Sylvia Browne spoke to the family of a missing girl on the Montel Williams show. She told them that she was sorry, but that their daughter was deceased. The girl’s mother was emotionally destroyed after the show and died a year later, thinking her daughter was gone.

But she wasn’t. Amanda Berry was alive.

Just think about this for a second. Really think about what that sliver of hope can do. When a mother whose child is missing has that hope that she’s still out there somewhere, she keeps looking. She keeps the detectives on their toes, maybe she posts missing posters as often as she can. There is little doubt that had the parents still had hope she was alive, they might have searched with a little bit more urgency. There’s even the chance they could have found Amanda long before she saved herself.

In another case, television show Inside Edition put psychic detectives to the test by showing one such medium a photo of a child they claimed was missing. The psychic proceeded to explain that the child in the photo was dead and it had been a violent passing. What she wasn’t able to pick up on was that the photo was a childhood photo of the Inside Edition reporter who was, very obviously, alive. She didn’t even have the slightest tingling sensation when the woman whose photo it was had been sitting right across from her.

We know four things about psychics:

1. We know that psychics engage in what is called cold reading, techniques that work quite well at fooling people into the belief that the medium can see and hear more than we can. We are aware of the existence of these techniques that are totally devoid of any paranormal power.

2. We know that each time we’ve tried to put psychic ability to the test it has failed, with the exception of one study that has not been able to reach the same conclusions when it’s been reproduced.

3. We know there are fake psychics out there.

4. We also know that there is no universal test that we can apply to sort out who is a real psychic and who is not.

When you put these four things together that we know, beyond any doubt, and you really think about them, you have to ask yourself why you would ever accept the authenticity of a psychic. Especially given the knowledge that no single human being who has ever existed is completely safe from the confirmation bias trap. Why, given we know these things, would you ever give a medium money or accept a “truth” they offer that could alter the course of your life?

The next time you find yourself believing a psychic, remember these four things and ask yourself: is it that you want to believe this psychic is real? Could that be playing a part in your acceptance of their ability? Is that remotely possible?

I don’t like psychics because they prey on people who are grieving. I don’t like psychics because they profit off of desperation. Even those who do their readings for free could be feeding you information that interrupts a healthy grieving process or guides you down a dangerous path. They are parasites that feed on your sorrow, anxiety and loss.

The good news is, though, that you don’t need them. We’re all capable of getting through life without spoilers. We don’t need a secret gateway to the afterlife to honour the memories of our loved ones. We can live without psychics because we do live without psychics.

Before you go, I’m going to leave you with John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight piece on psychics and close on a laugh:

What do you think of psychics? Do you believe they exist? Let me know in the comments!

If you like what I do here and want to support my work, you can donate here or become a patron here.

Image” Creative Commons/Pixabay

"Wait.... You mean Dr. Who ISN’T a documentary???!"

6 UFO Cults That Are Alive ..."
"Honey, you're p!aying games to support a system of s3x ual abuse and ra pe.That's ..."

10 Shocking Facts About The Mormon ..."
"You support forced marriages, polygamy, ra pe, and child abuse. You have no moral standing.Every ..."

10 Shocking Facts About The Mormon ..."
"You support forced marriages, polygamy, ra pe, and child abuse. You have no moral standing."

10 Shocking Facts About The Mormon ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • guerillasurgeon

    “We know that psychics engage in what is called cold reading”
    We also know that they engage in what is called “hot reading”, which is simply looking stuff up, or getting people to interview the marks. Which is a damn sight easier these days with the Internet and what have you.
    Not quite sure how you define “fake psychics” – as far as I’m concerned there are no real psychics though I guess you could argue that those who believe in what they are doing are real and those that don’t are fake.

