Body language

Some people suggest that psychics base their readings on the so-called 'body language' of the client. In case you have been spared exposure to this 'science', body language is a popular term for the study of non-verbal communication, such as stance, facial expression, mannerisms and gestures.

Body language may play a part in cold reading, as we will see later, but it usually plays only a minor role. It plainly cannot help with remote readings (e.g. readings by phone or by post). Moreover, the body language theory cannot account for psychics coming up with names, dates, or details about the past.

At the risk of seeming sceptical about everything (which I am not), I might add that in my view body language is a very dubious 'science'. It seems to me that those aspects of body language which hold true tend to be obvious, while those which are not obvious are far from demonstrably true. However, this is not the place for a fuller discussion.

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