    Modern psychics go back to the 19th century essentially, and were often if not always women, who acted as spirit mediums. Often failed actors for obvious reasons. And it was one of the few careers open to women at the time. They essentially became mediums because of the glass ceiling, particularly in churches. It also enabled them to some extent to escape the restrictions placed on middle-class Victorian women. Particularly as some of the spirits they “channelled” were men. It enabled them to smoke and swear and punch people. And have opinions about politics. They could also ignore the sexual conventions of the day to some extent.
    The sceptics who investigated them were almost all men. The investigations weren’t always done in a spirit of scientific enquiry, there was sexual and sadistic overtones often.
    Ha! I did an undergraduate assignment on this a few years ago – I hoped it would eventually come in handy. 🙂

  • Yes, hot reading too! I should have touched on that.

    I referred to “fake psychics” for the sake of people who read this who might believe in psychic ability. I personally do not think there are such things as real psychics, but I wanted to make this point for those who do believe in them AND those who don’t. Thank you for reading!

  • All so-called psychics are liars. All who believe in psychics are rubes. Neither category deserves more than the absolute minimum of respect.

  • Raging Bee

    Someone who’s really good at reading and instantly picking up on a person’s minutest physical reactions, and drawing conclusions from same, might be considered close to a “real psychic.”

  • Grim Beard

    It’s perhaps worth noting that the journal which published Bem’s ‘study’ did so with a disclaimer – something almost unheard of in academic journals. It’s really an example of a failure of peer-review, given how badly designed and conducted the ‘experiments’ were and how obviously p-hacked the results were. Bem has a long history of advocating p-hacking, in fact. He’s a disgrace to the field of psychology.

  • larry parker

    I just watched the Inside Edition clip. I’ve never seen a psychic look so surprised.

  • Oh, I didn’t know that! Wow…

  • haha, it’s pretty amusing but infuriating at the same time.

  • larry parker

    Absolutely.

  • al kimeea

    “I don’t like psychics because they prey on people who are grieving. I don’t like psychics because they profit off of desperation.”

    THIS! All woo preys on those in desperation. It is disgusting to profit from the misfortune of others. The US healthcare system is bad enough without incorporating abject nonsense like the paranormal. Sadly, this is changing with mediwoo now on the shelf as “integrated medicine” .

    All woo hides behind intent when the nonsense on tap – psychics, reiki,… – goes skunky. Then, when well deserved criticism is levelled at the wooligan for their fantastic claims, shoddy methodology and poor, all too often deadly, results, the spectre of scientism is raised. The psychics Randi tested often revealed the power of skeptical energy to confound their special skill. I feel blessed…

    I exchanged emails with Randi many years ago after reading one of his analyses of the fantastical paranormal claims of Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake has studies showing people and dogs have psychic ability. I contacted Randi after seeing a credulous segment about Sheldrake, on the science magazine show of the Canadian Discovery Channel, a day or two before reading his article. Randi mentioned he was going to contact the show, but I’m not sure what became of that.

    Sheldrake, some years later, is referenced as a source by a woman who claims to be able to communicate with dogs telepathically to help heal them spiritually, or something. This article was about 1/2 a page in the Toronto Sun, adding to the patina of legitimacy by hand-waving away any science based criticism.

    Sheldrake has written a book – The Science Delusion (an obvious riff on Dawkins’ book) – in an obvious attempt to sow FUD regarding science because his ideas fail critical examination. The JREF’s many failed psychic applicants repeatedly show this, like the picture fail mentioned here.

    According to him, his ideas aren’t utter bollocks, despite the poor scientific results. Science is worng, not me. It is scientism to think otherwise because I’m a special snowflake whose abilities are beyond science. When it catches up to me, you’ll see the truthiness of my special ability/knowledge. Besides, I’m only trying to help…

  • Littleblueheathen

    I read the title as ‘Physics’ instead of Psychics. It made for an interesting, albeit confusing first paragraph. I’m awake now.

  • TJ

    Same here

  • Bria Lapoint

    A terrible reason to not like something is because someone else doesnt like it. I have a mind of my own tyvm

  • kyuss

    yep, psychics are a joke. there’s a whole horde of them on patheos pagan. they really don’t like it when you ask them to offer up evidence for their magic powerz.

  • Michelle Gibson

    Well, I identify as a psychic myself, and I’m not guilty of any of the things that you seem to be accusing all psychics of.

    You’re making some very sweeping generalisations about an entire group of people, the vast majority of whom you’ve never met. I understand that you’ve seen the ridiculous antics of some liars and fakers, but to assume that’s all there is to the psychic community is prejudice. To believe that the actions of certain individuals reflect the entire community as a whole is prejudice.

    There are people who lie about being psychic in order to take advantage. But (and let’s disregard for a moment one’s personal opinion on whether psychic abilities are real) – there are a *lot* of psychics who believe their ability is real. Perhaps they are wrong. But many psychics are truly convinced they are psychic. Which means they’re not liars or deceivers.

    Many psychics do not prey on people who are grieving. Those who believe in what they are doing simply offer a service or assistance. ‘Prey’ implies they are seeking victims to exploit. But since many psychics seriously believe they are psychic, they are not looking to exploit or deceive anyone. Many are not setting out to prey on anyone at all.

    Many psychics do not profit from despair. A number of psychics do not charge a fee for their work. I’d also argue that there’s nothing wrong with psychics charging, anyhow. They are working. They are workers. Workers are entitled to be paid. One could make the argument that doctors and others in the medical profession profit from illness. Just as medical professionals deserve to be paid for their work, so does a sincere psychic (one who really believes they have ability) deserve payment for their work. A lot of people have invested a lot of time in training to be a psychic, from studying, to attending development classes and taking courses. They are also giving up their time to work for a client. Work should be paid.

    Many psychics are not parasites. You make it sound like we’re all liars to want to exploit vulnerable, grieving people. Yes, some people lie and do exactly that. But many do not. Many are acting from sincerity and genuine belief that they are psychic.

    Onto the question of whether psychic abilities are real or not, I think they are. And there is scientific evidence to back this up. Reputable scientists have been conducting research into psychic phenomena since the late 19th century and there is a strong body of scientific data which suggests that psychic abilities are indeed real. Some of the most interesting research taking place with mediums is by the scientists at the Windbridge Institute. http://www.windbridge.org/

    http://www.windbridge.org/factsheets/WRC_wellactually.pdf

    This is a factsheet addressing misconceptions about psychics and mediums.

    http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Beischel2007.pdf

    Here is an example of some of the scientific data which indicates that such abilities are real.

    http://www.windbridge.org/research/

    More can be read about their research, including their findings that going to see a medium is actually beneficial and can help with the grieving process.

  • Michelle Gibson

    No they are not. Many psychics really believe they have an ability. I identify as a psychic and I’m not being dishonest; I feel that when in a meditative state I have some (currently minor) psychic ability.

    Sweeping generalisations about a whole group of people is nothing more than prejudice.

  • Michelle Gibson

    I posted last night, but it appears not to have got through, so I’ll try again.

    You’re making a heap of sweeping generalisations about an entire group. That’s prejudice. The actions of a number of unethical individuals don’t represent the group as a whole. Just as right-wing Islamophobia is easily combatted by pointing out that the masses of Muslims are not terrorists, most psychics are not the way you describe them.

    I identify as psychic, myself. I don’t prey on people.

    Many psychics honestly believe they have their abilities. They are not seeking to prey on people or exploit them, they see themselves as participating in valid work. Many psychics are not out to take advantage of people, there are a lot who are acting in good faith and truly believe themselves to be psychic. Even if they were mistaken or deluded about having an ability, those individuals are not operating from a position of malice.

    Not all psychics profit from their work, there are those who work in their spare time free of charge. However, as workers, they are entitled to earn money from their work if they desire. Just like other workers are paid for their time, there’s no problem with psychics being paid for theirs. Yes, if the individual is actually lying about having an ability, *then* there’s a problem, but that doesn’t apply to many people who take up psychic work. If you work, you’re entitled to be paid.
    There is also scientific evidence which supports the reality of psychic ability. Scientific research has taken place since the late 19th century and there is a body of data which provides evidence for such phenomena. An example of current research (with mediums specifically) can be found on the website of the Windbridge Institute, a scientific organisation which studies mediums.

    http://www.windbridge.org/research/

    http://www.windbridge.org/education/major-findings/

    From their research so far, they have concluded that “Some mediums, under controlled laboratory conditions, can report accurate and specific information about deceased people.”

  • DannyC

    Our 24 year old son, Alex, died last year. What I wouldn’t give to be able to connect with him in some way, to tell him that I love him, and for him to tell me that he is fine… We all know that’s not going to happen. For many, it would be all-too-easy to be lured into the trap by psychics selling that “connection.” A couple months after Alex died, a friend of ours lost her wife to cancer and she DID get drawn in by one of those traveling hucksters who rents out a conference room at local hotels and sells tickets to the grieving. Our friend went to see the “psychic” and was over the moon. The “psychic” knew so many things that could’ve only been whispered across the divide by her newly-departed spouse. Or, maybe the psychic fished for reactions based on generic questions? Naw – she had to be real! It was hard to listen to our friend go on and on about the experience because we are grieving too so I didn’t want to take away whatever gave her some hope. As for me, psychics are the boil on the ass of the grief industry, on par with “ministers” who threaten damnation to souls who don’t comply with their rules for salvation. Screw ’em all.

  • Martin Penwald

    A quick Google search gives that at the top of the results :

    The Windbridge Research Center primarily performs peer-reviewed studies with mediums (people who experience regular communication with the deceased) and the effect of mediumship readings on grief.

    So, basically, their STATED goal is to prove psychics exist. That has nothing to do with science and everything to do with confirmation bias.

    If you believe you are a medium, you are very probably deluded.

  • There is no more prejudice in my statement than there would be if I told someone that, no, they can’t fly like Peter Pan, despite however much they might believe it. Lying to oneself still counts as a lie.

    If a Star Trek loving friend wanted to model her life on that of a Klingon warrior, I would respect that. I would not respect it if she claimed to literally be Klingon (or part Klingon). If she actually believed that she’s Klingon, I would fear for her mental health and hope she gets help.

    Now imagine that there are thousands of people out there, scamming the gullible by claiming to be Klingon. They con people out of money, gain influence over people’s lives and manipulate the vulnerable – and yet every single one that has ever been put to the test has been proven to be a fraud. People may believe in Klingons, and people may genuinely believe that they are Klingon, but the very existence of Klingons has been debunked frequently and easily. Moreover the existence of Klingons violates all sorts of logical principles, as well as science and basic common sense. Yet they still thrive, these sneaky, wannabe Klingons, and they still take advantage of other people. Imagine that (despite the constant debunking) millions of people believed in Klingons, and many of our friends and acquaintances thought they might be at least a little bit Klingon (despite the total lack of evidence). All Klingons would be liars or rubes or both. Imagine this scenario, please.

    Because it is precisely how I feel about psychics.

  • desertspeaks

    well look at you, you can actually use a search engine, imagine my shock to learn this information. Since you feigned ignorance about the existence of abortion video’s, and just two day’s ago you couldn’t locate the video’s that it took me all of .26 seconds to locate on google.

    I did notice you never did reply to my post for the search phrase to locate the video’s.. why didn’t you reply? Oh that’s right, you were caught LYING, and you ran away!

  • al kimeea

    if your ability is to bother the dead, you’re being dishonest whether you believe it or not

  • al kimeea

    very likely will apply it to others

  • Martin Penwald

    What are you talking about? Rape apologist (and then rapist), liar, and now stalker. Interesting combo.

  • al kimeea

    LOL. specific info on dead people??? as in what they’re doing now?

    I’d love to meet one of these approved psychics cold and have them guess at my family’s past. Watching them struggle would be a treat.

  • Raging Bee

    “We really believe our bullshit” is no excuse for spouting bullshit. It’s certainly not a good reason to listen to your bullshit. And how are we to know which “psychics” sincerely believe their spiels and which don’t, if the results are always the same?

    And no, it’s not “prejudice” to judge you by your actions and their (lack of) results. “Prejudice” means “pre-judgment” or “judgment before hearing the relevant facts,” and that is NOT what we’re doing. Just like it’s not “prejudice” to judge a huge global oil company by their handling of one major oil spill.

    There is also scientific evidence which supports the reality of psychic ability.

    Can you point to ACTUAL RESULTS from such talents, in, say, the diagnostic, defense or intelligence fields?

  • Raging Bee

    …a woman who claims to be able to communicate with dogs telepathically to help heal them spiritually, or something.

    There’s nothing at all “psychic” about helping dogs heal spiritually. Just feed them, pet them, walk them, show them love, and let them rest their heads on your lap at least once in awhile. That’s not a huge task requiring supernatural powers.

  • Raging Bee

    Oh, and I just had a look at your Windbridge pages. Their “findings to date” are nothing but vague claims that don’t really point to any significant psychic power or potential. “Some” psychics getting a few (unspecified) snippets of information about dead people really doesn’t point to much.

  • Raging Bee

    Sorry for your loss.

    As for me, psychics are … on par with “ministers” who threaten damnation to souls who don’t comply with their rules for salvation.

    Worse yet, psychics often complement or compensate for those ministers, by reassuring the deceased’s loved ones that, no, he/she didn’t really go to Hell, as the minister may have promised when he/she was alive and not living in accord with the minister’s rules. Sometimes people need a fake psychic to clean up some of the real mess a fake minister may have made of someone’s life. That seemed to be the “service” John Edward provided: pretending he was talking to dead people, and assuring us all the dead people were happy and at peace. I sure never heard him say “OMG your uncle Bob is in Hell and he wants you to know you gotta get right with THIS PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION OF THE ONE TRUE GOD otherwise you’ll end up in Hell too!!!”

  • desertspeaks

    you ran away like a cur dog and you damn well know it! you got cornered and had no plausible answer, so you just left the conversation!

  • Martin Penwald

    What discussion? You don ‘t want to discuss, you just want that we grovel at your feet and recognize you are the christ reincarnated.
    Such anger… It’s so sad. Get a life.

  • desertspeaks

    oh sorry, i thought I was talking to “you” an adult who ran away from his lost cause,.. my mistake, i’ve now discovered that I was talking a walking talking coward “that would be you”, who now pretends he doesn’t recall getting destroyed so badly you ran away and are now lying about it!

  • desertspeaks

    PRECISELY how many children are conceived by rape? “and of course no woman has ever lied about being raped before, right?”

  • Martin Penwald

    Mmmmh, wow, no, you didn’t ask me this question, it was never in my part of the thread. Knowing that you have the habit to change your comments after the fact, we know who the liar is, don’t we?

  • desertspeaks

    well, no data to share then? IMAGINE MY LACK OF SHOCK!

  • Jim Jones

    > 3. We know there are fake psychics out there.

    No, we know all psychics are fake.

    > 4. We also know that there is no universal test that we can apply to sort out who is a real psychic and who is not.

    Sure there is. If they say they are a real psychic they are lying, thus fake.

  • Jim Jones

    > There is also scientific evidence which supports the reality of psychic ability.

    There isn’t. All are fakes and liars. Some may be deluding themselves.

  • desertspeaks

    well, are you going to dazzle me with your data, or don’t you have anything but lies?

  • Martin Penwald

    Ooh, you’re from the Todd Akin’s school of “thought”.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    In her exit interview, she tried to back peddle…

    Pedal or peddle?

  • ThaneOfDrones

    James is a magician who decided early on in his career to expose the parlour tricks of magicians and psychics and he’s devoted exhaustive energy to this end.

    Randi has no problem at all with magicians who admit to being stage magicians. He is one himself. He follows the “magician’s code” of not revealing the tricks of other performers. It is only when performers claim to have actual supernatural powers, and use those claims to victimise the public that Randi gets involved.

    Science accomplishes that with its insistence on demonstrability, controlled experiments, repetition and peer-review.

    J.B. Rhine, one of the big names in the history of ESP research, once offered to let any other researchers use his raw data from an experiment to work with, to decide if ESP is real. He thought this would constitute reproduction of his results. This is the sort of thing that makes a person wonder, “Is he stupid or dishonest? And if he really is that stupid, how could he possibly be accomplishing real science?”

  • ThaneOfDrones

    The actions of a number of unethical individuals don’t represent the group as a whole.

    Oh, you think we are throwing out the baby with the bathwater? Show me the @#$%ing baby!

    Many psychics honestly believe they have their abilities.

    Yes. Sad, isn’t it?

    Scientific research has taken place since the late 19th century and there is a body of data which provides evidence for such phenomena. An example of current research (with mediums specifically) can be found on the website of the Windbridge Institute, a scientific organisation which studies mediums.

    “Hey gang, let’s get together and call ourselves ‘peers’, and review each other’s work. That will constitute ‘peer review’!

    Even more interesting than the psychic research is the research on psychic research. Setting aside the known instances of subject cheating and researcher cheating, it is fascinating how poor experimental design can lead to worthless results.

    One particular oddity keeps showing up: A researcher will perform a ‘preliminary’ study to decide if there is any phenomenon worth studying, and get positive results. This encourages him to do more studies, and to identify and remedy a number of weaknesses in the methodology. And more and more experimental holes are filled, the phenomena disappears. And yet, the researcher will insist that the original, poorly-controlled results are still valid!

  • ThaneOfDrones
  • ThaneOfDrones

    If anyone is interested in some serious reading about “psychic” research, here are some books:

    ESP and parapsychology: A critical reevaluation
    C.E.M. Hansel (1980) Prometheus, ISBN-13: 978-0879751197

    The Elusive Quarry
    Ray Hyman (1989) Prometheus, ISBN-13: 978-0879755041

    Flim-Flam!
    James Randi (1982) Prometheus ISBN-13: 978-0879751982

    The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading
    Ian Rowland (2015) ISBN-13: 978-0955847639
    This one is more readable than the others, and sticks to the one topic of cold reading.

  • al kimeea

    Sadly, for some people it is.

  • Martin Penwald

    Poor little thing.
    You couldn’t handle being ignored and try to start a completely different argument on another blog… I’m so scared to be “destroyed”…
    Seriously, go back to your cave and let mature people have a conversation.

  • Raging Bee

    Yes.

  • desertspeaks

    you ran away because you got caught in your bs lie!

  • desertspeaks

    don’t avoid the question, since you murderers continuously throw out the rape charge, either post pertinent statistics in support of your claims or STFU! We both know that you CAN’T post verifiable statistics, because it destroys your entire agenda!
    Rapes account for such a small percentage that it makes your entire argument moot!

  • persephone

    I know that’s a lot of what I do without thinking. My first husband loved to introduce me to people to have me gauge them. I hate going to parties, but I would go and I could usually tell pretty accurately if someone was to be avoided or could be trusted. Again, a lot of that was unconscious reading of body language and speech patterns. Shaking their hands was part of it.

    Back in the days of coins in coins out slot machines, I was pretty good at picking one that was going to hit. A mechanic told me later that the machines would sound different as they loaded with coins, and would often be set to pay out at a certain level, so I was probably hearing a slightly different sound from the machines.

    I have had some weird, unexplained things happen in my life, but, for my supposed psychic ability, I know a lot of it is just sensory reading

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    If the pregnant person doesn’t want to carry the pregnancy, it’s a PARASITE….

    And YOUR KIND don’t have any control over the pregnant person’s decision.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Provide evidence, you distasteful urchin.

  • Martin Penwald

    Still there? Oh, shit, it’s love!
    Unfortunately for you, i don’t want to date a sexist rape apologist, you’ll have better chances to find a lover who share your interests on breitbart or infowar. Good luck.

  • desertspeaks

    still avoiding claiming your lie huh. im shocked I tell you, shocked! NOT!

  • desertspeaks

    1) who the hell are you? 2) are you martin in ANOTHER ACCOUNT? 3) I provided evidence in the first post,.. perhaps you’ve suffered a traumatic head injury and CAN’T REMEMBER IT! Scroll up and read it!

  • desertspeaks

    I like how people intervene “like you’re doing now” on behalf of their loser friends, when their friend can no longer support the agenda and are being destroyed..

  • Martin Penwald

    Hey, it’s a PUBLIC forum, everybody can answer if they want to. YOU are the stalker, don’t complain after people talk to you. You’re not special to me, just another asshole with delusion of grandeur.

  • Martin Penwald

    Jerks like you will dismiss EVERY evidence that go against their twisted beliefs, honesty is antithetical to your raison d’être. So what’s the point of feeding you with facts you’ll dismiss as fake?

  • desertspeaks

    you have no facts that you can attest to the veracity of, you just regurgitate hearsay of hearsay as though it has some basis in reality.

  • desertspeaks

    neat, you’re answering from your real account and defending your other shill account!

  • Martin Penwald

    Every single comment you posted prove you are a rape apologist. If i had thought you could have been convinced I would have started with that, but remember,you came on the previous thread and started insulting everyone there: you weren’t there to debate nor learn anything, you were (and still are) here to get a masturbatory power trip.

  • kyuss

    psychic powerz don’t exist. if you claim to have then, you’re -at best – deluded and – at worst – a liar.

  • kyuss

    Windbridge Institute, a scientific organisation which studies mediums…

    neither you or the woowoo that runs this organization actually know what the word “scientific” means.

  • kyuss

    A mechanic told me later that the machines would sound different as
    they loaded with coins, and would often be set to pay out at a certain
    level…

    this is not how slot machines work.

  • desertspeaks

    Just prove that 600k rapes occurred and resulted in abortions last year.. when do you think you’ll be able to trot out those verifiable statistics?? NEVER! because the rape argument is a LIE, a red herring!! There were not 600k rapes that resulted in abortions last year..

  • Martin Penwald

    Why should I prove a claim I have NEVER MADE? You’re seriously deluded, you’re imagining conversations that never happened. Just stop and check with a doctor.

  • desertspeaks

    YOU CAN’T! THAT’S THE POINT YOU FREAK!

  • Martin Penwald

    Obviously I can’t, since I haven’t made it. And i’ve never seen this ridiculous claim made anywhere except by you. Are you dumb or stupid?

  • desertspeaks

    you murders of children all have the same song, and weaponize the rape claim to support the murder of children

  • persephone

    And you’re familiar with 1970’s slot machines

  • kyuss

    yes – enough to know that slot machines use a RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR to determine payouts. NO SLOT MACHINE EVER has been “set to pay out at a certain level” as you claim the “slot mechanic” told you.

  • persephone

    Nothing mechanical is random. It’s impossible.

  • kyuss

    think again.

  • persephone

    No, I don’t have to. It’s impossible to create something random. Even with all the possibilities of software, nothing created by humans will be random.

    So, bye. You obviously don’t have the knowledge to be commenting on this.

  • kyuss

    you’re a total tool. From the wikipedia: … (slot) machines are designed using pseudo random number generators
    (“PRNGs”), which are constantly generating a sequence of simulated
    random numbers, at a rate of hundreds or perhaps thousands per second.
    As soon as the “Play” button is pressed, the most recent random number
    is used to determine the result. This means that the result varies
    depending on exactly when the game is played. A fraction of a second
    earlier or later, and the result would be different.

    Once again, you’re an idiot.

  • persephone

    I guess you missed the “simulated random numbers” phrase. It’s literally impossible to create randomly generated numbers.

  • kyuss

    nice try at moving the goalposts. our discussion is about whether or not you know how slot machines work. you clearly don’t and you have been exposed as a liar – slot machines don’t work like you claimed and no “slot machine mechanic” would have ever told you that they did. you’re a liar.

  • persephone

    You claim to know how they work and immediately claimed that they work randomly. As I pointed out, and in the article you quoted, it is clearly impossible for them to be random. It’s impossible.

    You’re just a black hole of uninformed and stupid. You have no background but a quick trip to Wikipedia. So, farewell.

  • kyuss

    caught you in a lie and you can’t handle it.

    slot machines use random number generators, lady.

  • kyuss

    So, farewell.

    That’s the second time you’ve said that – yet you continue to type drivel. Are you lying again?

    Oh – and every slot machine on this planet runs off of a random number generator.